Arriving back home was different than expected. What I had initially expected was the annoyance of the south to come back, but in reality, I was just highly confused and ever so grateful to see my dogs and my house again.
Upon arriving back home, the Christmas feeling was in the atmosphere and most of my family was already home for the holidays which made for a jam-packed schedule and no time for jet lag. Along with my family being home and a busy schedule, we went out to grocery stores and shopping malls to gather a few last details for Christmas day, and what really struck me was the fact that I was hearing so much English and everyone else could understand me after such a long time of piecing words together to get my point across in a different language. After about a month of this, I still haven’t fully gotten used to the idea that the people here don’t need me to switch languages and that when I order food in a restaurant, I don’t have to speak to the waitstaff in French (I think it would most likely be counterproductive).
After my experience abroad, I will say that I have learned so much about myself as an individual and also my expectations for a university. One thing I realized about myself is that I feel incomplete when I’m not able to express myself through cooking and also while I did enjoy Bordeaux as a whole, I will always find plant life and a spread-out campus better than a one building concrete jungle.
I have accumulated a lot of advice on the top of studying abroad in France or in Bordeaux such as what to look for, booking an apartment, finding good places to eat, etcetera; but I think that part of the experience is being able to learn all of that on your own while exploring the places you’re in while diving into the cultural aspects of the location.