Account written just after returning home...
I can’t put into words my experience in Montpellier.
I think that the 4 weeks that I spent there might have been the most amazing 4 weeks of my life. It’s crazy how many connections I made, how much I learnt and how much I am wishing I was back there now.
The Language School was an efficient and professional school that not only taught me French, but also provided millions of activities to experience in Montpellier. I had such close relationships with the Animateurs and students that they feel like a second family.
When I went to Montpellier I expected to make friends and to enjoy myself, but in reality it was so much more than that. I have friends from all over the world- different cultures and languages.
It’s been three days since I left them and I have been missing the whole experience every second. I have made so many memories that I will recount endlessly and so many stories for every conversation.
I don’t think there was any more than an hour where I was not doing anything- every day the activities were well planned out and even though they all tired us out and had us sweating crazily, I would give anything to do it all again. I don’t think I can critise Montpellier in many ways- maybe the food wasn’t amazing but that seems irrelevant when I look at my whole 4 weeks of activity and enjoyment.
I picked up phrases and traditions of the French- especially the shouts of Christine every morning waking us. And maybe at the time all I wanted was to keep sleeping- I now miss hearing her voice every morning “alle les filles, petit déjeuner!!!”
My summer in France had to been one of the best so far and I would love to repeat it time and time again. Thank you for this amazing experience and truly words can’t explain the relationship I feel with Montpellier. I want to cry every time I think of it because I miss it so much but I feel so satisfied and greatful so I cry in happiness also.
I am so thankful for MyEducation's help with making this happen. I really hope that many more people will go to places like Montpellier and feel the same elated way I do about their experience.
9 months after returning home, Zsofia answered some more questions for us...
Looking back, what are your memories of your language trip to Montpellier?
I have so many memories from France, beginning with the fear I felt getting off the plane in Montpellier, followed by nervous excitement when I met my housemates (and tip: if you bring them food eg. cookies, they will like you a lot more ;) I will never forget when- on my second day- we got on the wrong tram to school and didn’t realise until we had left Montpellier. (We actually ran for 40 minutes to try and not miss the second lesson). (NB. a new feature of the Montpellier program in 2020 is that students living with a host family are taken to and from school.)
I loved talking with my housemates all night, 5 of us sat on 2 beds, eating food and getting excited about the differences and similarities in our cultures. And, typically you remember the saddest moments in your life more than your happiest moments so I remember leaning against the lockers at the ice-rink crying with my friend and then watching her leave with a tram thinking I would never see her again because she was going home at the end of her program. (In fact had her visit me in England for a week and I am going to Switzerland this summer to see her so it’s actually a happy story).
And of course as part of a bittersweet memory, when I left. When we came out the disco all crying and hugging each other but laughing through it all as we know it was the best time we had had. I was so satisfied.
What do you miss about the French culture?
One of my favourite things about France was the amount of activities we did. There was never a time when we sat still not doing anything. The French were always so spontaneous, everything was naturally happening and I think I loved the feeling that something new was going to happen everyday and that unpredictability in French culture is what I miss the most. Never knowing what we are doing but it always turning out to be the best thing.
What part of the French culture surprised you the most?
I can admit that I knew this before, but having experienced it I can confirm it’s true: the French love to have a good time. Everybody was always really outgoing and active. So many of the things we did were just spontaneously planned and always became a really intense but enjoyable activity. I think it’s typical of European culture to have this easygoing and relaxed way of life and the French govern that.