Bonjour, everyone! For those of you who don't know me, my name is Benji Astrachan and I'm going to be studying in France for my entire junior year! Coming from little Portland Maine, this is going to be quite an experience but I can't wait to go!
So far, I've had some contact with my French host family and they sound awesome! I have two brothers, one who is almost exactly my age but two days younger, and one who is 11 yrs old. They live in a small town called Mûrs-Erigné, at the bottom of Brittany in the Vallée du Loir, which is supposed to be a beautiful region of France! From the picture they sent me, I figure they're an athletic family: they were posed in the French Alps, rigged out in skiing gear so now I know I'll get to ski, which is AWESOME! They also have a cat and will know some English because they're spending their upcoming summer vacation touring England and Ireland. I'll be going to a school about 15 minutes away on the outskirts of a bigger city called Angers. I guess Angers is like our Boston: the big city where we go sometimes to shop or whatever. The school there is called Jean-Bodin and from what I've learned about French "lycées", I'll be taking the S course; it focuses specifically on heavily-weighted math, physics and chemistry. That should be interesting.... (Here's the school website for anyone interested who can read French: http://jean-bodin.e-lyco.fr/).
I recently found out my departure date. It will be August 29th and I'm really excited to go and live in a foreign country for 8 months but at the same time a little bummed about missing the junior year. On the plus side, I can't wait to learn French. One of my goals is to come back fluent so that's going to be pretty awesome. I also want to really get to know the French culture. Undoubtedly, I'll come back spoiled after so much delicious French food for a year but hey, it's worth it!
I'll try to post my adventures here regularly while I'm abroad so stay in touch.
À bientôt for now,