Thursday, January 26, 2017


Bonjour tout le monde!

      So here I am on my second week in Aix-en-Provence! The first week was great and included fun places and the excitement of the new city and country, however, as I creep into the first week of classes, reality steps in. Instead of looking at the city as tourists, we are beginning to see that we have a place in the town as well as students. We started of the week with an orientation to IAU and a field trip to the Luberon region in France. As I dig deeper into the discovery of the culture of France, there are specific differences that I am experiencing in France compared to the U.S- here are just a few:

·      Anytime you go into a store or enclosed space, say Bonjour (Madame, Monsieur)

·       Leaving the store or enclosed space, say au revior (Madame, Monsieur) or another salutation

·       Do not smile at random people on the street

·       Do not make eye contact (especially at late night clubs/bars)

If you do not say bonjour or au revior, it is basically not acknowledging that the people are human beings, causing the workers to not be very pleasant. These are just the main ones, but you are also dealing with an entire language difference as well. I really struggled with no smiling or making eye-contact, but I am learning quick. Especially in North Dakota, we smile at everyone to be polite, and trying to fit into these culture norms is tricky. These are just the basic situations that differ from America to France; there are many more. The differences between the two could go on forever.

 As for shopping, shopping for food (and clothes) differ from America. The shopping stores have two sales (soldes) each year instead of many sales throughout the year at the stores in town. While I am used to shopping for food at Hugo's or Target, the only place that shares a relation to those two is Monoprix. However, the places with the best food are just tiny bakeries and markets, which I am all for! 

Mostly are pictures from our trip to the Luberon region, which we traveled on Tuesday. So far I am having a great time! Aix is such a beautiful and historically place that I am growing to love. Although I still get stressed by little things (especially my poor French) I am reminded that it is a humbling experience, and to allow myself to except these challenges and use them to grow.  

À la semaine prochaine! 

 This was taken in a ville in the Luberon region
 A good looking dessert.
 The city of Gordes
 Ice in France????
 Le Colorado provençal
 More pictures of the colorado provençal

It may not look like it, but this was quite the hike.


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