Adjusting to Talloires
Jada Worthy is studying abroad in Talloires, France this summer. She is a computer science major and a scholar in the Bridge to Engineering Success at Tufts (BEST) program. She is blogging about her experiences in Talloires during the summer of 2019.
By Jada Worthy, E22
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had this desire to travel. Getting to explore new places excited me and had me begging for more. Along with this yearning, I’ve had my family constantly telling me that one day I’ll be traveling the world. However, I always imagined that part of my life taking place after I graduated college and landed a well-paying job. Little did I know that the adventure would start a little bit sooner.
After being in Talloires, France for almost four weeks, I’d say that I have adapted pretty well to my new environment, even with the language barrier, unfamiliar meals, and the balance between social and academic life. In the beginning, it was challenging to live with a host family that only speaks some English. Since I never learned French, I was a little nervous that I wasn't going to be able to get my ideas and thoughts across. Nevertheless, as the weeks went on and I began picking up on common phrases, communicating with my host family and locals became easier.
As for the food, I can confirm that there is definitely a lot of bread and cheese that is served with every meal. However, I am surprised with how many new foods I’ve tried, seeing as I am a picky eater. The most unique dish I’ve tried so far is barbecued duck. Most of what we eat is either from the farmers market, butcher shop, bakery, or grown in our host family’s backyard. All of the vegetables, fruits, meat, bread, and cheese are fresh and organic. The meals we eat are very simple, yet when dinner rolls around, my roommate and I don’t know what to expect. Nevertheless, we get the sustenance that we need for the day.
During the first week of classes, I was absolutely mesmerized by the beauty and purity of Talloires. The little village is so quiet and quaint, the lake is so pristine, and the mountains stand so proud, as if they know how beautiful they are. It wasn't until I found my getaway spot, la plage, when this place became ten times better. So when the weather's nice, in between or after classes, or on Wednesdays when we don’t have classes, I take a trip down to the beach to clear my head, complete homework assignments, study, or to simply relax. As for classes, I am taking "Human Development and Learning," and "Flowers of the Alps." So far I would say that both classes are teaching me very insightful material. In "Human Development and Learning," we talk about our education experiences and how they compare among various pedagogies implemented into different types of schools. In "Flowers of the Alps," we learn the Latin name, common name, and family of various flowers and plants that grow here in the Alps so that we can later identify them; we are also taught very interesting facts about the individual families.
Aside from life in Talloires, I had the opportunity to visit Paris, Annecy, Chamonix, and les Gorges du Fier. I will soon be visiting Rome, Geneva, and Lyon within the last couple of weeks. Of course, my favorite thing to do here is to travel to different well-known cities and countries. I’ve been able to see so many beautiful landmarks and attractions. And thanks to my "Flowers of the Alps class," I’ve been able to hike the French Alps, and what a sight they are from the top! Unfortunately, we only have a little time left here in Talloires, but the time I have spent has been such an amazing experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life. However, I know the adventure doesn’t end here, and I’m looking forward to the next places my life takes me.