Le Premier Mai

HAPPY MAY DAY! Okay, so by the time this gets posted it will be past May 1st, but it seemed like a good time for an update. The French celebrate the first day of spring by also having their version of Labor Day. No one works, everything is closed, and people are able to enjoy the day off with friends and family. My roommate and I woke up to two plants sitting by our breakfast plates. These little white flowers, called muguet (Lily of the Valley), are a Celtic plant that symbolized spring; the French have adopted the tradition of giving out this token every first of May. It has been great to see the progress my roommate and I have had with our host mom. As any new living situation, one has to figure out everyone else’s schedule, hobbies, etc. All three of us (and the cat makes four)

“Family Picture” (from left to right) roommate Kelly and host mom Brigitte holding the cat Faro
“Family Picture” (from left to right) roommate Kelly and host mom Brigitte holding the cat Faro

have been able to not only improve communicating with each other—literally understanding what each person is saying—but to become a “family” over the past several months. We talk about our relatives, laugh at the TV, and make every effort to make the study abroad experience awesome for all involved. My roommate and I have truly been submerged in the French culture and learned so much living with a host family.

As we all ring in spring we are getting closer to the end of our study abroad experiences. Many students are getting in their last big trips, finishing their exams, and thinking about packing for home (a very daunting feat). I will be staying longer than some students for exam re-takes. One of my [now] funny experiences about Study Abroad is that I took the wrong test for my first final exam, so I need to wait for re-takes to take the correct test. More on that story will be coming in a later blog—so keep reading! In the meantime, I have been able to enjoy Aix and will hopefully be seeing more of the surrounding area during my last month here. I have enjoyed getting involved with the community to learn more about French culture and forcing me to speak more of the language. I volunteer with middle schoolers to help them with homework after school, and this is where I have picked up the latest slang and bad jokes. The church community with which I have been involved has also provided an opportunity for me to work with the high schoolers who attend and the youth ministry. Experiencing and appreciating the town of Aix has been a blessing.

All in all things have been going well here in Aix! I am hoping to finish strong and come back with a semester of wonderful experiences and memories. Until next time.