A feel from home

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About two weeks ago, the IS (International Student) Team went to Lyon! After a six hour bus drive from Paris, we arrived in a cold picturesque city. Early the next morning, we all headed out to explore the well-known and famous Lyon. A friend and I met up with one of my friends that currently lives in this beautiful city. Her name is Sarabeth (on right) and she is also a Longhorn student exchange.

I can’t fully describe how sweet it was to see her. A relief to find someone else who also said “yall” on a regular basis. Her joyful Spirit in the cold weather was refreshing. We walked around the city chatting about our French experiences. Talking to her I realized how much I was missing my home state. I was glad to have her as she understood very well. We shared our greatest delights and struggles, much needed conversations.

Besides being a great friend, she was also a great tour guide. Among many places, she showed us an antique church, Roman ruins, a silk workshop, and secret traboules
. These secret passages were built for the residents’ protection during the war. They lead to apartments and homes in the most discreet way. They are full of mystery and expectation, we entered at least three all the way to the end, to the different streets. We had so much fun. In a miniature museum, we found the real characters from movies, such as C-3PO from Star Wars and the human androids from the iRobot film.

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The food went beyond our expectations. Our three-course meal provided the best french fries we have ever tasted along the famous sausages from the area. We were fully delighted by our choice of the place, a Lyon Buchon.

For the night, we parted ways. Some of us visited a bar with live jazz music. The place was small and underground, which transported us out of this world and gave us a different taste of the lively city. The music was very professional and romantic. We enjoyed the performance and headed to our hostal to rest.

The next morning, the city dressed in white snow greeted us. We enjoyed more sights, more delightful food and headed home to Jouy-en-Josas, or Joy-town, as I like to call it.

I think the hardest part of being the only one from your school in a different country, is the absence of someone completely understanding the culture shock you are going through. Sometimes I wonʼt even realize I am going through culture shock. It is hard to admit that times are hard with the French culture because I never expected it to be so different. One thing is learning how different a culture is, and another one is actually experiencing it. Iʼve visited different cultures before, and Iʼve expected the culture shock. But here, I never expected it to come so soon and stay for a while. Iʼve found sharing my experiences with someone who has gone or is going through the same thing can be very refreshing and encouraging. Culture shock is only temporary and is worth discussing and learning to overcome it.

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