Pre-Departure for Aix-En-Provence, France

Hello! My name is Addison, and I am super excited to document my travel journey with everyone who finds themselves reading these blogs! I have studied French for the past 15 years, so I feel relatively prepared… except I don’t.

I am extremely nervous for my time abroad. What if my speaking skills aren’t as good as I thought? Will I make any friends abroad? Will I live up to the expectations of others while I’m there? Above all, I know I will miss my mother so much. She is my best friend, and I am terrified of leaving her for even a little while. Although, maybe this this trip is exactly what I need to become more independent… at least that’s what I’m telling myself. 

I won’t be entirely alone. I have a host woman and through my communication with her, I have learned that she has a cat which is a massive incentive for my willingness to come. Additionally, she seems very kind and ready to help me along my journey. She has already begun informing me of the beauties of Aix that I will be surrounded by. The historic, scenic nature of Aix-En-Provence played a huge role in my decision to choose IAU as my study abroad program, along with a few other factors.

IAU offers a variety of programs to tailor to different student’s needs. I will be in the French Honors Program, but I am also able to take a beginner’s Arabic course and gain a credit for international affairs. The staff has been very helpful and reassuring when I have needed guidance. The biggest help was their leniency in time they gave me to obtain my Visa that took way too long to come in the mail. The staff is also very helpful with the application and orientation process as a whole. I could not imagine choosing any other program than this one.

Packing has been a disaster as I’ve realized it’s a lot harder than I had originally expected to fit months of clothes into 2 suitcases, but I have high hopes. My mom is adamant that I must enjoy myself thoroughly while abroad so she can live vicariously through me, and I can’t wait to bring you all along for this journey as well!