I still remember my Cost Accounting professor asking me if I would like to go to France for a semester as an exchange student seven years ago. He told me that I would benefit greatly from this opportunity. So, on January 1st of 2014, I flew to Paris and took the 30-minute train to Lille, where I will be living and attending school for four months.
It was scary for me. First of all, the only French word I know (still the only word) is “bonjour,” but this one word helped me a lot, especially when asking for directions. Though I want to ramble about my experience, I think it would be better to save the story for another post.
Maybe you’re wondering if I did not take advantage of this golden opportunity to the fullest; well, I did. But I could’ve done a lot more. So here I am sharing with you the 10 Things I Regret Not Doing during my Student Exchange.
- Learn to speak French. Ugh. To be honest, it was my shyness that stopped me from doing so. I have a problem talking and socializing with other people. Though the International Student Club assigned a partner to talk to and help me out during the exchange, I did not take advantage of it. I only met him once, and that was during the acquaintance party.
- Learn to cook authentic French cuisine. You probably get the gist of it. How can I learn from someone when I could not even talk.
- Dine-in a French Restaurant. Although I ate my way through Italy and Spain when I traveled during my week breaks, for some “awkward” reason, I always ended up eating microwavable food from the supermarket. And oh! I also got into Subway subs.
- Make any close friends. Yup. This is “awkward.” Besides the students I worked with for our class requirements or projects, I have not talked to anybody else. I know, it’s sad. I regret it now!
- Pack Light. Yes. Yes. Yes. I packed my whole closet when I went to France. I should’ve just pack ten clothes in a giant suitcase. Come on! It’s France. Who wouldn’t shop in Paris?
- Travel more during breaks. It’s embarrassing to admit. I had two weeks’ worth of vacation from classes, and I spent it in my apartment reading the whole series of Divergent and Gayle Forman’s books. I even bought a Kindle!
- Improve my photography skills. I should’ve learned how to take better pictures during that time. What a waste!
- Start a travel blog or vlog. Ahhh! I should have thought about it. Though I regret not traveling more, I traveled quite a bit. I even “unintentionally” experience the Carnival in Venice and Sant Jordi celebration in Barcelona. Another waste! But I’ll just try to remember all of those experiences and post them on this blog for keepsake.
- Visit any libraries. I’m a self-proclaimed bookworm, booknerd whichever it is, but visiting libraries did not even enter my mind. I’m an embarrassment to the bookworm society.
- Eat macarons to my heart’s content. I never realized how good I had it until I tried some from a French bakery somewhere (not in France).
Those things might have sound trivial, but hey, it’s a big deal to me (at least now that I am thinking about it).
Anyways, that’s all I have for this post. I know it’s been a while since I last updated this blog. Thank you all for staying with me.
Here’s the view from my apartment’s bedroom window in Lille!
I still need to search my hard drive for university pictures!