I am only 20 years old and I was lucky enough to live in France for 5 months and immerse myself in a language that I’ve been in love with since I was 12 years old.
I studied abroad in Lyon, France through Stony Brook University. I dreamed about studying abroad before I even applied for college but it seemed like an unattainable goal because of how expensive it is, but with the help of advisors in Binghamton University I was able to apply to scholarships and finance my semester abroad.
I was nervous to live in a country where I had to communicate in a language that I wasn’t too confident in, but I was surprised that I was able to adapt quickly and in a more extensive vocabulary. The hardest part about living in a different continent is being far away from family and friends, but being able to travel to 6 countries and visit places that you thought only existed in movies is the most rewarding part about this experience.
I’ve been learning French since the 7th grade and I feel like I still needed to improve on one particular thing and that was the accent! French accents are hard and enunciated with a lot of nasal sounds but yet it flows so beautifully and I wanted to be able to speak the “language of love”. I accomplished a lot personally like being able to live independently and making friends with the limited amount of French I knew.
I lived in a city known as the stomach of France due to its exquisite gastronomy and meat that I couldn’t eat as I am vegetarian, but I gained a great appreciation for the French culture comprised of espressos and bread. My favorite memory of Lyon is walking down the street past my favorite boulangerie where my nose inhaled the smell of fresh baked goods such as baguettes, croissants and pain au chocolat that I would indulge on a daily basis. One thing my nose did not appreciate was the amount of cigarette smoke being puffed everywhere. I was shocked to see how many young people smoke especially on campus but it’s an integral part of the country’s culture.
Classes in France were amazing. I was able to learn about French literature and linguistics as well as achieve my academic goal of improving on my comprehension and reading skills. Those interested in studying abroad should definitely go for it because you’ll learn about different cultures, have great stories to tell, meet amazing people and eat really delicious food. I would do this spring semester all over again. Its definitely an experience that I’ll never forget and I hope other students are encouraged to study abroad.
Keiri, a French Linguistics major, studied at the University of Lyon in France through Stony Brook University in spring 2018.