One final au revoir

As my voyages came to a close late last week, I have a variety of emotions going through my mind. Excited to see my family, nervous about re-adjusting to the culture here, proud of how far I have come in my language skills and extremely sad to leave behind this wonderful place and people I have come to know. My heart has never been more full than the final Friday of the semester.

IAU held a closing ceremony for all the students, and I was lucky enough to receive an award for my exceptional French skills. The reception following the ceremony, I was able to share final moments with my professors and fellow students who have completely changed my life for the better. Later that night, my group of four girls went to get a drink for the last time at our usual brasserie in the town square. We recounted all of our memories from first impressions to our favorite café and our highlights. These girls have shaped me and I will forever be grateful for each one of them.

All in all, these truly have been the best four months of my life. Despite some troublesome times, which happen anywhere, I have grown so much and learned to be confident in who I am. I hope this is not a once in a lifetime experience, but should it be, this was one hell of a ride and my heart is so full.


Vacations while abroad!

I am very fortunate to study in a location where travel is accessible and affordable. I am even luckier to have a great group of friends to travel with. A couple of our trips before our final departure were to Alicante, Spain and Hyères, France & the Porquerolles Island.

Alicante, Spain was likely my favorite trip we took. We flew out very late on a Friday and arrived to our AirBnB around 2 am. The following morning we set out for the beach where I took my first swim in the Mediterranean! When the night came to a close, we headed back to play games. The following morning we packed up for a day in the town before heading back to Aix. We visited the markets and the beach. It was a beautiful town.

The following weekend we hopped on a train to the peninsula of Hyères. The weather wasn’t the best, however our AirBnB was amazing and we had so much fun. On Saturday the weather cleared up so we headed to the Porquerolles Island by ferry. On the island we rented bikes and rode around stopping at different beaches along the way! To end the night we went on a walk by the beach to reflect on our four months together and how lucky we are to have friends like one another to cherish for a lifetime.