Thursday, September 01, 2005

No matter how many times you’ve been someplace, there’s always something special about the moment you arrive and the first few days that follow. This is not my first time in France (although it is the first time in Lyon), but there’s something about arriving that makes it feel like it is. That feeling of being completely surrounded by people speaking another language and knowing that at the same time you belong and don’t belong. I feel guilty listening to my iPod, and have switched it out (for the time being) to listen instead to the noises around me. Every time I might forget for a second where I am, all it takes is three seconds of listening and I’m immediately reminded that I have, indeed, arrived in Lyon.

I suppose a more appropriate way to begin would be to answer the question Marc asked me Thursday night: “So Gina, what are you doing this year?” The simple answer is that I’m here in Lyon, France, as the Graduate Assistant on the Oregon University System study abroad program. I’ll be working at the Université Lyon 2 in the Centre Oregon for the resident director and assistant director. I am also partly a student, as I have the possibility to take classes if I want. When our thirty students arrive I’ll be helping them with various things (to-be-determined) as well. From the impression I have now, I’ll be a type of go-between for the director and the students. They’re here for the year, I’m here for the year. I live in a little apartment on the 7th floor of an old building less than ten minutes from the university. I have a French roommate. I now have my very own carte TCL (a pass for public transportation- bus, metro and tramway). Even though I am still very American, I am attempting, as the title would imply, to live this year “à la lyonnaise.” This is the first time I’ve been abroad for a year so there will be lots of new experiences. I’m using this blog to document what it’s like to adjust to a completely different culture and city and to try to integrate myself into it. I’ve got a year, anything could happen.

Are you still reading? Well, what else do you want to know? Do you have questions? Specific things for me to find out? Would you like me to find the best coffee in Lyon? The most expensive shoes? (and if I find them, would you like to buy them for me?) Do you need to know exactly how long it takes to get to IKEA from the middle of town? Leave a comment, or email me. I’ll try my best.


At 11:34 PM, Blogger Elizabeth Anne said...

I'm supportive of your intent to live a la lyonnaise! More power to ya!

And when I say that, I'm also applauding your effort to tell me all about it! It'll be fun actually... we'll compare stories. :)

Hopefully, I'll be able to put pics up on my blog and then you can see how my go at being a grad student fares!

Have fun!


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