Château de Chaumont
One of the art exhibits at Chaumont
Woodworks by Patrick Dougherty- the same guy who designed the Woodworks at Holy Cross!!
we stayed an extra ten minutes for another misting
So Far from the Bamboo Grove
the chapel in Chaumont
Hi, welcome to Chili’s
We adore Boba Tea
Ava looking cool, as always
As my stay in Tours continues, I slowly see myself becoming more and more accustomed to le mode de vie français (French way of life). Although my host family situation definitely took some time getting used to, my host parents have really helped my language progression as well as my acclimation to French life. It’s the little things that make all the difference between living in France and the US. Between the rigid set of dinner courses instead of eating family style, saying bonjour before any first interactions throughout the day, and the overall laid-back manner of living, France has surely taken some time getting used to. I’ve gone from my typical mornings in America of scarfing down an entire bagel during the slightest lull in between errands, to leisurely sipping on a single cup of coffee for hours while talking to my friends at an outdoor French café. At first, I thought that the slowed down way life that the French are famous for would irritate my restless nature, but I have to admit that it has started to grow on me. Le mode de vie français is dangerously infectious, I’ve even started having cravings for French cheese if I do not eat it for “dessert” at least once a day.
WHO EATS CHEESE FOR DESSERT?!? WHO AM I BECOMING?!?
Anyway, this week my fellow HC students and I have really bonded after some crazy adventures together. On Tuesday, we had a French cooking class where we made beignets. On Wednesday, we went to the nearby city of Chinon, where we were able to walk in the footsteps of Joan of Arc, as well as do some wine tasting at a local vineyard. Then on Saturday, one of the HC students planned an entire day trip to the famous Château Chenonceau for the group because the one at the Institute was canceled(Thanks again Abby!!). This was definitely the highlight of my week. For the past seven years that I have been studying French, I have seen countless pictures of Chenonceau and other châteaux from the Loire Valley in my textbooks. Seeing the Château and its grounds was the perfect French trip for me. I am so glad that Holy Cross have this month long immersion program in Tours, partially because of the great location for châteaux visiting, but mostly because I am having such a great time with the rest of the Holy Cross kids who I will soon be leaving for Dijon while they go to Strasbourg. I am really going to savor these last two weeks coming up because I know that they will be my last weeks of complete comfort for a while.
Leçon du jour: Prenez le temps de vivre (“take time to live”)
The group walking the streets of Chinon
We miss our HC hill pictures
In the Vineyard (NOT Martha’s)
After school trip to the museum (the sign says “we are happy”)
Me on my way to find a good Instagram location
The group at Château Chenonceau
Almost fell into the Cher river
I can hardly believe that today marks one week that I have been in France. Every day that I have been in this country has felt like a entirely different beast of its own. From navigating Charles De Gaulle Airport on Sunday morning, to buying a phone plan on Saturday, this week has been filled with dozens of firsts and a surprisingly large amount of lessons learned. One lesson in particular that I learned was taught to me on Tuesday night. After class at l’Institut de Tourraine, the other Holy Cross students and I decided that we would meet up for a school sponsored event at around 9pm in the center of Tours. Me being the naïve/know-it-all New Yorker that I am, thought that I already knew the in’s and out’s of Tours’s “simple” public transportation system, even though I had only been in the city for about 48 hours. Long story short, the bus stop name “Champ Joli” sounds a LOT like “Jean Jarès” when you’re blasting Édith Piaf from your headphones while thinking you know exactly what you’re doing and where you are going in a completely foreign city. This foolish mistake cost me an extra 30 minutes of walking to the café at Jean Jarès, then an extra HOUR of sitting at a dark bus stop alone waiting for the last bus back home after I had missed the café meet up. Although it might seem insignificant, this was definitely the lowest point in my week and totally made me reassess my situation in France. It finally hit me that I was out of my element and that I needed time to adjust to my surroundings. It only took two days for my head to be pulled right out of the clouds and brought right back down to earth. Luckily, the week only went up from this low point. The other Holy Cross students and I have been doing all sorts of fun activities together while in France such as wine tasting and a trip to the beach in La Rochelle, paid for by Holy Cross. Overall, I have been having a great time in France so far, and I am so excited to see what the future weeks have in store for me! Hopefully no more lessons about public transportation.
La leçon du jour : “It’s a bad day, not a bad study abroad experience.”-Alyssa Martinez, my friend who was consoling me during my seemingly endless wait at the bus stop
First lunch in Tours
Coming back from the boulangerie
Holy Cross + some Euro friends @ La Guinguette
Tour de Tours
Can you tell we are in France?
The group at Poitiers
Dinner after the beach in La Rochelle
Before we realized that the bus ride would be three hours long
Hi Everyone! My name is Sean Carroll, I am an Economics and French double-major from Floral Park, New York and I’m so glad you have stumbled across my study abroad blog. With this blog, I plan to document all of my ups and downs, adventures and misadventures, as well as possibly teach you some French during my first ever trip out of the country. I have no idea what to expect of Europe, but I have been told by everyone I ask that I will love it, so I guess you could say I’m pretty excited. I am currently writing this blog post the day I leave to meet up with eleven other Holy Cross students in Tours, France. For the past week I have been slowly packing my entire life away into two suitcases, saying goodbye to all of my friends, and savoring every last home-cooked meal and iced coffee I can consume. I have been dreaming about traveling to Europe and visiting places that my grandparents would describe to me for as long as I can remember and I really cannot believe that I will be sitting on a flight in less than seven hours on my way to make those dreams a reality. At this moment my head’s in the clouds and life does not seem real, I’ll let you know when reality pulls me back down. Wish me luck!
À bientôt! (see you soon)