It’s hard but the little moments where my French works and people can understand me are the best!
by Emily Upin
High: Settling into life in Paris feels really good. I know where my classes are (after changing rooms twice they are finally in the same place every week). I am accustomed to eating with my host mom and fellow Smithie in the evenings. I love my room. The tiny shower is getting easier to maneuver. And the French is coming slowly but steadily.
Low: It’s just now beginning to get ugly — I mean that in terms of the weather. The lovely sunny skies of summer are turning cloudy and dark. The clouds that were once just full and happy are now dark and filled with wet, cold rain. I am starting to understand why people say go to Paris in the summer, or spring, or early autumn. It’s going to keep getting nasty. I’ll weather the weather but it won’t be fun. (Hehe pun.)
Glitter: The little moments I have of complete understanding are definitely worth the hardships of the process. I can go get a coffee now and know what they are asking me, I can take myself out to dinner and order in French, I can go to a store and ask a question in French. It’s hard but the little moments where my French works and people can understand me are the best! Also people have started coming up to me on the streets asking me where stuff is. Even though I don’t know where most of the stuff is, I still feel pretty good that they asked me. Isn’t it said that when people start asking you directions you look like a local? Whoo I’m a local!
Emily Upin is a junior at Smith College. She is studying abroad in Paris, France this academic year and couldn’t be more excited to eat lots and lots of cheese. At Smith she is a psychology and French double major. Her interests also include theater, journaling and fashion.