Friday, January 6, 2017

First Day in France - Le Premier Jour

Written on 1/1/2017
I'll be writing a couple blog entries over the next couple months pertaining to my 6 month stay in France. Purdue University wants me to write these because they can prove very useful for future students who want to study abroad. They're also giving me a lot of money just to go to a foreign country, study in a different language and then write about it. Sooooo.... voilà!
I thought the best way to describe my feelings so far can be best shown by some messages shared between my mom and me. But first, some quick tips.

My Address: 54 Rue des Fontaines, 31300 Toulouse, France - Benjamin A. Savage

Tips for studying abroad:
1) Make sure to schedule linking flights on the same ticket. If you don't and you miss a flight due to a delay, you won't be refunded and you'll need to pay for a completely new ticket. If all your flights are derived from the same ticket then any flight missed due to a delay will be rescheduled for free.
2) Be aware of culture shock when you enter a new environment. Everything is foreign and it will stay that way until you've spent some time deciphering and decoding your surroundings.
3) I'm personally trying to learn a different language. The immediate problems you face while abroad is that everybody speaks better than you in this language. You begin to feel a little uncomfortable when speaking because you make mistakes that just sound stupid. Like really really stupid. Perfection takes time and practice. You learn more from mistakes than you do triumphs. So go out there and make a fool of yourself! #YOLO
4) Stay positive and always ask questions. Especially when you're a little nervous or uncertain.

I made it safely to Toulouse and my living arrangements. The old French couple here seem super nice and lively. I've just got my room set up and I'm about to make a list for everything I need to do. Feeling pretty out of place here so far. Probably because I don't have a place here yet. Tomorrow should be fun though. I'm going out to meet some students from PURPAN before the school year starts and also meeting with a friend I made last time I was here. I'm also experiencing jet lag right now and I have no real food yet. That might be number one on my to do list. Hope to hear back from you soon. Love you
HI BEN!! Dad and I were just talking about you! Glad you made it safely and that your host family is nice. Yes, go find something to eat and get some sleep so you can enjoy your day tomorrow. We saw that the lay over between flights was really tight....did you get your luggage okay? Also, did Daniel ever make it to Purpan? Love you loads!
I made everything with good timing. It was funny because I had no clue what the time was when I got off the plane and I had to schedule a new flight to Toulouse. I ended up calmly strolling to my gate when I should have probably been rushing. The timing worked out perfectly though. I also received my luggage with no problems. They even gave me free beer on my upgraded flight and I got to lay across 3 seats because there was barely anybody on the plane. Daniel will be here around 5 am tomorrow. Then he needs to find a hostel to stay in until he finds a place to live.
Wow! Do you mean their was nobody on the flight from Chicago to Paris?
A little more than half of the seats were filled.
wow--so you got some sleep on the flight?
Not much. It was loud and uncomfortable. Even for having 3 seats
Dad wants to know if the new flight cost us $?????
They rescheduled with no questions asked.
that was nice! Dad is smiling....he also wants to know how you got to your apartment????
Tram. Then I walked for 15-20 min. A taxi driver told me that for $30 they would take me to my residence. Instead, I looked around and paid $3 for the tram. They almost got me, but I'm just too smart
LOL! Dad is smiling bigger - atta boy! Do you have your own bedroom?
Yep. There's a shared bathroom though. Oh well
sounds great Ben! Enjoy the rest of your evening. Maybe you can send some pics tomorrow? Love you loads! oxoxoxo.....
Love you too. My body is so confused right now. It wants to eat and sleep at the same time. My head is spinning a little actually while I type. I might take a quick nap and eat the last of my snacks before getting some real food.
ok....feel better! love you!


  1. Type comments here if you're interested!

  2. BEN!!!!! I love the fact that you are sharing your study abroad experience!! I hope your body gets settled in quickly so your can savor the whole time you are away. Keep posting, be safe and enjoy your time in France!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Amanda and I do miss the Entomology Department at Purdue! A lot has changed here since the last time I posted. The next post will expound on this :) Have a great semester