Aquae Sextiae, The City of a Thousand Fountains, and a number of other names have been used over the years to describe the small, Provençal town that is now chiefly known as Aix-en-Provence. This city, famous for its art, music, dance, and culture is filled with so much history, dating back thousands of years. It is my pleasure to say that this is where I will be spending the month of July along with a number of other students participating in Abbey Road Programs’ Aix-en-Provence summer trip! I have never left the United States and seldom find the free time to leave South Florida. The city that I live in is home to a very homogenous community and has a very low level of diversity, so my living in another country for a month with people that have a different culture and language might appear to make me the perfect candidate for culture shock. I feel, however, that this trip is the perfect opportunity to broaden my horizons. I have been studying French since sixth grade, the first year that my school offered it as part of the curriculum. But the view through the pages of the book cannot compare to the experience of living in a foreign land. Needless to say, I am immensely excited to have these experiences. I cannot claim to know much about art, theatre, or many of the other finer points of worldly culture, but I do know that Aix is renowned for being a hub for all these things. I hope that during this program I might be able to learn a bit about these aspects of the city in addition to improving my proficiency in the French language. I am very much looking forward to meeting all of the other students in the program, each with their own, unique backgrounds and reasons for participating in this trip, and seeing how able I am to assimilate into the life of Aix-en-Provence. I know that whatever happens, this summer is going to be unforgettable for me. I would like to thank Abbey Road Programs for giving me the opportunity to be a Student Ambassador with the Aix-en-Provence program, and I cannot wait to continue my blogs once I am in France. I hope that you have enjoyed this blog if for no other reason than that it has given you some insight into the mind of an excited participant in this program.
Best Regards, Brandon