Wednesday, August 31, 2016

First days in Strasbourg!

Whoa, it's so cool here. I only have a few minutes to post, so please forgive the awful formatting and such.

I arrived safely in Strasbourg on Sunday around 3pm French time (9am for Ohio friends). It took me a couple days to get comfortable with the time change, but I feel pretty good to go now.

My flight was SUPER comfortable. Riding first class with Delta for half the cost of a normal flight was such a treat, so another huge thank you to Bryan for getting me that Buddy Pass! Check these photos of my five-course dinner and fully reclining seat!

Yes, that's Remember the Titans... :) 

Once I landed in Paris, I had three hours until my train left for Strasbourg. I was going to have four hours, but the flight left Cinci an hour late because of a mechanical snafu. It took about an hour to get through French Customs, and that was honestly not bad at all because I think I was half asleep the whole time I was in line. There were nice grandparent-like folks behind me being super friendly, and a family ahead of me playing games to pass the time... Naturally that made it feel just like home.
Inside the train station in Paris
I was comfortably sitting in the train station about an hour and a half before my train was scheduled to leave, and I'd recommend a similar amount of time between a flight and train ticket (future study abroad-ers) because I wouldn't have wanted to rush... Especially since I don't know French and wouldn't be able to ask for help clearly and quickly.

BY THE WAY, French people at the airport and train stations have all been extremely kind to me even though I don't know much French at all. Some people told me that wouldn't be the case, so I figured I need to give the French credit.

Out of time, but I'm having A TON of fun and meeting some AMAZING people from all over the globe (literally). I couldn't even count how many different people I've met so far, and how many have greeted my face with kisses... That's a cultural oddity I'll have to get used to. Already, I have friends from all over the world! Here are some pictures of Strasbourg; I'll share pictures of my friends when I get the chance!
& this isn't even the famous cathedral
Petit France is so beautiful
I'll get a better picture,
but this is the inside of the main hall in EM

Quick! By the way!

Huge thank you to one of my best friends, Ellie, for being so thoughtful and writing me the sweetest note & sending a fun picture of us and Kim. It was so fun to find it in my bag in Strasbourg, and remember how fortunate I am to have such a great support system back home.

Also, thanks to Kels for getting up to Skype in the wee hours of the morning... Think 11am my time. You're actually the best.

Love, Julie "Wander with wonder and the whole world becomes home"-Tyler Knott Gregson 

P.S. I move out of my airbnb and into La Marne (permanent residence) today! Wish me luck!

P.S.S. Check out my friend Phil's featured write up about his experience in France...
This reminded me how fortunate I am to be able to (1) experience a new culture and explore Europe, and (2) spend a whole academic year doing only that!

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