Sunday, September 25, 2016

Everyday Life in Strasbourg

>>>Bonjour Daily Life<<<

Generally, I'm having no trouble adjusting to my new routine here in Strasbourg. The first couple weeks were a bit chaotic until classes started, but I'm feeling much more comfortable now that I've settled into my new schedule.
I unintentionally ran by European Parliament the other day, and the structure alone is so impressive.
I can't wait to visit and tour with my Introduction to European Economic Policy course.
Here's the river side view of the parliament building.

Yes I'm Studying Abroad

I'm taking six courses this semester. Five of them are the mandatory curriculum for the Bachelor of European Management, and I got to choose one elective. I chose Theatre for Managers because it's the only class I could transfer back for BGSU credit since I've completed Basics in Supply Chain and other courses already. Mediation team members get to laugh especially hard at me here as they can probably imagine me attempting theatrics. We're a group of ten students, and I'll feel particularly vulnerable around them for three hours every Wednesday morning.

My courses should be manageable, and for the most part my professors are quite engaging, which is nice. All of my courses are once a week for three hours here, so that's a big adjustment for me compared to three 50 minute sessions per week... I'm not struggling to focus in class, but I do always feel like I need an hour to regroup after a three hour lecture. 

I coaxed my way into Baby French II (Basic French Level I, Group 2). Friends here warned me I should push to be in the more advanced of the two beginner courses, even though it's ahead of my technical level, because I don't want to spend the year learning the alphabet and super duper basics when I can spend extra time outside of class to accelerate my understanding of French in this second level course. The first class went well, and I think this course is a good fit although it will require extra effort since I'm starting about a semester behind. (I don't know if I've openly acknowledged this yet, but I came to Strasbourg with zero knowledge of French under my belt.)

My Fridays are always free to travel or study, and I start classes at 9am a couple days of the week, which is my favorite time to get my day going. All things considered, I'm very happy with the general layout of my course schedule. European courses are structured somewhat differently than my courses back at BGSU because most of these courses don't have midterms, just finals or weighty group presentations. Group presentations should be okay since I have all of my classes with the same group of students, and we're pretty much all friends and studious individuals. **Knocking on wood as we speak.**

Strasbourg contrasts Bowling Green

I love this:

  • international friends
  • unashamedly walking out of the house without straight hair
  • baguettes, cheese, wine, etc.
  • cathedrals
  • La Marne (my apartment building)
  • Whatsapp 
  • Duolingo
  • Italians cooking me pasta
  • travelling 
  • Portuguese
  • rock climbing class
  • Strasbourg's architecture

Hung jury:

  • Moodle instead of Canvas
  • Wifi in France
  • 1 and 2 Euro coins instead of paper bills
  • Portuguese words I physically cannot pronounce
  • French pronunciations in general

I hate that:

  • inefficiency
  • my inability to speak French
  • rats and flying rats (pigeons)
  • French milk
  • French eggs
  • 3-hour lectures
  • limited clothes selection
  • business hours
  • meat is expensive
  • notebooks are expensive
  • clothes are expensive
  • blisters
  • 8tracks doesn't work in France
  • Laundry tokens - since coins aren't inconvenient enough

Oh, and I miss this:

  • friends... like a lot
  • peanut butter
  • BGSU's Rec Center
  • American football

//Get Pumped for Christmas Break//

My best friends from home are coming to visit Europe over Christmas break! They booked their flights yesterday, so it's real life. I am crazy excited to have them here for New Years Eve and my birthday during the week they'll be here, and I'm just so thankful they're coming to see me.

Kimmy and Ellie, I cannot wait to see you in Paris on December 29th. Thank you so much for making this trip happen! Our senior year spring break in Florida was great, but I promise France/Switzerland/Germany will be even better.
When you left me at the airport I thought it was a goodbye until May... Jokes on us.
Sidenote: huge shoutout to Kimmy for running/killing the Air Force Marathon last weekend. If I ever run a consecutive 26.2 miles I think we'll all be in disbelief, but pacing 8:05 minute miles and making it look easy to qualify for the Boston Marathon is just insanity. You can ask the Portuguese girls, I freaked out a lot when I checked the finish timing from Luxembourg last weekend. I'm so proud of you for all of your dedication to accomplish this feat, and I'm so impressed by you. Thanks for being a priceless sister-friend-neighbor, and one of my greatest role models for literally forever.

That's all for now!

Love, Julie
"Wander with wonder and the whole world becomes home" - Tyler Knott Gregson
Sneak peak photo from my day trip to Freiburg, Germany today!

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