First day of School

6 06 2012

Blog 2 June 4th First Day of School and June 5th

(For some reason I am not able to attach my photos in between my paragraphs , so from now on I will try to mention if there is a photo that goes with a paragraph and have it go in order. Sorry for the inconvenience!)

Day 1~
It was the first day of school today and I was feeling many different things. Anxious, excited, and also a bit exhausted. The beds are not the most comfortable things in the world and they are also quiet small. I guess from being so exhausted it didn’t seem to matter too much. (A picture of the city of Metz).

Orientation~
The ICN Business Institution is very nice and up to date. I must say I was expecting a French school to be in some old building that wasn’t kept up well, but to my surprise it is more up to date with modern technology than UND is.

After an orientation of the ICN Business Institute I learned a lot about the European school system and how college works in France. In the room next to us students were being interviewed for the college. It is a much more difficult processes applying to this college. Each student must interview in three different languages; French, English, and German or Spanish! Most people in Europe, especially younger Europeans, do speak English pretty well, but three different languages to be interviewed to get into the school really amazed me.

French Wine~
Another thing about the French culture is they love their wine! Wine and champagne is one of their number one exports and it is incorporated into celebrations, meals, and socialization. After our first class our professor Dr. Agostini and his daughter Victoria (who is helping us out) made us a traditional French drink to toast to the beginning of our program. As we all cheered our glasses together we learned the French phrase “tchin, tchin,” which in America means “cheers cheers.” Not something I can ever imagine students doing with their professors in America. (Picture of class cheers).

Centre de Pompidou~
This art museum is a magnificent building that has the most unique architecture. It has the capacity of holding four different traveling art exhibits. They had many fascinating pieces of art, but what drew my attention was the architecture and the “Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec” furniture collection. (Photo of the building and some of the furniture pieces from the furniture collection).

French Food~
When I imagined eating in France I expected every meal to be a lavish entree with a fresh baguette! Well, half of that has come true. Breakfast was a let down, a baguette and cheese, dry very plain cereal, and an extremely petite cafe late (coffee). For lunch, a baguette and cheese, some funny looking pudding, and a questionable entree. Dinner, a baguette and cheese, weird pudding, and questionable entree. Hmmm, so when am I going to get some delicious famous French food?! Finally a few of us decide to enjoy a night dining in the city of Metz..and I ended up with Italian food. Absolutely delicious, but there is only so much French I can read and understand that I knew pasta wouldn’t get messed up. (Pasta picture attached).

Shopping~
This has been much more difficult than I anticipated. First, the French have very bizarre store hours compared to the US. Most stores are only open from 13:30 to 18:00 (1:30pm until 6pm). So trying to purchase anything from towels to SIM phone cards has been extremely difficult. The second challenge is once in the store it is rare they speak English. Metz is not a tourist city and most of its population consists of older adults who didn’t learn English as a child. So I do the best I can with the little French I remember from high school French class.

French Language~
When I am off campus away, from the few people in the town who speak English, it challenges me to practice my French and immerse into their culture. Attempting to go into the cellphone store was my biggest challenge. I even brought a girl in my class who spoke the most fluent French. I felt incredibly overwhelmed but I tried the best I could to ask in French for what I needed, but unfortunately they just didn’t understand. The one thing I have mastered is ordering in French. I’m sure I sound silly, but they appreciate my effort and so far I have gotten everything I thought I was ordering.

For now, Tchin!
(Cheers)
Kyle Ashley

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2 responses

6 06 2012
Jennifer Neppel

Hi Kyle!

I am so glad that your trip is going well. We are really enjoying reading your blogs. I would agree that the food is not very good in Europe. The breakfast is particularly bland – lots of plain bread and even meat. The German food is not much better – breaded, fried meat. I would seek out the other nationalities as I am sure italian food was a nice change. The swiss fondue is worth trying, too.

We went to Switzerland we stayed in Basel which is close to French (in fact, the airport is in France). We had the same experience that very few people spoke English. I was surprised as I was thinking it was more universal. The young people know English, but the people in the shops will have very limited English. This is a great way to learn French. Italy will be easier as you can understand more of the words. Once you get to London, it will be a great relief – everyone speaks English!

Have a great time in France!

Jenny

7 06 2012
Kyle Kohns

Bonjour Jenny!

I have now found that my favorite choices in French food are the croissants and tomatoes with mozzarella! I’m still waiting to have all the gelato in Italy! We are 95% sure we will be making it to Rome for 4 days! Hopefully making it to some of the major attractions. If you have recommendations on what we can fit in during 3 or 4 days that Wouk be amazing!

I’m off to the wine and chateaux country this weekend!
Au revoir!
Kyle

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