1 week and 1/2 in France

In my last post I mentioned that my flat mate and I have moved into our flat on the school grounds. 


My bedroom and balcony

I’m loving living here at the moment and our neighbours are really friendly. A couple of them have come round to see us and it’s great for me to listen and (try to) speak in French.


The living room 

We’ve been observing classes for about a week now. It’s overwhelming being in such a big school and it’s a completely new experience for me working with students aged 14-21. The classes I’ve sat in on so far have been really interesting and it’s helpful to observe the differences between French and English teaching styles. 

I think we’ll receive our timetables at the end of next week. I like observing but I’m looking forward to having a more active role in the schools. 

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Moving in, the kindest French people, my awful French

Right now I’m sitting at the table across from my new flatmate and fellow English language assistant in our barely-furnished flat on the school campus. For 80-100 euros per month we’re more than happy. Whilst we don’t have a fridge, oven or microwave (yet!) there are so many advantages of living here. As we’re on campus we have no commute to school which means not getting up too early. We’re also super close to a massive supermarket and only it’s only a short walk away from town. The best part about living here is how cheap it is. Baring in mind our salary is 800 euros per month and we can purchase a very substantial lunch and dinner for 3.45 euro each at the lycee, saving money won’t be a problem.

Since we’ve arrived we’ve both been so overwhelmed by the kindness of everyone we’ve met. The first two nights I stayed with one of the English teachers and her family whilst the other assistant stayed with a different teacher. We both were taken care of so well. These teachers and other teachers we’ve met have helped us out so much. They’ve picked us up at the airport, organised our accommodation, helped us open bank accounts and invited us to drinks. One of the teachers who lives above us has allowed us to use her wifi for free and another teacher gave us a tour of the town today.

I’m feeling quite self-conscious about my awful French at the moment, but I know it will improve. It’s quite exhausting having to concentrate all the time on what everyone is saying and it can be frustrating when I can’t fully express myself in French. This is how I felt when I arrived in Spain last year but I know that soon it will improve.

Hopefully everything continues to go well!

A new adventure

Leaving home this time round was super hard. I hate not being able to see my friends and family everyday like I have been able to for the past four months. The hardest part is being away from my boyfriend, who I lived with this summer. 


(Look how cute we are 😍)

This morning I left Mile End, took the central line to Liverpool Street, the stansted express to the airport and a flight to Basel. I’ve been feeling pretty apprehensive about going to France, mostly because I had quite a hard time in Spain. So I can say I’m relieved that I was met at the airport by a fellow assistant and a future coworker.

We drove into France and now I’m spending the night at another coworkers house. Right now my French sounds pretty terrible  but I think it’ll improve quite quickly.

I’m excited and scared for the next chapter – my life in France!

Less than a month to go…

This summer has gone so quickly. I’ve been here for three months and in less than a month I’ll be moving to France. 

For most of the summer I’ve not been focusing on going to France. I wanted to focus on having a good time here with my boyfriend, friends and family and not think about going away again. 

I’ve also been neglecting my French learning as I’ve been busy with work and enjoying my summer. So I’ve finally started properly preparing for my move to France. I’ve made contact with the school I’ll be working in, (kinda) sorted my accommodation and made a rough plan for getting to Besançon. 

I decided to try and practice my French a lot more proactively during my last month here. I listen to French YouTube videos and podcasts as I  work and I’ve started a new French series on Netflix.

Less than a month to go! 

The best commute

I am definitely not a morning person. When  my numerous alarms go off all I want to do is snuggle back under the covers and sleep. Eventually I drag myself out of bed and get ready for work and sleepily set off on my 10 minute walk to work. I do feel lucky that my ‘commute’ – if you can even call it that – is so short. I feel even luckier that whilst walking to work I get to see the most beautiful views. And, as my job involves cleaning cottages around the island, I get to see the most gorgeous views as I walk to each cottage. Here are a few pics I’ve taken on my way to/at work:

I live in paradise

The Isles of Scilly is the most beautiful place I have ever been. It’s also one of England’s best kept secrets. Whilst the archipelago off the coast of Cornwall thrives off tourism, I’m always surprised when I meet someone who, when they ask me where I’m from, doesn’t respond: ‘is that in Italy?’, or something of the kind.

I moved here when I was four years old, so I consider myself to be from Scilly, as the majority of my memories of growing up were made here. The only problem with growing up in such a beautiful place is that you become used to your surroundings and often forget how incredible they are.

There was a time when I didn’t want to come back. After moving to college in Devon at 16 and having the most amazing time, I didn’t want to come back for more than a few days. However, after finding my experience in Spain quite difficult, I couldn’t wait to return.

Now I’m living and working here for the summer season, I am truly able to appreciate the paradise I live in. From my bedroom window I can see the beach and smell the sea and hear the seagulls early in the morning. Most people hate that noise but it reminds me of home so when I wake up to that sound I feel content. On my way to work I walk past two beautiful beaches and on my days off I can take a boat over to another island and soak up the sun (when it’s not raining). The views are breathtaking and I feel so lucky to get to see them everyday.

Dublin

This weekend I headed to Dublin for a Hen Do. I think I say this for every city I go to, but I completely fell in love with it. 

It’s definitely the friendliest city I’ve been to so far – even friendlier than Amsterdam. The people are lovely and really welcoming. 

On our first day we went to a traditional Irish themed night and listened to an Irish band and watched Irish dancing. The atmosphere was fantastic and the dancers were incredible. We went to several Irish pubs over the weekend and listened to lots more live music. 


One of the best parts of the trip was the pedibus tour that we did: a pedibus tour involves cycling around on a cart and stopping at pubs along the way. It’s a great activity to do on a sunny afternoon although my legs were aching the next day!

On our last day we went to the Guinness factory. I love Guinness so I was super excited about going. The highlight is going to the Gravity bar at the end of the tour where you can drink a nice cool pint of Guinness whilst looking out over the city. It was a good experience but compared with the Heineken museum in Amsterdam, the latter was better. The Guinness factory was a little less organised and less interactive.


Anyway, right now I’m sitting in Newquay airport waiting for my connecting flight. I want to go back to Dublin!