Wednesday, August 3, 2011

France day 3: International Relations

I am a science student in a multiple-choice exam writing, what-is-an-essay, creature-dissecting kind of way. What that means is that the words 'international relations' are a little more than foreign to me. Especially if I have to learn it in French.  But I suppose there's no better place to learn it than while in a classroom filled with Panamanians, Koreans, Italians and Columbians.

Learning a beautiful language in a beautiful school

We found out this morning which level we've been placed in, and it looks like I've made it into degrée 6. There's 9 levels in total so 6 really isn't bad at all. Because i'm in one of the more intermediate levels, I get to choose between a couple elective courses in addition to our mandatory speaking, writing and french civilisations courses. On Tuesday's it's Business French or International Relations while Thursday's offer literature of board exam prep. These classes are in addition to the already 20 hours of class we have. Monday's are long days and I'm at the institut until 5:30, or as they say here, 17H30. Friday's are short and finish before noon, giving us the chance to spend a weekend exploring other gorgeous French cities. I'm heading to Paris this weekend to soak in the art, culture and crepes, but mostly crepes.

Since it's the first full day of classes, we just played games. In my language classes there are 13 people. Our writing teacher Julien gets us to play what I'm going to call: musical humans. We walk around the class while music plays and speak to the person nearest to us once the music stops. This game goes on for more than an hour and we get to meet everyone in the class. There's Sarah, who's lived in 9 cities and never for more than 5 years in a single one, right now, she's 'from' Seattle. And Soo Young, who's staying for 6 months and speaks French much better than I do. And Natalia, and Miguel and. . . Later we play two truths and a lie, but we have to write down our truth and lies, at least it gives me a little more time to think of the right words to use than when I'm speaking.

At lunch I hear that most other classes have already been assigned homework but it looks like I've gotten lucky today. After my afternoon classes, I headed to the shops. On Tours' main street: La Rue Nationationale, there's a Zara, H&M, Domino's, Subway and a Pizza Hut. Not bad for small town France, is it? I buy a dress at Zara for 15 euros, soldes are the best. The night offered a welcome event for all the students at the institut, but really, I need a nap.

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