Mid-term break

My Instagram followers will know that I recently spent a week in France, on an exchange organised by my school. Each pupil was paired with a pupil in France, and we went to stay at their house and experience a little bit of French life for ourselves. 

We went to Aix-en-Provence, in the south. I’d visited many areas of France before but never Provence, so I was looking forward to the trip. 

We arrived on one sunny evening in Nice airport. One look at the palm trees and we realised we were abroad! The bus journey took about two hours, which whilst on one hand seems like a long time, it wasn’t enough to prepare us for meeting our partners! Before stepping off the bus I felt a strange mixture of excitement and fear. (Well, primarily fear.) What was my partner like? (I’d only sent her a few emails in the previous week.) What about her family? What were they going to feed me? What were we going to talk about? And - most of all - what if I didn’t understand anything they said? 

My fears were soon laid to rest, however. I stayed with a wonderful family who really tried to make me feel at home. They introduced me to new foods, took me round their local town and made sure that they included me in dinner table conversation. My French had definitely improved by the end of my stay, which will be a great help when it comes to exam time! Even if I didn’t know a word in French, I was able to mime or describe the subject in another way so that they could understand it. 

If you decide to go on an exchange, make sure to speak the language as much as possible. You will reap the rewards! It’s also a good idea to have  a little slip of paper and a pen on you at all times because you will learn lots of new words, even in seemingly everyday situations. 

Here are a few tasters of my trip. 

A windy day at the beach.

A pretty water wheel. 

Cooling walks alongside a river. 

 Old buildings in Avignon.

Cafés in Aix. 

I'll be posting a few more photos of my trip later in the week, so stay tuned!