So I’m currently on a plane to another country, about to start studying a subject at university that I’ve never had any experience of before – but I’ve got déjà vu.
Two years ago I went over to England from NI to study law knowing absolutely nobody and I’ve found myself in a surprisingly similar position.
The only difference is that this time I’m going to learn about an entirely different legal jurisdiction in another language. When I explain to people that I chose to do this, I generally get a response that’s a mixture of horror and… No, actually, it’s just horror. My brother’s friend even asked me yesterday if my university was aware that I was taking a year off to go to France.
The past month has been hectic and I haven’t really had time to think about what I’m doing, as I’ve been filling in form after form in French and tracking down the obscure bits of information that are apparently required for things like living in halls. Speaking of which, I had an email today to say that I won’t be able to move into my halls on Monday as planned and Thursday is the earliest I can do it because the office’s ‘picking up key time slots’ are full. Silly me for thinking it was an in-and-out job after forty pages of confirmation documents. This kind of speed bump is pretty typical though and I’ve sent what I hope is a grovelling email in fairly remedial French to the accommodation dept. Only time will tell how that one works. Hopes are not high. Luckily, my family are moving me in so I will just crash their hotel until they leave (also conveniently on Thursday). I’m feeling pretty chilled despite this because at least I know that my dossier is finally complete and it’s only a case of finding an appointment time for me. Sorting out my cash money is another matter altogether.
First stop is Paris for a few days, where I’m going to stay with my friend from home who is also on placement in France this year. Really excited to catch up and it’ll be nice having someone close by if I get (/when) I’m homesick because I haven’t had the big language epiphany yet. Things went fine last time I did this though – brilliantly actually – so although it was a wrench to leave Durham and my friends and my comfort zone, I’m ready for a new challenge. One thing I was also far from prepared to do was graduate. I was meant to be starting my LAST YEAR at Durham in October and skipping out into the real world (read: grad job/LPC/BPTC), but I’d rather take my time and figure out what I actually want to do first. And right now I want to learn French. Impulsive? Maybe. One in a lifetime chance? Definitely.
On a side note, this trip has already made me addicted to checklists. I had massive ones stuck to my wall written in sharpie markers and with tick boxes and more stuck in my files and on my computer with alarms. If this year isn’t the making of me organisationally, then I have no hope.
That’s all for now! Au revoir (I promise now not to speak Franglais when I come home. Or ever.) from all my friends here at easyjet and I’ll update again once I’m settled – and potentially have a dramatic story to tell about living in a shed in Rouen.