Sunday, March 26th 2017
One week later…
It’s been a week since my adventures in Bordeaux. And I miss Bordeaux very much! I already find it hard to satisfy my cravings for croissants and delicious French cuisine here in America. Even my mom’s homemade food is experiencing some competition to win my palate (I’m sorry, mom!).
Traveling to France has made me realize a lot of things. First, I can now confidently vow to myself that I promise I will continue to practice and study French. Part of the reason I was so sad to leave France was because my French was rapidly coming back to me thanks to all the people who were happy to help me improve my pronunciation and conversational skills. If I had a chance to start college over again, I really wish I would have declared a French major/minor in addition to what I am studying now in the sciences. I would even consider staying in France for extended period of time to gain some more fluency (a week was far too short for me!) Fortunately, it’s never too late to continue learning a language! 🙂
Another thing I learned about was how internationally involved science is in our world. I was already aware that a lot of research and peer-reviewed journal articles involves people collaborating together from all over the world. However, having the opportunity to work on a project with people that live an ocean away from you really drives this point. I enjoyed being able to freely talk and come to an understanding about a variety of scientific topics with the French students despite any language barrier that was present. Perhaps someday, I will find myself taking my own studies to the other side of the world.
Participating in study abroad unlocked another part of the world for me. I think that having the willingness and open-mindedness to live in a strange, new country is valuable to anyone’s life. As a person who struggles to find balance between my Vietnamese and American identity, I saw the beauty in cultural diversity during my stay in France.
Now, I impatiently wait for the week when French students to come to Cincinnati in May. I hope we can host them here as well as they did when we were in Bordeaux! Bordeaux, tu me manques! (Bordeaux, I miss you!)