Posted By: Michael Ashbourne on January 7, 2009
This isn’t going to be one of the regular blog posts, but nevertheless what I am up to at the moment. I have started my exchange and am currently sitting in France after a week of travel and getting settled in. It has been one exciting week and I thought I would share my exchange with you to get your excited for your own if you decide to make Queen’s your home next year.
I started my exchange early and headed out of Canada on December 30th to be in Paris for New Years. Despite being excited about seeing Paris for the first time on the 31’st, my body seemed to have other plans and I slept away the afternoon from some serious jet lag. I was lucky enough to spend New Years under the Eiffel tower and the following day exploring (making sure to get a crepe on the street of course).
The next day was spent traveling by train to Toulouse (South of France) where my exchange university is. I will be spending the next four months at ESC Toulouse. Thanks to my total French vocabulary of around 100 words (up from 3 at the beginning of the week) I will be taking class in English.
Something that I really took for granted at Queen’s, are the amazing facilities we have available to us. The theatre style seating, laptop ports, wireless internet everywhere for free, breakout rooms, lounge facilities, free morning papers, projectors and media centers in every room, the NSC (computer facility downstairs) and even the little name cards for classes are all things I will miss here in France. Goodes hall, and the Queen’s facilities are really something to be proud of and I am really grateful to have access to them.
This past week has been pretty interesting. I spent the week with no Internet disconnected from the world (watched the Dark Night 5 times), got food poisoning on Sunday, had no hot water for 4 days, and finally today am able to go online from somewhere other then McDonalds (they have free WIFI). Despite this, I would not change anything about the exchange. Everybody I have met has been really nice, the culture here in France is amazing, the baguettes are nothing short of spectacular and I am really excited for the next four months of school and travel.
I made a couple of videos of my time in France thus far and a tour of my apartment here and should have them up in the next couple of days to see. I will be making more as I travel and hope you will follow the next couple of months with me.