And so, our first semester abroad has come to a close.
The Language and Culture group took our last final this morning, as well as turned in our last paper so now we are all officially finished with our first semester being French students (or at least trying to be French students). It is actually really, really sad to have to say goodbye to everyone that I have grown so close to in these past four months. We have lived (for a day) together, worked together, cried together, laughed together, complained together, struggled together and ~succeeded together~. Or I guess we will see if that last one is true once we get our grades back.
It is crazy that all of our French classes are over, and six of the ten people in our program are heading back to their respective Universities of California, while the other four of us stay here in France. I know I should be excited to meet new people/do new things, but I’m actually not. I’m just really sad that almost everyone is gone and that all of the memories I have with these people are now just, simply that: memories.
However, we will all see each other again, I’m sure, considering we all live in California and relatively close to each other. And besides, we will be forever tagged in everyone else’s Facebook photos, Instagrams, and tweets (who needs real life anyway?).
Personally, I had an amazing time this semester. I have been to five countries in a matter of four months (and 8 cities overall) and have met people from all over the world whom I will never forget. I was at the top of the Ferris Wheel in Bellecour during the Fête des Lumières. I saw the Franz Kafka statue in Prague after a 6 year vow I made to myself about having to visit it one day. I stood in front of the Sagrada Familia and saw hundreds of years work in front of me. I discovered I love blue cheese, have drank my weight in wine, and I have made so many new, fantastic, wonderful and loving friends here that I can’t imagine life anywhere else. Yes, this is getting super cheesy, but too bad world! Deal wid it!
Today was my last full day in Lyon of 2012, and as I walked through the streets on my way to and from school, I looked at random benches, street lights and metro stops and have a memory associated with all of them. I am so happy and proud that I made the decision to come here, and even happier with my decision to stay. Even though it will be hard getting back into the swing of things once I return to France after my brief two week tour of SoCal, it will be nice to come back and meet some more cool Frenchies. And of course, eat more delicious bread. Such delicious bread.
So, to end this sentimental rant, I will leave you with a picture that I feel sums up my entire time here in France:
Love you too French Starbucks, love you too.