Sometimes it’s strange how the life changes: one has inspiration , later it disappears and comes back.. during summer I really caught quite good vague of inspiration and during Autumn.. It was gone. For those, who missed my posts I can say, that I had really interesting and rich period in my life: studies abroad gave me more than I have ever expected !!! It’s a pity that I didn’t share my experiences  at that time but I believe it’s better to give more objective view of everything without grumblings and complaining.  ((: What I feel now what was what I got as experience:

  • one learn how to accept different cultural codes;
  • being alone becomes being an exception of the rule. Being the exception doesn’t mean one needs changes;
  • one can learn how to love it’s nation and country, how to be proud of oneself;
  •  one learn how to be polite whether one want it or not, it’s like a river which one can cross;
  • personally I learned a lot about national character… And I understood better only when I came home..
  • Smile and be polite- no matter how unhappy one is.

Before my abroad studies I had really closed point of view and I only understood it when I had gone abroad. Reading articles is different than meeting people and searching ways how to get along. If at first I wasn’t very happy by living in very cosmopolitan place but  finally I appreciated that. For example, after 5 days of my arrival one guy knocks on my door 2 a.m. I didn’t open my door so next day when we met in the kitchen I heard that I’m a racist because I wasn’t polite with him. If at first it was shocking or really strange finally I understood that it was only a difference between cultural codes: people from ”very south of France” or actually people from Maghreb and more south of  Africa after studies spend their day part by sleeping and during night time they are active (celebrate, cook, study and so on). so this was how little innocent movement in addition to be self- presented (as they are really more sociable than people from the north of Europe) made a little misunderstanding between two youngsters.

Another cultural difference was understanding how clean kitchen looks like. Nothing personal, but all the time seeing dirty kitchen after somebody’s (possibility of my floor’s neighbourhood)  really upset my cooking mood. Sanctions made by residence’s administration  ”lock the door for a period of 3-4 days” or ”turn of electricity” really didn’t help as next day it looked the same as before making one of these sanctions. One can ask ”why this still happens? ” or “why do people leave their rubbish after they do their cook? ”. Waiting in a row is what one can accept or still face up but not a disrespect to others. Finally I changed my eating and cooking habits and my view of living became  ”take it easy” if you can change it. But the most surprising was disrespect to students from the administration (both from residence and university).

Spending hours by asking and searching a person who could sign the last document (and finally discovering that we searched a wrong person), receiving wrong letters (for example that my friend didn’t pay for her room) was a normal phenomenon. When we saw our exams graphic and we had few double exams, the answer which we heard after ask for a help was ”it’s your own problem, you had to inform us at the beginning of this semester”. I think everybody would be frustrated in such conditions but the lesson which we learned was ”il faut s’adapter”.

Anyway, these experiences changed my view of life, my understandings and I appreciate that a lot. Still I like France, it’s a very beautiful country to visit, good cuisine (I’m talking about traditional cooking of which usually people are proud of (but this doesn’t mean that many people really tasted it)), good wine, nature… And before my next abroad studies or decision to move I’ll have to think better, maybe read more about what I could expect and what not; relations between locals and foreigners and immigrants..

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