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Let's Start at the Beginning- Europe

 I figure that the most important thing you do in life is to experience it and a big part of that is travel.  Europe was my first trip abroad, and it gave me an excitement for learning about the world that I would have never gained from books, and I ... read more

Jessica Michael

FranceFrance

SpainSpain

Country #3

Country #3   After adding a day on to our stay in idyllic Nice, Lindsey and I have finally decided it’s time to move on to Spain. We’ve spent an incredible four days wandering beaches, shopping districts, and historic sites and now Barcelona, the centerpiece of our month-long journey, is ... read more

Savannah McDermott

FranceFrance

IrelandIreland

Bumps in the road

“Maybe we don’t need an itinerary,” I yawn as Lindsey pours over the hundredth Barcelona tourism website. After all, we’ve been at it for hours and are still unable to decide what we want to do with ourselves during our three weeks together in Europe. “We could just get there ... read more

Savannah McDermott

FranceFrance

Living French Cliches

Where have I been for the past 5 weeks?  Although isolated from friends and family, I have been more connected to the French culture than I ever was during a year and half of combined time previously spent in this country.  Each day, I spoke, breathed, thought, and ate only ... read more

alexandra stepanuk

FranceFrance

Paris, France

Holy guacamole, Paris was a whirlwind! Which I think is representative of life in that city. I had a bad morning on the train there and I think I know why. 1) On our picnic in Nice, we ate brie that was sitting out in the sun all day. 2) ... read more

Matthew Delman

FranceFrance

Nice, France

When we got off the train in Nice (pronounced niece), it was a bit off-putting. We didn't speak the language, we didn't know how to get to our hostel, and the street was lined with sex shops and CHinese food. Luckily, you can't bank on first impressions. Nice is in ... read more

Matthew Delman

FranceFrance

Dernier weekend avant les vacances!

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Ann H

FranceFrance

Dernier weekend avant les vacances!

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Ann H

FranceFrance

8 Choses que j'ai appris en Maroc

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Ann H

FranceFrance

Engagée

Je n'ai aucune idée pourquoi j'ai pensé qu'il serait facile d'avoir un blog ici. Probablement parce qu'au debut, je n'avait rien a faire. Pas de plus, ne vous inquietez pas. C'est en partie a cause du but principal derriere l'AUCP-- on doit etre engagé avec les francais et la communauté ... read more

Ann H

FranceFrance

Fierte?

Mon premier vrai weekend est fini! Incroyable. J'ai passe plus de deux semaines ici, mais je me sens qu'il y avait plus longtemps. Je savais quelques routes, je connais quelques francais, et je peux avoir un conversation en francais. Je pense que je suis fiere. Quelques nouvelles fantastiques. HIER J'AI RECU MA CARTE! Maintenant, ... read more

Ann H

FranceFrance

Maladroite, comme d'habitude.

Ughhhh pas confortable de typer du tout!   J'ai decide d'essayer de couper mon kiwi (le dessert) comme ma mere d'acceuil, alors j'ai utlise un couteau tres serre pour enlever la peau.   Si ma mere a vu sa...   Bien sur, je n'ai pas coupe le kiwi, mais j'ai ... read more

Ann H

FranceFrance

Premier jour de cours

Premier jour de cours aujourd'hui! Wahoo! Le premier, "French Cultural Patterns," s'est passe un peu lentement, je crois. Nous avons discute la systeme de faire une analyse culturelle, mais j'ai deja lu le livre (ou bien cette partie du livre) dans un cours chez Muhlenberg, peut-etre en le cours de ... read more

Ann H

FranceFrance

Vraiment? C'est ridicule.

Quelqu'un a vole mon porte-feuille. Je ne suis pas absoluement sur, mais un moment il etait la, et la prochain il n'etait pas. Pas dans les poches, pas dans mon sac, pas dans mon manteau. Je sais pas si vous etes en train de suivre ma situation avec l'argent, mais ... read more

Ann H

FranceFrance

... Une decision.

I'm going to write this in English. That being said, this is going to be the last blog on Glimpse that I will be writing in English for at least a month, if not the rest of the semester. My rationale merits an explanation, I think, so I will try my ... read more

Ann H

FranceFrance

First Day and a Half

Guess I am in a sharing mood... It has been several hours since I posted my last entry, but I have to say that my first class was a big surprise. We take a language pledge at school to speak only French while we are here. I thought I would ... read more

Denise Lemoine

FranceFrance

First Day Here!

My flight was delayed, I lost my wallet, it rained like cats and dogs, but my first day at the American University was incredible! Seriously... The school is beautiful and my co-students look promising. The Director is one of the most handsom things I have seen in weeks. We had ... read more

Denise Lemoine

FranceFrance

I've got 99 Problems...and as per usual, they all involve money.

Quel journee. Today was the start of Orientation Week! I took the bus in with the girls I met yesterday (qui sont tres sympas, elles) to the AUCP building and sort of met the rest of the group while listening to la Directrice give a general explanation of her pedagogy. We ate ... read more

Ann H

FranceFrance

Bienvenue!

Bonjour tout le monde!   I have decided that since there are approximately 30 people I would like to keep in touch with on a frequent basis, it would be easier to keep a blog detailing my travels/experiences. I will try to update as often as I can, because my host mother ... read more

Ann H

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Books

"Paris to the Moon" by Adam Gopnik

Ali Goldstein

03 Feb 2009

France

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Ali Goldstein

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In the months before leaving to study in France, I read travelogues voraciously. Almost all of them terrified me, speaking of French rudeness, struggles with the language, and impossible bureaucracy. Returning home, I happened upon Adam Gopnik's, "Paris to the Moon." I wish that I'd discovered this book before going abroad. A collection of his New Yorker columns about living in Paris for three years with his wife and son, his cross-cultural explorations are honest, interesting, and specific. I read through it in one greedy sitting, even drawing exclamation points in the passages I related to.

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Getting Around

Fellow riders get cozy

Genevieve Clough

18 Mar 2009

France

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Genevieve Clough

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In Paris, the metro is name of the game when it comes to getting from one place to another. But unlike on most U.S. forms of public transportation (where passengers seem to contort their bodies in any which way so as not to touch another person), people are comfortable snuggling up. For example, when standing and holding onto a bar for support, don't be surprised when someone else takes ahold of the same bar in a way that your hands are touching. The French have a much smaller bubble of personal space than most Americans. They like being close, even when the train isn't totally packed.

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Festivals & Events

Fest Noz: How to get your Breton groove on

Lola Pak

18 Oct 2009

France

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Lola Pak

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Just like the square dances of the southern U.S., Bretons of France's Brittany region have their own 1-2-step for getting down on the dance floor. Fest Noz is a traditional Celtic festival held in various parts of Brittany throughout the year. It stems from Brittany's former Celtic roots and the festivals are a time of getting in touch with them by drinking cider, dancing, and noshing on galettes and far Breton, a type of sweet bread. It's OK if you don't know the steps. Just don't forget to: 1) keep a serious facial expression. It's just what they do 2) link pinkies, not hands, 3) dance between two people who look like they know what they're doing. Afterward, congratulate yourself with cider and Breton trinkets. Now, kit! (Let's go!)

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Culture Shock

Expect a lesson in pronunciation

Ali Goldstein

03 Feb 2009

France

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Ali Goldstein

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Don't be offended when everyone you encounter wants to give you an impromptu French pronunciation lesson. People in Lille would turn around in line at the grocery store to gape after they heard me say, 'bonjour." My university librarian once took five minutes teaching me how to pronounce the word for renew, even with a line of impatient students snaking behind me. It was hard to get over feeling foreign when my accent always evoked such curiosity, especially since we don't even flinch over accents in the U.S. But to the French, sharing their language is one of the ways they welcome you.

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Must Do

Mont St. Michel: spiral staircases, crypts, and spectacular views

Elyse Rodriguez

16 Sep 2009

France

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Elyse Rodriguez

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If you ever find yourself in Normandy, visiting the abbey at Mont St. Michel is a must. Now a World Heritage site, this abbey was constructed by monks on a rock only accessible at low tide. With a statue of Saint Michel on the signature spire rising into the sky, the abbey certainly accomplishes its intended goal of placing the monks closer to God. Once you climb the stairs and pay the entrance fee (which is only around 4 euros for students,) you can easily navigate the abbey and experience its amazing display of Gothic architecture. Complete with spiral staircases, crypts, and spectacular views, you can see where the monks lived and worked. If it's a nice day, you can also venture on a little walk on the sands surrounding the rock!

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Etiquette

Don't forget "hello" and "goodbye"

Francesca R

25 Sep 2009

France

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Francesca R

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Many say that the French can be rude, but that's probably because they feel like others are being rude to them. Whenever entering any store, bakery, or cafe, you should always say "bonjour," even if you're just browsing. "Au revoir" is also expected before you leave the store/bakery/cafe/etc. Give it a try and watch how much nicer people act toward you.

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Food

Don't ask for a doggie bag

Michelle Saltis

02 Dec 2009

France

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Michelle Saltis

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When we went out to eat with my French family to a pizza place, I ordered a small pizza for myself. Later, after I had finished eating what I could, I asked the family, in what would be the direct translation, "Can I save my pizza?" They started laughing at me because they took it as if I was asking to save my pizza because it was in dire need of help. Apparently, the concept of "doggie-bag" doesn't exist in France.

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Packing

Bring some books in English

Ali Goldstein

03 Feb 2009

France

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Ali Goldstein

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There are many parts of France where English-language books are rare and expensive. Naively, I only packed two books with me when I flew to France, supposedly to make more room for multi-vitamins and socks. High Fidelity and the Portable James Joyce: I reasoned that I would want one light book and one that would be a little more substantial. But I soon found myself hungering for more English. I got by reading American short stories in the foreign language section of the bookstore and exchanging cheap romance novels among my Anglophone coterie. But then I discovered Amazon.fr: a whole world of used English-language books shipped cheaply from within Europe. I could suddenly afford as much Nick Hornby as my heart desired.

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Music

Techno, jazz, and everything in-between

Ali Goldstein

03 Feb 2009

France

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Ali Goldstein

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Returning to my host family after a weekend traveling in Belgium, I found the door to the house swung wide open and boxes of old vinyl records flooding the lower level. Electronic music shook the walls of the house. Stumbling upstairs, I found my host dad drinking wine and discussing the music with a friend. "Ecoute!" he said, gesturing wildly towards the stereo. Live music in France is a chaotic, community affair. Fans cluster together and dance wildly, smoking their cigarettes as they mosh. I once went to see a jazz-electronic band that performed inexplicably in laboratory jackets. From electronic music pulsing with the beats of France's different immigrant populations to local indie rock, French music helped me learn how to listen.

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Fashion

Shoe-Wear

Francesca R

25 Sep 2009

France

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Francesca R

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If you want to easily blend in throughout your time in Paris, pay attention to the types of shoes you're wearing. Tennis shoes are basically non-existent, but if you want comfort, try a pair of converse sneakers. Ballet flats are also really popular. Also, if you want to avoid looking like a tourist, leave the white socks at home (gentlemen too).

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Slang

Big girls on the balcony

Roseann Lake

18 Mar 2009

France

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Roseann Lake

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My favorite expression in French is one I heard when a friend was pointing out a woman with a sizable bust. He said, “Il y a du monde au balcon!” or “There are people on the balcony!” Though I should have frowned at his chauvinism, I couldn’t help but marvel at the strangely poetic and certainly descriptive nature of this slang. It's at least more elegant than "airbags," another French slang term to designate the same type of endowment.

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Nightlife

Erasmus nights

Francesca R

16 Oct 2009

France

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Francesca R

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If you're an international student in Paris, whip out that student ID when you get to the club. Lots of clubs in Paris have Erasmus or International Student nights, during which you don't have to pay the cover charge. It's also a great way to meet other international students in the city.

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Being an American

Prepare to be compared to O.C. characters

Ali Goldstein

03 Feb 2009

France

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Ali Goldstein

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"Were you a prom queen?" was the first question my host sister asked me when I spent the semester studying in northern France. All I could do was laugh. I'd expected Anti-Americanism, but I hadn't realized that the stereotypes I'd really be fighting off were those projected by American pop culture. Many of my French friends had only encountered American youth culture through their favorite television programs. When they learned I was American, they expected me to be a mix of Blair from "Gossip Girl" and the lead female characters of the O.C., or "Newport Beach" as it is called in France. "No," I explained to my host sister, thinking of a culturally resonant comparison. "I was more like Rory from 'The Gilmore Girls.'"

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