Being away for three months is not nothing. At first I was nervous because I didn’t know what to expect or that I maybe overestimated myself. But I needn’t worry. When you study abroad you live in a totally different environment and it’s really fascinating to see other people live their everyday life that was very different of mine.
In the weekends I stayed with my lovely host family. It’s a family of four: Sandrine and Yvonick and their two children: Claire (16) and Gabin (14). We got along very well. I was happy that Claire went to the same school I was going to, because in that school weren’t a lot of girls. There were only sixteen girls at the school, whilst there were 300 boys.
On Monday we had to take the bus from Pont-Chateau to Derval. With a car that’s a drive of 45 minutes, but with the bus, who had to take several detours to pick up others, the drive took one hour and a half. Tuur, the other Belgian, who was on the same bus, but got on way early than me and had to sit on the bus for three hours. And that means waking up at five o’clock… I got to sleep two hours more. 🙂
It was a boarding school, so we stayed at the school until Friday. I found it very exciting to stay in a boarding school, because I had never been to a school like that, and I didn’t really know what it was like. When we arrived in Derval it was 9:25 and the lessons were going to start at 9:30. So we got to the class right after we got of the bus and put our bags away. Some courses we didn’t need to follow, so we could go to our little room where we could study for the Belgian courses. But of course we didn’t always study there. Sometime when we were tired, we just watched a film and ate some food we brought from home.
DAILY ROUTINE AT SCHOOL
06.30 – Waking up
07.00 – Breakfast
08.00 – Classes start (of 55 min)
09.50 – Break of 20 min
12.00 – Lunch
13.30 – Classes start again
15.15 – Break of 15 min
17.30 – Classes are done → to our rooms
19.00 – Dinner
21.00 – To our rooms
22.00 – Lights out
So the school is an agricultural school. In Belgium I don’t attend a school like that, so it was new for me. Before I went to this school, I didn’t really put my interest in those activities. Being there and talking to the other students who are all very passionate about the agricultural world, was very eye-opening. They learned me what kind of cows exist, what different kind of tractors can do, etc. I got to talk to a lot of students there and they were all very kind to me. In the beginning I didn’t talk French fluently, so it was a bit difficult, but they were all very understanding and helped me a lot.
After diner we weren’t allowed to go to our rooms immediately. There was a room called ‘Le Foyer’ and there we could play babyfoot (table football) or buy something to drink or eat. On Thursday we had to stay outside until 22:00. Then they organized football competitions in the gym, where Laura and I cheered for the boys, because she and I weren’t really that good in football.
CITIES AND VILLAGES IN THE REGION
In the weekends that I was with my host family, we’ve often gone to local villages or typical cities of the region. We explored Nantes, Rennes, Saint-Nazaire, Guérande, Kerhinet, Redon, Dinan, Saint-Malo, Penetin and La Baule.
On a school trip we’ve visited Le Mont-Saint-Michel. First we visited to abbey. In the afternoon we made a long promenade in the area around the abbey with quicksand. Le Mont-Saint-Michel carries a lot of history. It remained unconquered during the Hundred Years’ War and Louis XI turned Le Mont-Saint-Michel into a prison. It was also regularly used as a jail during the Ancien Régime. It is one of France’s most recognizable landmarks and more that 3 million people visit it each year.
Thank you for reading!