Thursday, January 10, 2013

How it began, how it begins...

Upon first glancing at this blog, you may ask yourself, "What? Kayla is studying abroad for four months in Montpellier, France?" 

And even though you were only speaking to yourself, I would still reply "Why yes. Yes I am."

This blog is designed to help me illustrate my journey to Montpellier, France, so that those reading my blog can have a little window into my journey. Friends, family, or strangers, welcome!

So Kayla, I'm suddenly really interested, what is a Montpellier? What are you going to do with it?

Montpellier is a city in the south of France, capital of the Languedoc Roussillion region, where I will be staying from January 20th to May 26th. Which means it's not Paris. So stop assuming it's Paris. Because it's not.

But Kayla, Paris is supposed to be the chic-est place ever! What is so great about Montpellier? 

Well, I can't really tell you everything awesome about Montpellier, because I haven't been there yet. But I can tell you a couple things: it's not Paris, which makes it a much more unique experience for me. Montpellier is on the coast, which means ocean! I love ocean, and you cannot get that in Pair-ee. Also, it's about an hour from Marseilles, which my mom tells me is where the "Marcy" part of the family is from. So basically, it's my lost kingdom and I need to go stake out my claim (kidding..).

But, I cannot pronounce 'Montpellier', so I will just call it Paris and we will both know what I mean...
Okay, that's fine with me. Here's the deal, I did Paris for a day last year, which obviously was not enough time. But it was enough time for me to get lost, see the Notre Dame, and the Eiffel Tower. I spoke a little French, but people took one look at me and handed me an English menu. I'm not a huge city person, and the Parisians are notorious for having a not-so-friendly countenance. I don't blame them, really; how would you feel if millions of people came through your city all the time, and you had to know all of their languages because none of them speak good enough French? Plus none of these people are as mighty as you, because you're a true Parisian. It makes things tough... okay, here's where I kid again.

Okay, but I'm still not so sure why you chose Montpellier...or France, for that matter. Don't you know about Germany? 
Well, I see your point. There's a lot to it, actually. Maybe the whole backstory will have to be in the form of another post. For now, here's the short of it:
I found a flier for a service-learning program in Montpellier. It allows me to gain 12 credits in straight-up French!  That's great because I want to be awesome at French but only knowing maybe 2 French people makes it difficult to perfect my French while in America.
On top of the curriculum, there is a requirement for volunteer work. If I play my cards right, I will work in a hospital with children who have cognitive disorders or trauma. While it is volunteer work and is essentially to help the kids, I already know I will blessedly get so much out of it. I will be speaking French in a healthcare environment, and observing how a different culture does mental health. (In case you don't know me, mental health is a BIG deal to me.) I also get to stay with a lovely host family (have already wrote them!) and I am confident with all of this it will be much easier to learn French than in Paris.

I just know you're dying to read more, right? Okay maybe not. Thanks for listening, and check back in later for actual information.


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