I woke up one morning and after checking my email as per usual, found myself jumping and screaming “I’m going to France! I’m going to France!”. Not only did I forget to watch the volume of my voice but I had also completely forgotten to wish my mother a happy birthday. I can’t recall the last time I had so much energy in the morning but that was the only normal way to react to this news, right?!
The days leading to the trip fast approached and before I knew it, it was time to pack up my luggage. Word of advice: Never leave packing to the last minute. Chances are that you’ll forget your favorite pair of socks and arrive at the airport with three extra kilograms.
We were greeted at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport with a Centennial College sign and a warm smile from a Groupe Sup de Co staff member. Just our luck, we landed during a train strike so we had to wait a few for the next train to La Rochelle. I was especially entertained at the station however by a phone-charger bike. It is exactly what it sounds like; a bike that you have to exercise on in order to charge your phone. Canada should really invest in these.
The train ride from Paris to La Rochelle was another four hours but the scenery was so remarkable I didn’t mind. Everyone was nervous about meeting their host families but I was overly excited. I have always loved meeting new people. If I was given the option to stay in a residence or with a host family, I would have picked a host family without a doubt.
My stay in home was nothing but amazing. I was paired up with a roommate whom I was extremely compatible with. I promised to keep this friendship with her beyond just the trip. My host mother treated me as if I were her own daughter. In fact, she even tucked me into bed with a good night kiss every night followed by a good morning wake up call.
Believe it or not, I even thoroughly enjoyed school. Our instructor, Sebastian is a soon to be comedian because he made me laugh uncontrollably every lesson. He made learning entertaining for all of us, even with the challenge of teaching sixteen individuals with different levels of French.
There’s no place that I would have preferred to go to for this global experience. I could not think of a better method to indulge in another culture than by attending a French school and living in the home of a French citizen. All of the students on the trip were fortunate to get along so well. We even decided on a meeting spot downtown during the trip so that we could explore the streets “as a family”.
Everything after stepping foot into the small town of La Rochelle was a blur. Not because I had wine with every meal but simply because the days flew by. I still can’t believe that I was lucky enough to be selected for this unforgettable trip. I had the time of my life in this cute town I called home for two weeks. I cannot express with words how grateful I am for this opportunity but in short, thank you Centennial College!
Written by: Nickza Dalas
Here are some pictures from the trip:
- Little present for host mom.
- Last day of school. Sebastian = the one in the middle.
- Just being a tourist.
- My room for two weeks.