Monthly Archives: April 2014

Learning, just keep learning…

I have lived in France for almost 7 months so far, and I started to speak French and understand French, not the whole conversations but I could guess from what they are saying. Such an awesome feeling when you get to understand another language and start to understand the French way. I also started to pronounce every word I see, and it was kind of too much that affect my English pronunciation. At that point I said to myself I must stay clear between the these languages. Soon it became easier than I thought, and I began to love learning French.

The key here is that I found joy in learning French. That makes the major difference. Learning French through Duolingo on my ipad, I realized the reason that  I could not learn Finnish for almost two years. Too much focus on grammar rules had demotivated me from learning by heart everything. Instead, I should be learning something relevant to my everyday life, something I found so important and valuable to me when I start to speak. I remembered when I traveled to Dune du Pilat, people do not speak English there since it is a small town at the low tourist season. Then I started to make conversation, asking the way and where I could the bus to the dune. My travel group has 6 people, but no one could speak French so everything they counted on me. After all, I felt so proud that I could be the one who helped and led  the whole group to such a memorable trip. At the same time, I watched a TED talk by Chris Lonsdale – How to learn any language in six months? Since I experienced the same feeling when I learned French, I truly believe that this time when I come back to Finland, I could master the language to intermediate level (B2) in two years (still quite long compared to six months in the video).  Anyway, I will include the link to the talk here to be a useful future reference.

About the school schedule, I looked at the schedule.. We will study busy as hell, no vacation in between, from middle January until end of…March or early April. And that’s it. My exchange year ends just like that. 8 months – 60 credits. The second term I chose to study International Tourism track, as I assumed it would be a strength of the faculty instead of Food and Beverage track. Also, since I already learned Food Service in Practice and Management of Accommodation Services – in total 20 credits from JAMK, I want to learn something new here to diverse my knowledge. It turned out I was right! The track was so meaningful and informative. The teacher was nice and so passionate about the subject, and I’m talking about Mrs. Keller and Mrs. Beatric. There was a small hiccup at two course. One is  in which the professor “forgot” that he had a course to teach in our school, and that’s our course. He was a great teacher, but we only had him for 15% of the course, but 15% worth it.

I also met new exchange students this term. There is one Finnish girl from Tourism program in Haaga Helia UAS. More people from Canada, Mexico, US, etc. I got a lot more motivated to go to class, because of friends and great professors. The most annoying part is when the exam came. One full week is for 7 exams, each took 3 hours to complete. Another week is for smaller exams and final assignments. I was totally torn in the end.. Hopefully JAMK will only took the credits because if not, I would be dead by the marking system on the scale of 20 in Sup de Co… Every journey has an end, and it seems like mine was about to..

And I don’t wanna leave France so soon…