In August, I made a blog post about the goals I have for my time in France (you can find that post here). With the new year right around the corner, I figured it was time to revisit these goals and give you all an update on my progress (or lack thereof). Let’s get started!
Goal #1 Update: Improve my French
Holy cow, immersion is doing wonders for my French. I knew that studying abroad and being immersed in your learned language, while it was never something I had the opportunity to do in my undergraduate career, was a critical piece to language learning, but I didn’t realize how important it was until I got here. In short, my French was nowhere near the level of proficiency I needed it to be before I got here. While I am still not at the level I want to be at, I can happily report that my French has improved quite a bit over the last three months. I am really excited to see where my level is at when I reach the end of my contract!
Goal #2 Update: Become a member of the community
I’m trying to! Joining the salle de musculation has helped with that immensely and even though I am not actively involved in any church groups, at least I am going to the local church and I’m (hopefully) recognized as a friendly face. I am thoroughly enjoying my time in Clamecy and that has nearly everything to do with the people that live here. Everybody I meet is friendly and welcoming, which is all I could ever ask for.
Goal #3 Update: Travel, travel, travel
Over the past three months, I have traveled to eleven different cities (soon to be twelve!) in three different countries and I’ve had a blast doing so! While I’m only going to one new place for the Vacances de Noel, I am hoping to make some big travel plans for the February/April vacations. Stay tuned to the blog for my travel updates!
Goal #4 Update: Practice good self-care
Overall, I would say I’ve been doing a pretty decent job of practicing good self-care. Joining the salle de musculation in Clamecy has played a big role in being able to work out regularly, and I try to eat healthy, good food as often as possible. In regards to religion and my faith, I go to the Sunday church services in Clamecy but I don’t quite feel as integrated into the church as I would have liked, which might be due to the lack of younger people who attend the services. To supplement going to church, I’ve been keeping up with my podcast sermons and trying to do devotionals as often as I can. I’m confident that over the next four months, I will continue to practice self-care to the best of my ability.
Goals #5 Update: Learning teaching
This is a work in progress, but one that I am happy to keep working on! I’ve definitely gotten more comfortable in front of the students and observed the different ways that teachers at the high school effectively work with their students. A sub-goal I had for this category was to receive my TESOL certificate through Coursera and Arizona State University, which is a goal I am still working toward. I am currently working on the fourth course of part one (there are two parts), with the goal of receiving my certificate before the end of April.
Goals #6 Update: The future
I think what I wrote back in August still stands true: I am (still) fairly uncertain about what the future holds for me both academically and professionally speaking. I hope that over the course of the next eight months (now four months), I will gain some insight into what the future holds for me and where I am meant to be. Will I start my MSW program next fall? Will I apply to renew my contract? Will I fall in love in France and never leave (kidding…but only a little)? I’m not sure. Only time will tell.
Until next time,