Monday, 26 May 2014

Our week in Paris

PROJECT: Language and tutoring English
WRITTEN BY: Pheobe Laing

Our first week of the French program has been absolutely brilliant but went so quickly! Jaymee and I met again at the 'FIAP Jean Monet' on Sunday, where we would be staying for the week and also taking our classes at the Paris Language School. The FIAP is in the 14th 'arrondissement', which isn't particularly central, but the metro station two minutes walk away made it easy to get around.

On Monday we took the tests for Paris Language School and were put into our classes. Jaycee has only just begun learning French, so she was in a beginner's class by herself - three hours of one on one tuition a day! - whilst I was put in a bigger class of around eight, which included people from Brasil, Germany, Ukraine and Peru. Everyone was lovely, and it was a great chance to learn about their countries and practice speaking French with people who completely understood what it was like to get muddled up halfway through a sentence!

Our classes were from 9 to 12, so we had every afternoon free. We both saw the Eiffel Tower and enjoyed the incredible views of Paris, tried to squeeze our way to a glimpse of the Mona Lisa in the Louvre and shared half a baguette while standing in line for Notre Dame. The bakeries in France are almost as impressive as the century-old buildings!

Being from Canberra, one of the things that impressed me most about Paris as a city was the metro - it's so easy to get anywhere and the longest we waited was five minutes. Everyone was helpful, usually trying out their English when they heard us speaking it, although we did have plenty of opportunities to practice. On our last night we visited an Aussie bar nearby and met plenty of French people (who were happy to let us try out our French and were very excited that we were from Australia), surrounded by surfboards and the Australian flag. We didn't have too late a night as this morning we're both off to meet our host families and start the next stage of our French experience!

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