“Life as a person from Lyon”
I have officially been living in Lyon for 55 days, and I can’t help but wonder where all the time has gone? It seems like just yesterday I was getting lost in the public transit or getting locked out of my apartment. (Although I still stand by the fact that the doors here are way less user friendly than at home!)
In these 55 days Lyon has truly become a second home for me, and I’m not looking forward to the day that I have to leave this all behind. I will miss stepping outside of my building and being immediately greeted by the glistening waves of the Saône River, and my walk to class when I pass by at least four boulangeries where the warm scent of fresh baking bread greets me. I’ll miss the swarms of pigeons and the quick bobbing of their heads when I walk to close and they rush out of my way.
Each day holds something new in store for me, and it’s been a welcome change from my days at home that sometimes start to seem robotic. Of course I still have my routines here though too, just on a smaller scale. There’s this café called, “Comme à la maison” (like home) where you can find my friends and I whenever we have free time between class. We’re there so often that the employees all know us and our orders, although we do tend to change it up on them from time to time. We’ve discovered many nooks and crannies of our city, and what’s so thrilling is that there’s still so much more to discover, every day we try to go somewhere new or try something new. A new bar one night, a new store another. “Let’s check out this place I heard about,” or “let’s wander around until we find something that sounds good.”
I’m honestly not sure what I expected studying abroad to be like. This always seemed like a faraway dream that others got to do, and that no one really knew how to describe. That still holds true for me, everyday I still think to myself, I’m in France right now, I’m walking around in France. While I don’t really know what I had expected studying abroad to be like, I know that this is beyond anything I had thought. The amount of information I’m learning about the world is still amazing to me. In my class alone we have students from eleven different countries; the US, Taiwan, Ukraine, Columbia, South Korea, Russia, China, Norway, Venezuela, Syria, and Mexico. I didn’t expect to learn so much about the world and myself from this trip honestly, and I’m so glad that I decided to take this chance.
Lyon, while it’s the second largest city in France, is surprisingly not a huge tourist destination, and I’m incredibly thankful for that. The main aspect of the tourism here is Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon) which is a little bit more out of the main metropolitan area. Not having a huge tourist destination has made it a lot better for my french skills because not everyone speaks English, so I can’t take the easy way out. Also, it just makes it a lot easier to become a part of the city. I feel like I’ve begun to integrate a lot into the day to day life here, and I can make my way through the city on foot or on the metro without any incidents. I feel like I belong, and it’s weird to think that in just a couple months I will be leaving again.
If you’re thinking about studying abroad. Do it. Do your research of course, and choose your country/city carefully, but don’t overthink it. I was so close to overthinking my decision to study abroad this semester, and I’m so thankful I didn’t. You’ll discover so much about yourself you would have never dreamed of before, and get to know the world just a little bit better.