Wow! It is somehow already March! The weeks just seem to fly by here, and it’s so bitter sweet because while I cannot wait to see my family and friends, my heart is also starting to face the reality that it will have to say goodbye to Strasbourg pretty soon.

I feel more and more at home in Strasbourg with each passing day, and it’s crazy to think about how the things that used to seem so foreign at first have become the norm in so many areas of life. This is true of so many things such as the people, food, transportation systems, and even the colder weather that would have seemed unbearable in Texas! Spring, however, has arrived and it’s wonderful to experience more sun and warmth as the weeks progress. Flowers are starting to bloom, things look a little bit greener, and the people seem to be coming to life a little bit more as well! Springtime really is such a beautiful thing!

Other than the weather, classes are going well also! I just finished another course a couple of weeks ago, and I’m about to start one this coming week, which is crazy considering the fact that we only have a few more weeks left of classes! It’s been fun getting to know more people and making new friends each week in class too. There’s just something special about this opportunity to spend a semester with other students from all over the world who are each so different and yet share this common experience. It really does bring people together in ways you wouldn’t believe and wonderful friendships emerge as a result of this time!

 

In addition to school, I was also able to travel a bit this past month too! We went to Portugal and Barcelona over winter break, which were both beautiful, and I went to Marseille for a couple days this past week and am currently in Nice! There are just so many lovely places to visit in Europe, each one so unique and full of personality! I also got to go to Paris and visit some friends of mine last weekend as well! We got to explore together and talk about life, and it was so nice to hear about things going on back home for them while simultaneously realizing that Strasbourg has slowly become the home that I will get to tell people all about when I go back to Texas! Another praise is that I was able to attend Hillsong church while in Paris, and it was too great! That is one thing that I’ve really been missing from home: my church fam. Needless to say, it was an absolutely wonderful weekend, and it was so nice to see familiar faces and have that community and a taste of home. So so grateful.

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Other than that, I’ve just been trying to take in as much as I can while I finish out the semester! Reaching the half-way point makes you think about making the most of your time while you still have time left. Some things that I’ve learned while I’ve been here and that I wish I have told myself before I came are

1) that no matter how confusing/crazy things might seem, it will work out and there’s absolutely no need to worry. Just take a deep breath and enjoy the moment you’re in. This includes leading up to the trip as well!

2) Try to learn at least a little bit of the language of your host country before you come over if you don’t know any. While you will probably catch on to simple phrases pretty quickly, there’s so much to be said for being able to have a simple conversation with somebody in their native tongue. I cannot count the number of times when I’ve so wanted to be able to just ask people how their day is going and just talk to them about life, but the one thing separating us is the language barrier, which could have been easily overcome had a taken a bit more time to learn some conversational french before I came.

3) This one is for those on the other end of the spectrum who actually know some french/whatever language they speak in the country you’re going to be living in. Be bold, and don’t be afraid to speak it! Yes, it may take a bit of time to adjust to actually being able to use the language you’ve learned in everyday conversation, but step out in confidence and just do the best that you can from day one! The people in Europe are oh so gracious when it comes to you making an effort, so just go for it!

Alright, that’s all for now, but I’ll be sure to give you another update in a few weeks!

Sam 😀