Saturday, May 8, 2010

T-Minus 17 Days

So I don't know if you have heard, but I am going to France.

I am going to France!  I am going to France!  I am going to France!  I am going to France!

Wait, have you heard?  I am going to France! :)

I am getting a little nervous and very EXCITED!

Here are the details:
  • I am going with NDSU as a summer study abroad program.  There are eight students going along with our two advisers.   It is an agriculture-based program titled: From Farm to Fork: Sustainable Food Culture and we will focus on France's food industry, sustainable farming practices, and the best of all, wine and cheese production!  We will also take some French classes and do a lot of field trips!  (You can start being jealous at this point!)
  • NDSU isn't the only University sending students on this trip, so I will get to make some new friends from other land-grant colleges.  Texas A&M, UW-Madison and more!
  • I don't know a soul I am going with.  Good or bad thing?!?  I don't know!
  •  I will be gone for only a month, so not too long but not too short.  We leave on May 25th and I will return on June 24th.  I spend the first five days in Paris and then we will spend the rest of our time at the University in Angers, France.
  • The Deckard's (our faculty advisers) say Angers is comparable to the rural lifestyle we are used to living.  However, when I googled my address, I am pretty sure I am living in the city.  We stay with host families when in Angers and in hostels the rest of the trip.
  • This is my first trip abroad, so I am very excited to experience a new culture but I am also a little nervous about this flight!
  • Oh and to wrap this all up, I am flying home one day early in order to drive to Dickinson, ND to go to be my friend, Megan's wedding.  I am determined I will not be tired? :)
I think this is going to be an amazing trip and I am getting extremely excited!  I will be home just in time to enjoy some of my favorite cattle shows and spend time with friends, but I will also have a crazy adventure under my belt by July 1! :)  

However, as the day is quickly approaching, I need your help!  Do you have any advice for me?  Is there anything I have to see while in France?  Do you have any tips for my first flight abroad (by myself even)?   Any good ideas on what clothes I need to bring?  General tips on studying abroad?  Financial tips while there-do I buy everything on credit cards, should I bring traveler checks?

Any advice you have would be great!  I can't wait to hear from you!  And in return for your help, I promise I will keep my blog updated during my trip to France!  Bonjour!


  1. Jamie! I am so excited and extremely jealous of you! Europe is amazing and you are going to have the time of your life. My advice for you:
    -Live it up! You are there for a short time, so even though it is going to be difficult at times and you will miss home, enjoy every second of it because the month is going to fly by. Things don't really change back home, so you really are not missing out on much!
    -Really try and engage in the culture as much as you can. I have heard french people are not very nice (That is one country I didn't make it to last spring when I lived over there), but I have 2 friends that are completing their entire college careers in France and absolutely love it. Try and meet some friends that are from there. Go to the non tourist bars and restaurants. I miss my roman friends so much! Try and talk their language as much as you can, and taste all types of food, drinks, etc.
    -If you can make it to Rome..go!! Its amazing there and my second home! I am not sure how much you get to travel, but budapest is an amazing city as well!
    -As far as packing, if your fine with wearing the same clothes a lot, pack as little as you can. You will buy some cool stuff and will need room in your suitcase! Something I did was bought something for myself in every country I visited! Remember to buy for yourself!
    -Financials - I didn't use traveler checks. Because I liked to go to non tourist places, I always had euro because that is all they accepted. (Or the money for whatever country I was in)

    If you have any questions before you leave or want more advice (I could go on an on!) give me a call! I would love to chat with you about it!

    LOVE YA cuz have fun!

  2. Go to the Louvre, it was one of my favorite parts of Paris to just sit by the pyramid at night with a bottle of wine and new friends; inside the museum is okay, cool to see the Mona Lisa but that was about it for me.

    I'm sure you already know but be prepared to walk A LOT, bring comfy shoes.

    You should walk up all the stairs to the Basilique du Sacré Coeur (Sacré-Coeur Basilica) this is one of the highest points in Paris and you can pretty much see the entire city from here, it is worth all the stairs haha

    As for money I think I exchanged somewhere around 300-500 dollars for their money but I also used my credit card for some stuff too; I was only there for a week though so I’m sure you will need a lot more than that.

    Try to sleep as much as you can on the flight, on my flight each seat has their own movie screen so if you couldn’t sleep that was a nice way to pass the time. I’d bring my own headphones the airline usually provides them but they aren’t the best and who knows if other people have used them! I brought 3 books with and didn’t read one of them on the flight so try to pack as light as you can haha

    Have a BLAST over there and I can’t wait to hear all about it :-) I'm sure Ed and Brenda will be so much fun to be with!

  3. First of all, have fun! I agree; sleep as much as you can on the flight, and don't bother with books. They take up much needed shopping space.

    Take versatile clothes that you can coordinate--and re-ware them. I didn't wear half of what I took to Europe, just wore the same clothes over and over. And, take a jacket and sweater. I converted some money to Euros for bars and restaurants, but mainly used my credit card.

    have SOOO MUCH FUN!!