Abigail Harding

Abigail is in France on her year abroad from University of St Andrews. She is linked with Queen Anne High School in Fife.

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My time abroad has come to an end! 

I can't believe how fast it has gone and all that has happened in the past seven months. Reflecting on my time in France, I would definitely say it was one of the most enriching and exciting times of my life! 

During the last two weeks in Flers, I managed to do some travelling around Europe. Once you're in mainland Europe, flights are so cheap, so I took the opportunity to visit Austria and Spain. I had never been to Austria before, and it was a wonderful to relax amongst the Alps for a few days before returning to France. After the holidays, I only had 4 days left at school, and the students really made my final week so memorable. They had organised a ceilidh for me during lunch time and the whole music department was filled with the sounds of bagpipes and fiddles... it was completely surreal! 

After the ceilidh, I was invited on a school trip to a forest in Brittany, the neighbouring region to Normandy, where many medieval legends are said to have taken place. We walked around the beautiful countryside for a while and had a picnic in the forest, then we were taken round a beautiful medieval castle. It was so kind of them to invite me and it was a fantastic opportunity to see more of France.

In this final blog post I would like to summarise my favourite things about my year abroad in the wonderful country of France. C'est parti! 

1. Watching the sun rise over the Mont Saint Michel

I still can't believe I had the opportunity to see this, it was unreal!

2. Baguettes! 

There's nothing like getting a warm baguette tradition on your way home from a long day's work.

3. My weekend away in Caen with my friends

A whole weekend of exploring and speaking French was nerve-wracking but so worthwhile.

4. The ability to travel so easily

I was able to visit some incredible places that would have been near impossible to get to if I wasn't in France

5. French traditions

La Chandeleur, and la Fete des Rois were my favourites as I had never heard of them before I lived there. 

6. Paris

Sounds cliché, but the city is truly magical, and I could never get bored of visiting.

7. Working with the students at the college

Before I left, I was worried about being an assistant, however it was one of the best things I've ever done. I found it such a fulfilling experience! 

8. Becoming more independent

After living so far away from home, there is no option but to become more independent. Although it was challenging at times, I learnt so much.

9. The food

French food is second to none, and I am really going to miss it... especially chouquettes!

10. The wonderful people

France can often get a bad reputation for being home to grumpy people, however I found that this was not the case! Almost everyone I met was warm, welcoming and friendly, and they made me feel so at home.

My year in France was amazing, and I feel emotional reflecting back on it from my house in Scotland. Although I am happy to be back home, I already really miss the country, and everything about it that made my time there so wonderful. Thank you for joining my on my adventure to a new country, and experiencing with me everything that France has to offer! 

Au revoir et bisous!


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