Living in a country where you speak the language, know the customs and are familiar with the people is an everyday event, but when you travel to a country where none of this applies everything changes. Hayley Faith, a junior majoring in pre-law and human developmental family studies has experienced this first hand.
Faith traveled to Paris, France this past summer where she studied at the Institut Catholique de Paris. She took courses in French phonetics and French grammar.
“My favorite class I took in Paris was more of a French grammar, but it was local’s French grammar,” Faith said. “Like we have slang here they have slang there so taking a class and learning the way young people speak was really, really fun.”
One of the hardest things about studying abroad is not being use to the culture and its customs. When you do not fully speak the language it is hard to communicate with the people.
“I have always been a very independent person or so I thought and being dropped in a foreign country, having to learn the metro system, to get to class on time, to converse with the locals, at first was very overwhelming and very shocking,” Faith said. But I realized if I didn’t put myself out there and in this situation I would have never have gained that cultural experience.”
While over in France Faith did more than just study. She said she wanted to take advantage of being in Europe so she experienced the culture first hand by traveling the country and hanging with the locals. One of the things she said that she treasures the most is watching the World Cup in front of the Eiffel Tower.
“My favorite thing we did was watch the World Cup. The French government set up a huge Jumbotron in front of the Eiffel tower, so we would go and bring a picnic and just hang with the locals,” Faith said.
Studying abroad is a great experience that will never be regretted. The potential for learning is infinite and can only be beneficial to one’s success.
“I learned a lot while I was over in France, not only about the culture and language, but about myself as well. It was the best experience I have ever had and is something I will always remember,” Faith said.