First Impressions in Lyon France

By Ashley C., guest blogger studying French in Lyon, France

First Impressions – On How I Made Friends
I am not the kind of person who would typically move to France
for two months to study French.  I like my American hamburgers, watching
TV and hanging out with people who speak my language (literally and figuratively). 
I came anyway though, in part, because the graduate program I’m entering in the
fall requires a reading knowledge of French, but also because one of my
childhood dreams has always been to learn how to speak French.  

Last Friday, I arrived in Lyon with a million pounds worth of
luggage (how do you pack for 2 months?) and I was terrified.  Though my
first weekend was lonely (I know absolutely no one in Lyon, and unfortunately I
opted out of the homestay option).  I was really happy to see, upon arriving
at my first class, that the school in Lyon has after-class activities planned
everyday after class.  Monday’s activity: Tour; Tuesday: Laser Tag;
Wednesday: Crepes, ect.  None of these activities cost much money, and
everyone is required to speak French the entire time.  Now it’s Wednesday,
I’ve been going to all the activities, spent only 7 euros on all them combined,
and I’ve made a lot of friends. 

To me, these activities are a godsend – in my very short time
here, I now have feel comfortable enough with the people that I don’t feel like
I need to worry about conversing in my shoddy French. 

First Languages – On How People Talk When They’re Not Speaking in

Most people in the program speak either English or Spanish as
their first language, and the couple people that don’t speak even a little
English or Spanish, I think, tend to feel excluded due to this language
barrier.  I wouldn’t avoid coming to Lyon if you don’t speak English or
Spanish, but I would say that you’ll have to try harder to understand the
teacher’s explanations (they’re usually either in English or Spanish), and to
make friends with your classmates.

First Observations – On How Old The Students Are
The students in my class are mostly younger than me (I’m
25).  Some are rich college kids whose parents have paid for them to study
here, others are still in high school.  There are a few older students in
their 40’s and 50’s, but I haven’t met anyone my age at the school.  It
doesn’t bother me, but when the kids (ahm…the other students) pick their
noses or make childish jokes, I just have to remember their age. 

See AmeriSpan’s French school in Lyon 

See all French schools in France 

Read all of Ashley’s blogs from Lyon France.

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