Showing posts from August, 2017

Changes and Culture Shock

Today marks exactly one week that I've been in Angers, France. Words can truly not express how incredible this experience is for me. Although I find myself deeply challenged each day with the language barrier, completely immersing myself in the French language and culture has absolutely proved to be one of the most beautiful experiences of my entire life. I have been challenged to the limit each day with French, and even more so with living in another country. As an American, I sadly feel apologetic for my country's negative impact on the world, and especially how it affects minorities at this time. I also feel like a child with this new language, constantly stubbing my toes on words that I'm unfamiliar with, unable to ever fully express how I feel.
But, each day brings new light to my eyes. I am learning more and more about humanity, and not just the French. My classes are filled with Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Italian, Syrian, and Spanish foreign exchange student…

Puy de Fou, Mont-Saint-Michel, and Saint-Malo

Vendredi soir (Friday night), I went on the most amazing excursion with my school here in Angers. Puy de Fou is a very popular event in France (the second most visited tourist attraction-only less than Disneyland in all of France!) The bus ride from Angers was only an hour, and I found myself in an entirely different world upon arrival. My friends and I entered into this gigantic castle area, complete with a moat and little villages surrounding it. We were then taken back in time (in French, of course) through the history of France. As spectators, we witnessed French revolutions, wars (including the World War II bombings, cities with live horses and other animals, a man literally on fire, stunning fireworks, and over 300 volunteer actors. This event was so unbelievable, it is hard to describe. The setting was extravagant in itself, but the ability to witness the story of France with live actors inside an actual castle was one of the coolest things I've ever been able to see. I am …

Yoga in Paris!

Paris is...amazing. From the gorgeous Arc de Triomph to the lovely Louvre to the Champs-Élysées and the Eiffel Tower, this awe-inspiring city instantly stole my heart- and I don't think I'll be getting it back any time soon.  I began my adventures in Paris at Montmartre, the bohemian city on a mountain overlooking all of Paris. Vincent van Gogh, Degas, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Picasso all lived in this charming artist community. The Sacré-Cœur, the ornate basilica translating to "the sacred heart of Paris"  towers over the entire city, and is one of the most stunning churches I have ever seen. I was truly overwhelmed with the meaningful silence that filled every guest's heart and soul upon entry.
The Salvador Dali museum, also in Montmartre, was one of my favorite collections of his surrealist masterpieces. His psychological manipulations on objects and canvas, using personification with inanimate objects, is a testament to Freudian psychology and the comple…

Barcelona and Finally Arriving in France!

For the past week, I have been staying in Barcelona, Spain! This city is completely gorgeous, lined by the Mediterranean Sea. I have spent the past few days exploring the metropolis, tanning under the warm sun, and practicing yoga by the beach. One of the most famous Spanish architects Antoni Gaudi, designed eccentric masterpieces there, and visiting his "Casa Batllo" was an enlightening experience. The way he took ergonomy into consideration while building a house representing the sea was masterful, especially for the time period. This Catalan Art Nouveau mansion in downtown Barcelona was magical (pictures attached!) Visiting the museum of Picasso was also a lovely experience. A majority of the paintings there are from his childhood and young adult life, and it was incredible to see his style evolve.
Although Barcelona was fantastical, I am ecstatic about starting my french immersion program! I landed in Paris today, and am spending four days here before I move on to my ne…