There is about two weeks left of this student exchange in ESC Troyes and now I would like to write to you about the things I have learned during this spring. And also about the things I haven’t learned. Pictures are random photos from this spring that may (or may not) have something to do with the stuff I write about.
So what I have learned during this semester is..
.. not to take school as seriously as at home. In ESC the studies seem a bit easier than at JAMK, of course depending on the course, but my grades have still not been very good. We’ve had a lot of group works and presentation which have been okay, but from the only exam that I know the results of I got E on scale from A to F. In Finland my average is a bit more than 4 so the difference has been quite big. But that is mostly because of my own decision to take it a bit easier and focus on other things that I’m not able to do as much in Finland.
.. To be patient. Well not in every situation. Quite rarely actually. But maybe there has been some improvement! French people and organizations seem to have their own (annoyingly slow and illogical) way of doing this like organizing timetables, sharing information and other important things. This has been obvious since the first day and we have had to get used to it.
.. Stereotypes of people from different countries exist for a reason. Of course all the features cannot be generalized to all members of the nationality group but there seem to be a lot of quite accurate ones! German people plan everything, are on time and clean a lot, Spanish are loud, stay with their own people and have dinner at 10pm, etc. And we Finns.. Even though we are not shy and quiet like we stereotypically “should” be, we do seem to be keen on our dear friend alcohol 😀
.. Erasmus exchange can be good even without drinking a lot. Because of my medication I haven’t been able to party nearly as much as everyone else has. Although it has sometimes been a bit frustrating to go home when others have gone to a bar it hasn’t been as bad as I thought. I was quite sure I would become kind of an outsider because I have had to stay at home but luckily that hasn’t happened. Of course I have missed some unforgettable nights but that is (my) life. But the parties I have been able to go to, the trips I have made and even the lazy nights in front of the TV with roomies have all been great! So this has still been worth it.
.. I will survive! I have survived in many different situations and I have been able to communicate even in French (which is still super difficult, argh). I have had problems with the bank, infection in my heart and other small troubles like that. But hey here I am, still alive and somewhat well 😀 I have managed to explain which codes and numbers I am missing from the bank and managed to understand what is wrong with my heart and what to do to make it better again. Although I hoped I wouldn’t need to learn this bank and hospital related vocabulary at least I have learned some useful words if I ever decide to become a bank person or a nurse!
Aaaaand what I haven’t learned is..
.. French language. Still too hard to learn 😀 All these conjugations and exceptions in all the rules.. Too much like my Italian roomie might say! But I have still read two books in French and bought three more to take home with me. Also even trying to say stuff in French and understanding what people are trying to say to me has become easier. So at least some progress, but still I thought I would learn more.
.. Drinking red wine. Still bad and makes my teeth and lips turn purple. But I now have tried rose few times and it has been okay. Wine tasting is something I still really would like to do but I’m afraid I won’t have time for it anymore. Next time then!
.. Eating the rind of brie cheese. Still bad too. But the inner part of brie is heavenly (as are many other cheeses) and the effects of this not-so-healthy diet are clearly visible. Not being able to exercise because of the heart things hasn’t helped either 😀
Now I’ll start preparing myself for tomorrow: a presentation in the morning (boo!) and then to Paris in the evening (yey!).