Moving to The City of Lights

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Bienvenue à mon Blog!

In the first of many blogs I want to fill you in on my experience of moving to a different country, trying to remember how to speak French (it seems the words disappear from your head when you want to use them) and starting at a University where everything isn’t quite as clear as Durham.

I was lucky enough to have my family help me move to Paris, and so my first few days here were filled with sightseeing and more importantly food shopping for when I moved into my temporary house. Note the word ‘temporary’, as in I haven’t found anywhere to live yet… This is but one of several things I still need to sort out. Given that I’ve only been in Paris for 11 days, I’ll let myself off.

fam at eiffel tower

A classic Eiffel Tower selfie.

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Christmas!

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The Christmas break is two weeks long. Travel to England takes a full day, and effectively more when jet lag is considered. Despite a tight flight schedule, I was left with one week five days in the UK. It was lovely to be back. My parents have obtained a larger house since in my absence and the extra space makes for an even nicer visit.

The grading of exams and coursework in Canada is more prompt than I have been used to in England, and the final grade for the course was characteristically expedient. I had my first grade just three days after taking my last exam. The exam period finished on the 19th of December and I had my full list of grades for the year within six days, with the last arriving at 2am on Christmas morning. Somehow I managed to get a set of four A+. I’m going to buy Mikey a beer when I get back for his help.

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Exam Period

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In this post I will detail what has been one of the more challenging months in my life.

The last month went by in a mad rush of study. I have never been involved in anything quite like studying for a third year final exam. Students that have not attended a single lecture begin to show up at the library with heavy textbooks, those more dedicated crowd hallways and classrooms scrawling across blackboards and shouting at each other. The professors attempt to impose some coherence upon this cacophony in an attempt to ensure that the average mark of their exams is around 60-70%.

IMAG0651-fellow beleaguered algebra student

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Seasons Change

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My last post told of the brilliant and unexpected sunshine. This is definitely no longer the case. The temperatures dipped drastically about two weeks ago. Over the course of the last month the average temperature has dropped from hovering around 25 degrees in September, to a regular -5 now we have reached November. There is, however, one tree on campus that refuses to admit the change in weather.

IMAG0617-never give up

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A Month of Sunshine.

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One month in and I’ve settled in nicely. It didn’t take long to furnish myself with a bank account, phone, etc. People here seem very willing to be helpful, occasionally quite beyond my expectations. Even opening a bank account with no address or phone number worked. I just had to go pick up my mail from the bank where they would hold it for me until I found somewhere to live.

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