by Jess Turner
Traveling alone to Grenoble, France changed my sense of self. Through this experience, I learned to become independent and strong. Everyday, I had to communicate in a new language.
At first, I didn’t have any friends, so I had a lot of alone time. In that alone time, I found a clear identity, and I began to admire myself. After a few weeks in the program, I was able to make friends. I established special connections with people from France, Saudi Arabia, England, South Africa, Mexico, and Spain. These are connections that I will maintain throughout my life.
By the end of the program, I was able to speak and understand the language with confidence. It is such an intimate experience, to be surrounded by a new and beautiful language. I miss hearing it, so, I am excited to go back this summer. I had such a life changing experience that I am currently looking into programs to teach and live in Grenoble. I fell in love with the city—the mountains, the people, the rivers, the food, the wine.
My host mom was a perfect match for me. Each night she made me a home cooked meal. She was very patient with my French, considering that I only speak at an intermediate level. She gave me the perfect amount of space, and she always invited me out with her friends and family.
One of my favorite parts about Grenoble was taking the tram every morning to my university. The ride took about 10 minutes and along the way, I watched the mountains pass by and listened to the people around me chat quietly in French. Altogether, studying abroad changed my life. I wish that I could have stayed longer than 6 weeks, but I am sure that one day, I will call Grenoble home.
Jess Turner studied in France in spring 2017. When will you study abroad? For more information about study abroad options, scholarships and the study abroad process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at the Office of International Affairs in Falk Hall, lower level.