Up, Up, and Away… Almost.

A view of Grenoble

In less than 24hours I’ll be on a plane, flying away to a country I’ve never been to, getting ready to spend the next four months out of my comfort zone and studying in what seems like a whole new world… Alright let’s do this. I’m almost fully packed, all the paperwork is done and documents filled out (hopefully), and all that’s left to do is show up at the airport and get this show on the road!

I’m heading into my Junior year here at Western, and instead of spending fall quarter (my favorite, by the way) on the beautiful WWU campus, I’ll be halfway around the world in Grenoble, France, studying at the Universite Grenoble Alpes! I’ll be studying language and culture, taking classes like French vocabulary enrichment, French cinema, history of art in France, and whatever else I can fill my schedule with. I’m embarking on this adventure with AIFS (highly recommend!!), and since I decided to go with their flight plan, I get to spend a few days in London on my way to Grenoble with some other people on my program. I’ll take any chance I can get to explore more of Europe while I’m away!

universite grenoble alpes
The University where I’ll be studying

Studying abroad has always been a goal of mine, and it’s really quite surreal that I’m just a few hours away from actually experiencing it. Deciding on Grenoble, France as my destination was a long time coming, but I couldn’t be happier with my choice. It’s a smaller, university-based town, with a large student population. All in all, I think it’ll prove to be a great fit for me, and I’m excited to experience it myself.

As the hours tick down to takeoff, I’m starting to think more about what I’m hoping to gain from my time abroad. I’ve done a ton of research on Grenoble, as well as the University that I’ll be attending there, so I’m feeling ready to take the plunge into this new adventure. Given that it’s not a big city such as Paris, I hope to be able to immerse myself in the French culture and lifestyle on a smaller scale, and see what France really has to offer. While it might be obvious, I’m also hoping to greatly improve my French speaking skills while abroad, although this goes hand in hand with my biggest anxieties about my trip. I only have one year of French language classes under my belt, which really just doesn’t seem like enough to get me by. Sure, I know the basics, but will I be able to hold an actual conversation with someone who doesn’t speak any English? I’m not so sure… But alas, I suppose there is only one way to find out; put myself out there and see what happens! Besides, I’ve been on DuoLingo practically every day working on my French, and that’s got to do me some good at least! Right?

As far as what I’m excited for… Well, what isn’t there to be excited about?! I get to spend four months in Europe, trying to check off as many cities and countries as possible, meeting new people and trying new things along the way. It’s just a waiting game now until I get on that plane and it leaves Seattle, and I’m impatiently watching the final hours tick away. Here’s to new adventures, heading out there in the world, and stepping out of your comfort zone! That’s all for now ?