Au Revoir, not Adieu

Six more weeks, and I will say goodbye to my students and colleagues, my fellow assistants, and my new French friends.

Looking back on my time in Le Puy, I am proud of my accomplishments. I have created English lessons that students find engaging and fun! I’ve introduced them to my unique perspective of the U.S. and to American traditions. (It wasn’t easy to explain Thanksgiving or Martin Luther King Jr. Day to French students, but at least I tried.) I have said oui (yes) to many new, exciting experiences. These include diving into a freezing crater lake, snowshoeing up to the highest peak of the department, and going to local cultural events like dances and concerts. I have pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone and lived to tell the tale!

I am also proud of my failures. You could be wondering why would I be proud of those? Well, I am proud of my failures because they helped me learn. And boy, I have learned a lot this year! For instance, I learned many forms of politesse (politeness) so I could interact respectfully with people in my community. I learned how to say I don’t understand and to ask for help when I needed it. I learned that when I’m missing home or American culture, I can go grab a cheeseburger with another assistant and have a great English conversation. Finally, I learned that French culture is as diverse as the people of France, and I still have so much more to learn about it.

When I joined Reach the World, I wanted to show students in America a different perspective of the world. I also wanted students to know how learning another language can open up opportunities to study and work in another country. Now that we’ve been on this journey together, I want to tell you a little secret...