I am currently sitting outside my gate at Charles de Gualle Airport on Christmas Eve writing this last reflection on my time here in France. Though I am anxious to get home and see my family for Christmas, leaving France is bittersweet.
I spent my last remaining night in Angers hanging out with my few remaining friends who hadn’t left for the holidays yet. We went and walked about the Christmas Market, and I got my last Royale with Cheese at McDo’s (okay its basically just a quarter pounder from McDonald’s but humor me!). We then went to see Lucia- spectacle son et lumiere, which was a beautiful light show projected onto the facade of the cathedral in Angers. I have never see colors so vivid during a light show and the music that accompanied it was equally as good. It was an absolutely jaw-dropping show. Check out the pictures of it below (but they don’t do it justice). We then went on a ferris wheel set up for the Christmas season that allowed us to see all of Angers from the top. After, I said goodbye to my friends and walked home; ending my stay on a perfect evening.
If you had offered me two months ago to return home with no consequences I would have left in a heartbeat, but now I’m not in such a rush to leave France. Studying abroad has been an amazing experience and has helped me grow in so many ways. I learned to push through the really, really (sometimes really) downtimes, adjust to a different way of life, and most importantly enjoy my time with great friends. It’s given me the confidence to know I can take on big challenges such as this in the future. I know now that if I want to work in a foreign country that I could move there, learn the language proficiently, and be happy.
If I have any last pieces of advice for someone going abroad I would advise to stay with a host family especially if you are trying to learnt the local language. I regret not doing this because I think it would have made a significant difference in my language skills. Next, I would say don’t study abroad with friends. Being alone allowed me to meet tons of new people, and I had just as much fun with them as I would have with my friends from Ole Miss (if not more). This also forced me to talk with locals and practice my language skills. Lastly, do it! GO STUDY ABROAD!
Thank you to everyone who read my posts throughout the semester! I hope you enjoyed them!