Monday, July 23, 2012

"I CAN TELL BY YOUR TEARS THAT YOU WILL REMEMBER IT ALL."

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Caitlin Campbell 
University de Savoie


Wow. I don't even know where to begin. It seems impossible to sum up my experience here in a few words. There's no way to explain how much I loved France, the people, and how I'll always cherish the memories. Why do goodbyes have to be so hard?
   This last week flew by! On Monday I went canoeing, on Tuesday and Wednesday we went to the lake for the last time (we really loved the lake). On Wednesday evening, we had dinner on a boat! We went on the biggest, natural lake in all of France. It was a great opportunity to get pictures of everyone one last time. Friday, my friends Antoine and Marco hosted a cookout for me and my friends and after we went out. This last week was absolutely perfect.
   If I think about the initial goals and fears that I had before I came to France, I feel so accomplished. I was really nervous about making friends. Not only did I make friends, but I made best friends. It's remarkable how in six weeks you can meet people who you feel you've known forever. The best friends I made were Ivana (from Canada), Ariane (from New York), Katie (from Montana), Antoine (from France), and Marco (from France). I am literally so happy that I made real French friends. It was amazing to learn the real slang of France and not just what the teachers tell you. They helped us out so much by telling us where to go, what places are dangerous, what's happening in the city, and they helped Katie send her baggages to Rome. Maybe it's just because I'm in a good mood, but...I have faith in people. There are marvelous people out there in the world. I'm never going to forget the ones I met here. We've made promises to see each other again, and I believe it will happen. How can I not see people who were with me when my dreams came true?
   Goodbyes are so hard. They have always been hard for me, and always will be. It's hard leaving a place and people who have been such a big part of my life. Will I remember everything? I don't want to forget anything! Pictures can only do so much. I'm afraid this will all become a dream to me; it's too good to be true.
   On a brighter note, I can tell that I've changed. I feel that I'm a little more confident in myself now. Navigating airports and depending on public transportation is so stressful, but I think I can do it. It's nice to know that I can depend on myself and that if I need help, I can ask someone in French. I also think I've become more personable. Meeting people and conversations are so important. For me, I need to keep my eyes open to meeting as many people as possible. For example, when I get back to Maryville College, I want to become friends with as many International students as possible. It's easier now to see where they are in their lives and how to talk to them. We're all the same, and it's wonderful when we realize that.

"I can tell by your tears that you will remember it all." The Cure

by Caitlin Campbell

Universite de Savoie, France

  Wow. I don't even know where to begin. It seems impossible to sum up my experience here in a few words. There's no way to explain how much I loved France, the people, and how I'll always cherish the memories. Why do goodbyes have to be so hard?
   This last week flew by! On Monday I went canoeing, on Tuesday and Wednesday we went to the lake for the last time (we really loved the lake). On Wednesday evening, we had dinner on a boat! We went on the biggest, natural lake in all of France. It was a great opportunity to get pictures of everyone one last time. Friday, my friends Antoine and Marco hosted a cookout for me and my friends and after we went out. This last week was absolutely perfect.
   If I think about the initial goals and fears that I had before I came to France, I feel so accomplished. I was really nervous about making friends. Not only did I make friends, but I made best friends. It's remarkable how in six weeks you can meet people who you feel you've known forever. The best friends I made were Ivana (from Canada), Ariane (from New York), Katie (from Montana), Antoine (from France), and Marco (from France). I am literally so happy that I made real French friends. It was amazing to learn the real slang of France and not just what the teachers tell you. They helped us out so much by telling us where to go, what places are dangerous, what's happening in the city, and they helped Katie send her baggages to Rome. Maybe it's just because I'm in a good mood, but...I have faith in people. There are marvelous people out there in the world. I'm never going to forget the ones I met here. We've made promises to see each other again, and I believe it will happen. How can I not see people who were with me when my dreams came true?
   Goodbyes are so hard. They have always been hard for me, and always will be. It's hard leaving a place and people who have been such a big part of my life. Will I remember everything? I don't want to forget anything! Pictures can only do so much. I'm afraid this will all become a dream to me; it's too good to be true.
   On a brighter note, I can tell that I've changed. I feel that I'm a little more confident in myself now. Navigating airports and depending on public transportation is so stressful, but I think I can do it. It's nice to know that I can depend on myself and that if I need help, I can ask someone in French. I also think I've become more personable. Meeting people and conversations are so important. For me, I need to keep my eyes open to meeting as many people as possible. For example, when I get back to Maryville College, I want to become friends with as many International students as possible. It's easier now to see where they are in their lives and how to talk to them. We're all the same, and it's wonderful when we realize that.
   France. I still can't believe that I studied and lived here. It's possible to chase after my dreams. It's funny - going to France has been my dream since 8th grade and as soon as I get back to the US, I'll want to visit again. This trip has introduced me to a new way of living: explore, learn as much as you can, make friends, try new things, and appreciate what you have. I'm going to think about this trip every day.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"We are just the same"

   One of my goals to accomplish during these two months was to make a real French friend. I was told that might be hard due the fact that my program would primarily consist of fellow Americans wanting to learn French. Nevertheless, I wanted that goal to become true.
   One day when I was at the lake with my friends Katie and Morgan, this guy approached us. He said he heard us speaking English and he wanted to introduce himself. After a few words of greeting, he sat down right next to us and continued talking. Seeing as how I was in my bathing suit and not knowing who this guy was, I  was a little unnerved and even a little annoyed to be honest. He surprised us by inviting us over to hang out with him and his friends later that day. Are people just nice over here or does he have some other intention? By trusting our instincts, we decided that he was a good guy. And indeed, he is. When we went over to his friends house, he introduced us to everyone, translated for us, and walked us home.
    From all the times that we've hung out with Antoine, I've come to know him as a funny, fun-loving young man. He loves to say, "Swag," "D-O-Double G", sing American pop songs, wear American brands, and listen to rap. He's has also actually taken care of me and my friends. Every time we hang out with him, he walks us home. He is persistant that we shouldn't walk home alone because the park that's very close to our apartments is very dangerous at night. And the other day we were going to go see fireworks, but he told us that the area that we planning to go to was the most dangerous in Chambery. And today, I'm going to a huge music festival where LMFAO, Blink-182, and Garbage are playing. I wouldn't have know about he festival if it wasn't for Antoine. He lets us know what's going on and where the best places are to visit. I'm glad we've made a good friend here.
   Two days ago Antoine took us to his friends' concert. While there, he introduced us to all his friends and bought me a drink. On the way home, I asked him, "Hey, do you think Americans are cool? Because we think French people are really cool." And he said, "Of course! Americans are great! The more I spend time with you, the more I think we are just the same." I was very happy that he said that because internally I have been thinking the same thing about people all over the world. I'm glad my persona doesn't scream, "I'M AN AMERICAN!" Antoine has also said he would make me a French culture list full of music, movies, songs, and sayings so that I can continue to learn French when I've returned.

   It will be so strange to leave everything and the people I've met. It's scary to think that I may not ever see these people again. But the experiences I've had and the honest laughter I've shared makes everything worth it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Back to my Ordinary Life

Universidad de Santiago de Compostela
Escrito por Fiorina Adorati

            Finalmente, estoy de vuelta en América. Desde que he vuelto, siento que las cosas por acá han cambiado. ¡Incluso mi casa! Siento que estuve en Santiago por años y ha sido un ajuste que me va a llevar tiempo. Tenía miedo de que cuando volviera, se me bue olvidado cómo manejar mi auto.  Pero una vez que tome el volante, se me volvió todo como que nunca me bue ido. También, sé que he perdido  muchos especiales eventos como la graduación de mi hermana. Katherine. Pero creo que valió la pena por todos los recuerdos inolvidables que adquirí y el crecimiento que hice como un adulto joven. Tengo que admitir que he llamando dólares euros. Por ejemplo, acompañe a mi madre, María, al centro comercial y se reía de mi porque me confundía entre dólares con euros. También, se siente raro tener internet con una velocidad increíble y aire acondicionado. Tengo que decir que con esta experiencia me he dado cuenta de lo afortunados que somos en América. Tuve una semana para ajustarme e involucrarme de vuelta a la cultura estadounidense. Estoy volviendo a mis promociones esta semana y se siente genial volver a trabajar. Tengo que decir que España tiene una cultura diferente y he me ajustado a ella y ahora necesito ajustar nuevamente devuelta. Es una sensación muy agradable de no tener que ir de compras y caminar diez cuadras hacia el dormitorio con alimentos pesados. Asimismo, es extraño escuchar a la gente hablar inglés. El otro día estaba en el supermercado con mi madre y le dije "hablan inglés" y se rió. Respondió, "sí, porque estás en casa." Creo que con tiempo, me voy a poder de acostumbrar devuelta. Bueno, tengo que reconocer que echo de menos Santiago de Compostela mucho junto con mi grupo de amigos que hice.

Monday, July 2, 2012

My Concluding Thought on Santiago de Compostela

Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, España
Escrito por Fiorina Adorati

            Estoy ahora mismo en el avión hacia Knoxillle, después de haber estudiado en la encantadora cuidad de Santiago de Compostela, España,  por cinco meses y algo. ¡Qué lindo recuerdos que me llevo! A pesar que tuve bastante obstáculos para superar, es una maravilla como ahora mismo no me acuerdo de los momentos malos si no de los momentos inolvidables. Es una experiencia que la verdad me encantaría que todos los estudiantes pudieran hacerla.  Aunque, recién me haya acabado de ir de Santiago. Ya la extraño, que cosa tan loca. He pasado esta semana, despidiéndome de a mis amigas que se volvieron a sus países: Italia, Finlandia, Estados Unidos y Turkey. Lloramos como una niña de dos años y lo peor es que también lloramos en los bares. ¡Qué horror! No puedo creer que ya haya pasado este semestre y me estoy yendo a casa. Bueno, tengo que confesar que no me pude hacer una buena amiga que sea de España, pero si pude hacerme buenos amigos y amigas de otros países, que nunca me olvidare de ellas y nuestros momentos tan espectaculares que hemos compartido. Que gracioso, recién un español sin querer volcó su jugo de naranja en mi ordenador y no me pidió perdón. ¡Qué típico! Me da tanta risa porque así son los españoles con diferentes morales. Bueno, sigo con las cosas que me llevo grabado en mi corazón y mente.  Voy a extrañar muchísimo: amigas, amigos, tapas, largas conversaciones, mis maestros (especialmente de musica), el calor, la lluvia que nunca parecía de parar, Carrefour supermercado, nata, las pastelerías, la belleza de la cuidad, los incómodos baños, momentos graciosos de Meg, robar papel higiénico de los baños de la residencia porque siempre me dejaban solo un rollo, las chicas de limpieza, las calles de piedras que me hacían doler los pies, los bares, los viajes, las cenas, dulce coca-cola, las dos Marías, las largas caminatas, los peregrinos, cafés, a mi mejor amigo (Dani), y muchísimo más. No solo todo estas memorias tan lindas; asimismo, he crecido como una persona y he aprendido a defenderme. Espero, que haya disfrutado de mis blogs porque me ha encantado escribirlas. Finales pensamientos… escribiré un blog mas para informales como mi adaptación de España a Knoxville fue. Bueno, para terminar, yo recomiendo que vayan a estudiar a Santiago de Compostela, pero siempre ten en cuenta que hay muchos obstáculos en la vida y me pareció que se multiplicaron en España. Espero, que en el futuro, la casa internacional de Santiago se supere a mejorar su servicio al estudiante. !Chau Santiago, hasta pronto! Nunca me olvidare de ti y de mis memorias tan bellas que ocurrieron allí. Un beso Santiago de Compostela!!!!   


The Amusement Park at Santiago Update

Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, España
Escrito por Fiorina Adorati


            ¡Como me divertí! Fue algo, inolvidable. Espere también, a la llegada de mi hermana para ir. A Kathy le fascina parques de diversión, las dos juntas parecemos de dos años en estas ocasiones. Fuimos a las tres de la mañana, después  de haber hecho tapas. No parábamos de gritar y reírnos, los tickets fueron un poco caros pero me divertí tanto que no me importo. Y la mejor parte era que llovía un poquito, ya que en Santiago nunca deja de llover (es cierto).  Entonces, esperamos debajo del paragua por la señal para correr hacia los juegos. 

Pulpo Gallego Update


Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, España
Escrito por Fiorina Adorati

            Bueno, les había contado anteriormente que iba a probar el pulpo gallego. Me pareció una buena idea esperar a la llegada de mi hermanita, Kathy, para compartir esta experiencia. Primero, le pregunto a mi amigo, Dani, si conocía lugares que el recomendaba para ir. Tengo que confesar, que me encanto. No era como los pulpitos que yo había comido antes, era mucho más masticable y con una textura un poquito más dura. Ya les había contado como lo preparan; bueno, ahora les cuento como lo presentan. Venia en un plato chico de madera  cortado en pedacitos medio grandes servido con aceite de olivia y con sal gruesa. Otro cosa que les había comentado era que iba a probar la famosa oreja de chanco. Pero después de ir al supermercado buscando por carne molida para hacer tacos, encontré en la misma sección, oreja de chanco. Me dio una mala impresión, porque cuando lo recogí podías ver los pelos de la oreja. ¡Qué asco! Entonces, perdón pero no les puedo informar sobre esta delicadezas de la comida Galicia. 


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