Aero: Christine Elizabeth – France 2015 – Expectations


Aero: Christine Elizabeth – France 2015 – Expectations
Creative Commons Image via The LEAF Project

Aero: Christine Elizabeth – France 2015 – Expectations


Christine Elizabeth

Having such an opportunity like this to go to another country and experience a whole new world of things such as: Food, clothing, language, traditions, school, transportation, currency, fashion, housing, way of life, and basic overall culture is something I personally believe, every person should jump at., and I am excited to be doing just that.

Having never traveled to France before there’s a few things that run through my mind about the culture and people of France. Hearing from many people here in the USA,  of the typical stereotypes that are given about the French, I am curious to see how valid they really are. I have heard all sorts of things ranging from : Women growing out their armpit hair, to the most common stereotype I’ve heard, which is about how “mean and stuck up” the French are. I definitely will be paying a great deal of attention to this opinion to see how it really plays out in my interactions with the french.

I am sort of nervous about how well I will fare with the natives in France since I only speak a little French, I:E-basic phrases. However I am hopeful that If the French are anything like the majority of  Latinos I know, they will be willing to help me learn and pronounce the language correctly, as long as they see an initial effort to try and communicate to the best of my ability.

I have been thinking a lot about what the school will be like, especially considering how much older I am than my peers who are going on this trip with me. I think  that I am going to feel really out of place sitting in classes of younger teens when I haven’t set foot in a high school in over 15 years. On the other hand, most people think I’m between 18-25 anyway so maybe I’ll get lucky and blend in well.


ML@FLCC France 2015 Flickr Photo Gallery

I’m kind of nervous and anxious about living with a new family I have never met before. That is a whole new experience for me all together, I am not so sure what their daily routine will be like, and or the do’s and don’t s of the household so I hope I don’t offend or seem rude to the family during my stay. Although I feel we have been well prepared on the culture and etiquette to uphold in France from Professor Kruger on our stay, I am still nervous about messing up somehow. Especially when it comes to the no smiling at strangers part. I feel that will be hard for me, seeing as I am an extremely bubbly social extrovert. I love to talk and meet people, and have no problem striking up a conversation with a stranger, so that will be a challenge for me to restrain myself in it.   I also think a lot about how I am not a morning person, so I hope I can get up early and stay awake without any issues on my behalf.

One major issue I feel, that really is tugging on my heart is the fact that I will be away from my children for two whole weeks. I have been told that there will be one computer we could use for emailing family when staying at the hotel in Paris, yet the professors are still not sure if there will be WI-fi there. Professor VanEtten stated that there is no sure way of knowing when or where you will have WI-fi but be aware it will be few and far between because the French do not have WI-fi everywhere like we do in the USA. So I worry about not having any to little contact with them while I am away. It will be hard for them to be separated from me as I am a single mom and I am all they have. Though I am blessed to have my parents take care of them while I am away.

Along with the WI-fi issue, I am going to be taking tons of pictures and want to be able to share my journey with my friends and family while I am there in France, so I am hoping I can somehow have or find regular access so I can upload the pictures.

The thought of how similar Paris might be to NYC since I have lived in NYC for over 9 years constantly runs across my mind, and that thought gets me excited because, the city of New York is soo much fun and so alive. Lots of noise, cultural diversity, different ethnic foods everywhere, musicians playing on the subway and streets, taking the subway etc. I miss all of those aspects about living in NYC, so to be in a somewhat similar setting hopefully, is comforting. I have heard that the subways in France are super clean so I will  be looking to see if that’s true. I want to compare the subway map to a NYC map and see how similar and different they are and to see which one is more simple to become accustomed to and which one is more difficult and why.

The plane ride there though, kind of gets to me because I don’t know what to do on an 8 hour flight besides watch movies if they have them, so that idea kind of stinks. Not to mention we won’t be sleeping when we get to Paris and I definitely know I wont be sleeping on the plane, that’s pretty much impossible in such cramped quarters with little to no room to move let alone breathe, and who knows who I will be stuck next to. If it is anything like previous experiences I’ve had, I definitely can’t and won’t be sleeping.

Overall, I am stoked about this trip, nervous and excited. I feel like I’m going to be a national geographic researcher going to another part of the world to learn, document, and share with others as well as learn and gain a wealth of knowledge for myself. Viva la France! 🙂

Christine Elizabeth
LEAF Contributor