Darius L. is currently a junior at SYA France and a storyteller for the Campus Reporter program. He comes to SYA from the Thacher School.

He stood there looking up at me and I had no clue why. My brain stopped working for a split second and I verbally asked this French-speaking seven year old, in English, “what?” He just kept standing there waiting for me to do something. Then I realized he was waiting for a bisou. I crouched down and he gave me a kiss on the cheek. 

Picture of boats in France taken by SYA France high school student

After a weekend of walking around Saint Malo, a town north of Rennes, seeing boats being prepared for the Route du Rhum, and being constantly surrounded by French people I was mentally fatigued. It had been a long weekend, and although I had amazing new experiences, I could not wait to get back to Rennes -- a place I was familiar with and could navigate easily. In Rennes I had a sense of normality, something that I had never imagined I would say living in a foreign country. I developed a routine and I was getting used to it. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I would go to school and then hang out with friends and do homework. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I would go to soccer after school. Having this routine helped me adjust to the new environment. Going to soccer forced me to speak with French people and develop my French skills. 

Adjusting to living in a foreign country was hard. There were moments like in Saint Malo where my brain would just automatically not even think about speaking French and respond in English. In the first few months there was a lot of mental fatigue and it was easy to feel like I was not making any progress with the language. However, having a routine helped distract me from feeling like I was getting nowhere. Even now, I still feel like I have so much more French to learn and it feels overwhelming. But, with my routine, I have been able to spend time developing my French while also spending time with my friends and giving my brain a break.

  • Campus Reporters
  • SYA France
Ha Sido un Placer

In her final blog, Camus Reporter Meredith M. reflects on the letter she wrote to herself at the beginning of her year abroad.

The Revolving Door

In her final blog, Campus reporter Isabelle M. describes her year abroad in France as a revolving door.

Time Travel

Melinda D. reflects on her final weeks abroad and how she and her peers have changed at SYA Spain.

Four people stand in a line smiling at the camera amongst a row of trees.

Campus reporter Camila F. writes about saying goodbye to Rome and shares the music that defined her year abroad.

Thank You

Julia A. expresses her gratitude to her host family, friends, and parents for her time at SYA France.