Monday, February 23, 2009

Exchange Student Shares Story

Tamir Batchuluun, a French major here at Western, is off to Angers, France to study at the Université d'Angers for the semester. There she'll live in a university dormitory and take 12 hours of French language, history, and literature. This opportunity is available through our exchange agreement with the Université d'Angers. We have hosted three French students over the past few years and Tamir is the fifth Western student to study at Angers for a semester or more. The following is from Tamir:

The first week in Angers was surreal. I arrived in Paris on Friday morning. The train ride from Paris to Angers was an hour and a half and even though I was exhausted from my travels, I couldn’t help but look out the window of the train to get the feel of what France looked like. There was not much scenery, except for a lot of countryside and a few little towns, but very different from home. It was hard to believe that I was in France. Once I arrived in Angers, the very kind foreign exchange program director Michel Darmon was at the train station waiting to pick up several kids from the United States. Most of us had to take the bus to get to our dorm, which was very new to a lot of us since none of us had ridden the bus back home. Looking out from the bus window, Angers was a pretty little town. Very French, as in the buildings were what I pictured them to look like.

The next day we had orientation for the exchange students since classes were to start on Monday. After the orientation I went to venture the town that I would be living in for the next six months. I was surprised to find out that it was a very modern town.
Throughout the week we got to go to different classes to see if we liked them and then we were to choose 12 credit hours worth after the first week. The French students do not have this privilege. Their schedules are already made for them from the school and they go to only those classes.

I found it very hard to understand most of the classes I went to, because the teachers spoke very fast. I hope by the end of my stay, I will have no trouble understanding.

[More to come]

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