It took 3 airplanes, 4 airports, and 26 hours of traveling later… but I finally made it to Montpellier! The first few days were a whirlwind of jet-lag, meeting new people, and moving in with my host family. My host family lives in the center of the city which means I can walk just about everywhere in the city. I have definitely been increasing my step count just in these past few days! I have my own guest house with a bathroom and a bedroom with a small kitchenette and kitchen table. My host family is very welcoming and the children are so cute but sometimes their french can be hard to understand because of how fast they talk! I have already been to the oldest son’s concert and an aquarium with the family which have been a lot of fun!

So far I love living in Montpellier! After walking around the city and exploring I realized Montpellier is a pretty small city and it is very easy to get around. It is also a very young city with a majority of its population being students in the local universities. The city itself has old buildings and lots of street art (or sometimes even giant stickers) on buildings by local artists. There are so many cafés, restaurants, and shops in the city that there is always something to do! In France, January and February is called the month of sales because everything in their stores are on sale… sometimes even 50-60% off the normal prices! I guess I came at a good time for my closet but not a great time for my wallet. 

This past Saturday I travelled to Sète, France with my program. The trip was led by three French students who work for my program as resources for us and they also plan events and trips each week. Sète is a picturesque town right on the coast of France with canals and colored buildings that reminded me a little of Copenhagen, Denmark. We had a picnic lunch in Sète and climbed 57 flights of stairs to get to the top of a hill which overlooks the city and the Mediterranean Sea. The view was spectacular but I am still not sure if it was worth all of the stairs! Here are some pictures from my day in Sète!

Three Things I have learned so far:

  1. The French never say “Bonjour” after around 4pm in the afternoon. The common term then is “Bonsoir” which translates to Good-Evening. They should really teach this in French classes.
  2. After some confusion I learned that the word “truc” is the colloquial term for a random “thing” that you want to talk about without using the name. For example “Mettre ce truc dans le table” (Put that thing on the table).  This comes in handy in families where the word is used very often for so many different objects. 
  3. The seagulls in France have French accents. I know this sounds weird and you might be asking yourself how can a seagull have an accent, but let me tell you… they do. During my trip to Sète this past weekend, I jumped when I first heard a seagull because their cry was so different than what I was accustomed to. I don’t know how to explain the sound so if you think I am crazy then you will just have to go to France sometime to hear for yourself. 

That’s it for now, as it looks like my host family is home for the night and it is about to be time for dinner! I eat dinner and breakfast with them everyday which is nice because it means I don’t have to cook for myself. My family eats very healthy (which means that I now have a stash of chocolate and sweets in my room for after dinner) and last night I even had tofu for the first time which was actually pretty good! Who knows what is on the menu for tonight, guess I will just have to head over to see! Au revoir for now!