A week in France

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Jordyn Didier, Editor-in-Chief

Ten days in France sounded like the perfect opportunity. At the time, ten days did not seem like they would go by as fast as they really did. But in that short time, I visited Europe for the first time, saw monuments I have dreamed about for years, and made a friend for life.

Last year when I hosted Claire Mlakar, I could not wait to go to France just to spend more time with her. Many would be surprised at just how fast the two of us became the best of friends in such a short amount of time. March 28 I, along with 19 other students, took our suitcases to the airport to endure the nine-hour flight to Zurïch, Switzerland and then a three-hour bus ride to Mulhouse, France, located near the border of France and Germany.

Even though, I struggled a bit with having to speak French throughout the entire trip as the days went on the language did get easier. The hardest part was not knowing the words I wanted to say for sure. Thankfully, Claire’s family was extremely patient and helpful when helping me improve my speaking.

I do not have the words to truly describe the amazing experience I had in France, but I do not regret for a second the decision to apply to be one of the students in the program.  Being immersed in the French culture and actually having to live the life of a French student is extremely different from being a tourist.

Two days in Paris was a major highlight of my trip. Standing on top of the Arc de Triomphe, staring out across miles and miles of the city gave me a memory of one the most amazing and beautiful sights I have ever seen.  Our second day in Paris was a free day for the groups to go out and visit where they wish. My group and I set out for Monmarte, the hill home to Sacre Coeur. We ended up spending almost our whole afternoon sitting on the steps of the famous cathedral and staring out at the city. An entirely different, but just as breathtaking view from the top of the Arc de Triomphe. I did not know there could be such a thing as perfect until I spent those two days in Paris. There is nothing quite like sitting back in awe of a beautiful and history filled city.

My last day of the trip was also one of my favorites even if it was bittersweet for Claire and I. Claire, a few of her friends, and I visited Europa-Park, an amusement park in Germany. Even though it was a little cold, the day was filled with screaming, rollercoaster riding, and creating memories. At the end of the day, the sadness over leaving France started to set in for me. It would be the last time I would see many of my new friends with the exception of one of the other hosts. It was the perfect end to my perfect spring break trip.

The early morning to leave was filled with tears and a hope that I will be able to visit the beautiful country and my friends in France again. I will not let it be the last time to see Claire, even if we do not get the chance until far in the future.