By Ashley C., guest blogger studying French in Lyon, France
Here is a short list of tips based on my first month here that I thought everyone might find helpful for French study in Lyon!
Eat well! This may be entirely obvious to most people, but it wasn?t to me. During my first couple weeks here, I lived by the motto “if I?m only going to be here a short time, I should be able to eat whatever I want!” When you travel, though, your diet changes so much. I didn?t realize that my diet would even change that much! I didn?t realize I could even gain weight (I?m pencil thin, and I?ve never been on a diet). Eat fruits and veggies! Eat healthy food! Don?t eat croissants every spare chance you can get! I started to get sick a few weeks in (I think because of my diet), and I?m now still trying to figure out how
to eat well in Lyon. You can do it, but don?t think it will come naturally.
Every night, some students hit the bars. I went a couple of times, and was absolutely tired the next day for class. Don?t succumb to peer pressure here! You only have so much time to learn French, and I really feel for the students who are (virtually) wasting their education in France by going out every night. Party hard when you go home, but study hard here!
You don?t need to study that much, but I think it?s good to look over your notes from each day. This week my class really poured over different ways to conjugate verbs, so I studied a bit harder (conjugations just must be memorized!), but otherwise I?ve gotten by well without studying too heavily.
French beds are tiny! (I think because of all the skinny people here!). I usually sleep in a nice big queen bed in the states, but here I can barely fit in one of these French twin beds. It?s not bad once you get used to it, but be prepared (and look on google images to see what your bed will look like!).
Even if you don?t know that much French, people can tell if you?re a nice person if you just smile and treat them kindly. Be nice in the stores and the shops. Smile often. Say “sil?vous plait” a lot. Say “Merci et au revoir” when you leave a shop. Be nice! It?s very important, especially when you?re in a new place.
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