After returning from my ten day fall break trip, I stayed in Marseille for the following weeks. I was pretty tapped out money wise and I wanted to focus on the final weeks of school as well as making the most of my time with all my friends. Although those weeks were pretty low key, I had some of the most memorable times!
Because school was coming to a close, we spent our week days (and some weekends) studying and working on group projects to finish strong. Luckily for us, our final assignments were more spread out than they would have been back in the US. Some weeks I’d have group presentations and other weeks I’d have written tests. It was easy to manage and it made studying the material much less stressful. I actually felt like I understood everything and knew how to apply the concepts in real life situations. It’s safe to say that I much more enjoy the French schooling method as opposed to the American method. Every assignment had merit and I never felt like I was given “busy work.” Because I had a little more spare time, my friends and I would spend some evenings hiking to Les Calanques to watch the sunset and drink mulled wine.
Even though we didn’t plan any big trips for those few weeks, I did get to go to Montpellier for one day! Unfortunately, it was Sunday so it was kind of a ghost town at times… but we still had a nice time wandering around and eating French food. We eventually found a beautiful park that was full of gardens and spent a good while there.
Now I can talk about my FAVORITE memory of November… Thanksgiving! After a lot of preparation and planning, my friends and I hosted a Friendsgiving feast that put all other Friendsgivings to shame. Several Americans were in attendance along with one German, one Northern Irishman, one Finn, one Scot, and one Canadian, which made the evening about a third of the group’s first Thanksgiving. Even though France didn’t have all of the food items a traditional Thanksgiving dinner would require (like a turkey), we created a menu that was as classic as we could make it: rotisserie chicken, mac and cheese, roasted veggies, mashed potatoes, stuffing (Canadian style, so so yummy!), salad, rolls, and apple pie. We ate, talked, and watched American football to finish off the evening. By the end we were stuffed and knew that our French Friendsgiving was a success.
These few weeks made me realize that I didn’t have to be jetsetting every weekend to make the most of my study abroad experience. As long as I had good friends we could have even better times.