Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Au Revoir France

Veronica LaManna, a member of the Verrazano Class of 2016 studying International Business with a minor in French, spent the Fall 2014 semester in Nice, France.  Returning home has given her time to reflect on the experience.

Returning back to the United States was extremely bittersweet.  I was so excited to see my family and friends again after four months, but so sad to leave the country that I was able to call home for those months.  In those four months I was able to experience so much through education and socialization.  Everyday I really learned so much in and out of the classroom.  As I stepped off the plane and back into New York I even experienced a little culture shock to hear everyone speaking English again.  I had been so accustomed to all the language barriers and picking up more and more everyday on the French language that my own first language sounded strange to me.  After being jet-lagged and freezing, due to the extreme climate change, for two weeks I am slowly getting used to life back here in New York.  It is good to be back, but I cannot begin to explain how much I miss living in Nice, and not just for the incredible weather.
            As soon as I returned home my family immediately wanted to see all 3,000 pictures I had taken while I was abroad.  While I was studying abroad, I was able to visit three different countries other than France.  As I talked about in previous blog, I had been to Morocco and Italy.  The last country I traveled to was Switzerland, which was another incredible experience.  I am so fortunate that I was able to see so much while I was abroad.  Studying abroad gives you the opportunity to travel to many countries while you are on a strict budget.  In Europe the flights are affordable and there are so many student discounts that are offered.  If I had not studied abroad I would have been less likely to have ever seen these countries.  I have made so many memories and have met so many amazing people during my travels, which makes me so happy that I took advantage of this opportunity. 
            While I was abroad, I began working on my research paper to graduate with honors in my major of international business. My educational experience in France highly encouraged my topic choice and my basis of information when I wrote my abstract.  Being able to study in an educational system that is completely different from the one that I am used to was the most challenging thing for me.  The challenge was definitely worth it because I learned so much from it. Studying abroad has taught me how to learn in an entirely different way.  I learned how to apply what I learn differently then how I would in my courses here.  Also after studying abroad the first time it gave me the idea to pursue my master’s degree in France. 

            Overall studying abroad was a positive and enriching experience.  I have so many memories and now have friends in almost every country.  I have grown and matured through this experience by living on my own, learning about different cultures, and meeting new people.  After coming back I really do not feel like the same person.  Now I am able to handle more responsibilities without stressing out as much.  I learned so much and I am so happy that I was able to have this incredible opportunity.  Nice will always have special place in my heart and will always feel like home. Jusqu’√† la prochaine fois

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