Student Blogs/Sarah Jane in France

Hello Readers,

Welcome to my last blog post that will summarize my preparations upon returning home as well as the entirety of my time spent in France.

Due to the fact that moving to France wasn’t easy, especially with adapting to cultural differences and the lifestyle, I expect moving back to Canada will be the same. My prominent challenge upon returning home will lie in reaching an equilibrium between comfort and effectiveness. In order to prepare for the smoothest transition possible and minimize repatriation distress, a few activities I will undertake in are the following: meet up with friends returning home from their exchange and suggest grabbing a coffee to discuss our experiences; re-visit my favourite places in Paris as a final goodbye to psychologically prepare myself; and, say a final goodbye to my university in Paris as well as friends made here.

As the days go by and I count down the days upon returning home, I realize I am quite excited to go home and return to my original routine. Personally, I am the type of person who craves consistent routines who also prefers recognizable surroundings in a familiar country. With that being said, I truly enjoy traveling and witnessing all that the world has to offer in terms of cultures, subcultures, and environmental aesthetics. Being given the opportunity to become acquainted with people of differentiating ethnic backgrounds ranging from Moroccan to Italian, African, German, and Dutch, I feel as if I have experienced a little taste of each culture and learned a tremendous amount of cultural facts with each country that I wouldn’t have been able to learn from a textbook or lecture slide sitting in a classroom.

a pond with benches outside Musée D'orsay

The Exterior at Musée D’Orsay

Getting on a more personal level now, the hardest challenge that I faced here was loneliness. In mid-November, my relationship ended with my boyfriend and this took a toll on me. Looking back at it, I now realize that the hardest part was not having that friend there to talk to when I was lonely or depressed. At this time, I needed friends – simply, someone to talk to. My next step was searching the Sprott blog of past bloggers in France and came across a girl who I started a conversation with. Even though we had never met in person before, she gave me amazing advice regarding how to deal with loneliness on your sojourn as well as places to go and things to see. When you are traveling abroad, you have no choice but to be strong, independent, and confident in everything you do – even in the simplest tasks such as getting on a public bus or grocery shopping in an unfamiliar grocery store where you have no idea where anything is located. That is why one must be psychologically prepared to move across the country for a year and live independently.

In summary, when you experience your time abroad in whatever country you choose to go to, it is significantly important to utilize every second you spend whether it’s exploring a new sight or having a coffee with a friend. Living abroad for either one semester or a full year is completely surreal when you naturally adapt to the new culture you are brought into.

A few things to keep in mind on your sojourn…

  1. If you visit a museum or go to a movie theatre, keep your ticket stubs. I have collected all mine during my time in Paris (including museum brochures) leading me to create a scrapbook when I arrive back in Canada. From a personal perspective, this will truly help me remember my time in Paris.
  2. Sometimes, the unplanned is the best. If you are searching for a restaurant to eat at or a cafe to drink coffee, pick a street, and choose a random one. It’s more fun that way.
  3. Most importantly, enjoy yourself.
Sarah Jane Standing in Front of Seine River

Me standing in Front of Seine River

Sarah Jane is a third-year BIB student studying abroad in France.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 in , ,
Share: Twitter, Facebook