It has been a very relaxing past couple of days in Aix-en-Provence. It already feels as if we are simply locals living the French lifestyle.
On Saturday some students woke up early to go on their daily morning jog through the city center. After this, the whole group gathered together to go to the famous Aix-en-Provence market. Here students were free buy food for the picnic to be held at the the park later that afternoon. After lunch we went to the public pool to swim and soak up some sun. After that, we took a bus back to the residence where we were put into cooking groups to make pasta and caprese in the apartments. Not only was this fun but it also taught us valuable skills for fending for ourselves in college and beyond. We were then free to wander through the streets of Aix, where there are many surprising and entertaining things to see and do. The group is quite fond of the crepe stands and gelato shops that are scattered consistently throughout the city.
On Sunday, we spent the day in Arles, a beautiful and historical little town on the Rhone River. Luckily for us, the Arles photography festival was happening while we were there. This festival consisted of 50 photography exhibits all over the city. However, we only had the time and energy to visit about eight of them. The group also visited the ancient Roman amphitheater where gladiator shows used to be held around 90 AD. The top of the coliseum also had a stunning view of the town. At the end of the exhausting and hot day of walking, we ate dinner at a Mediterranean cafe called La Bohème, where the students ate authentic meats such as duck, pâté, and bison.
As the days go by, there is no doubt that we are becoming more and more accustomed to trying new things and being immersed in a new culture. The experience of living as a French person for a month is not only valuable for language-learning purposes, but it is also eye-opening to see the world from a new perspective.