Saturday, August 17, 2013

Home Away From Home, No 1

Samedi, 17 Août.

Welcome to my new home-away-from-home! I'm living in a student housing campus called Triolet and, well, it's just about as spartan an existence as you could imagine. My room -- yes, I do have one all to myself -- is on the second floor (which, funnily enough, is really the third floor in France) of Building C in Room 058.

And here's the view out the window! The tennis courts aren't particularly lovely and look a little too much like a prison yard for my taste, but when I'm sitting at the desk, all I can see are the tops of the trees and the pretty blue sky. So that's good.

The bathroom is ... unique. It's all one tiny room with a toilet, sink, mirror, and shower. It's about the size of my entire bathtub at home and you have to press the shower head every couple seconds to keep the water flowing, and yet I like it. It's bright and clean ... and feels sort of like I'm brushing my teeth in a spaceship!

Hands down, the best thing about this room is the STORAGE. It's not particularly innovative or anything -- there's just beaucoup! We're talking three cabinets, shelves everywhere, tons of desk space ... it's fabulous. Because we're going to be living out of the dorms for three weeks, I've gone ahead and unpacked a solid amount of my stuff. Long-sleeved shirts, coats, and pants are all staying in the suitcase, but everything else is neatly folded in a cubby!

I love the open shelves, don't you? The whole thing is still really spartan and a little depressing, but I can't stop imagining how cute I could make this dorm if I were a normal French college student living in it all year! (Spoiler alert: it would be perfect.)

Oh, and we can't forget about these two guys... the best travel buddies!

So what have I done today besides arrange my clothes and take pictures of them? Well, after giving ourselves some time to unpack and shower, Molly and I spent the afternoon walking around the neighboring parts of Montpellier with Brooke and Thomas, the two other W&M students on our trip. We've already started trying to speak primarily French; I don't know how Brooke and Thomas felt about it, but Molly and I had a blast today! It's definitely a confidence boost ... even if we're just talking amongst ourselves and circumnavigating around words we've forgotten.

Today was our only "day off" for quite a while : our orientation program officially begins tomorrow with an excursion to Nimes and the Pont du Gard! I remember visiting both places when I was little and I am so so excited to go back! From what I've seen of Montpellier, it's a pretty city, but (nerd alert) I'm getting really pumped to be in the company of some good, old-fashioned Roman architecture. Besides, we get to go swimming!

The actual pre-session begins in earnest on Monday morning. We're spending the day taking  written and oral placement exams that will, if I'm correct, place us in one of a couple different levels of pre-session classes. I'm definitely rusty after a couple of months away from French class, but I'm really hoping to test into a more challenging class -- fingers crossed! Want to know more about my schedule? I received a lot of paperwork today that I'll share sometime soon, but for now you can check out our detailed itinerary here with information about the classes I'll be taking and the trips we'll be going on over the next few weeks. Although I'm definitely excited for these intensive language classes themselves, I'm really looking forward to all of our afternoon and weekend excursions -- hopefully, they'll be a great way to explore all of the exciting places surrounding Montpellier! In addition to exploring further away places like Avignon and Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, we're also taking tours of Montpellier itself and making a few trips to the beach!

Okay ... that's going to have to be all for now. It's 9 pm here, which means that I am beyond overdue for a good night's sleep! A bientot.


  1. bonne nuit or at least I hope that is correct.

  2. Merci pour tout ces details interessants! Repose-toi bien et bonne excursion demain. Quand je pense que tu seras si proche de mon amie...Qui l'eut dit?
    Bisous, Nanny