I have just arrived at the Pessac campus of Bordeaux Montaigne University! Having studied French officially for six years and off and on since I was five or six, I am extremely happy to say that I am finally in France for the first time! I will be studying here for the entire semester, taking classes in French and staying in a dormitory. Pessac is a suburb of Bordeaux, which is located on the Garonne River in the southwest of France, near the Atlantic coast and not too far from Spain. I have had the excellent fortune not only of having a friend who has studied there previously and is full of helpful suggestions, but of going with one of my closest friends on campus.
My main goal is to improve my French. Having been so absorbed in Arabic since starting school here, I have had fewer opportunities to practice French than I would have liked. Since I will be using it in classes at the university and in daily life, I hope to make a lot of progress.
In addition to getting better at French, I am really looking forward to actually living in the country and learning about the culture. That’s one of my favorite things about travel: figuring out how another place works and learning about myself and who I am in the middle of the newness. Luckily, I’ve had quite a bit of practice these last few years. While I’m here, I hope to get involved in different activities, explore the city and beyond, and, of course, buy books.