During study abroad orientations, people are often told that the most important thing to remember is to go to class.
I mean, study is in the name so it seems a little obvious that some class time is required. But most people don’t expect to miss going to class over breaks. Well that’s exactly what happened to me.
I have been living in France for just over a month now, and I have already experience my first “scholarly vacation.” This vacation was a week long, but in reality it felt like an eternity. Part of the reason that this break felt so long was because I was sick and unable to do anything but come down to dinner with my host family every night.
The one nice thing about being sick abroad is having an accommodating host family.
They always asked if I was feeling better, if I wanted any tea or if I needed any medicine. They were also very understanding when I lost my voice and had trouble speaking. That led to many misunderstandings as my pronunciation was much worse, such as the time that I was talking about someone named Tyler, but my family thought that I was saying tigre. That of course led to many laughs because I was certainly not hanging out with a tiger.
I ended up just having a cold so I didn’t have to go to the doctor or even the pharmacy, but having a host family that was willing to help me get better really made me feel at home. That really helped me get back to my old self. But while I was in bed sick, I realized that I really missed going to class. At first I thought that this was just the boredom talking. Who misses going to class? But then even after I started feeling better I still missed the classroom.
After some thinking I realized that class is fun because it’s on a subject that I’m passionate about.
All of my classes help me improve my language skills so that I can better communicate with those around me. The first time that I used something I learned in class correctly in speech with my host family I knew that going to class was worth it. Even though they didn’t know that I had just learned that skill just a few hours before, they were still so happy that I could voice my thoughts in a way that they could understand. So in short, going to class is essential when studying abroad, but it’s not really such a chore after all.