This morning we attended more classes with our students. The classes are run very differently here. At Urban, the classes are mostly discussion and activity based, while here the classrooms are more classic lecture and textbook types. The students sit at desks, rather than tables or groups so it seems to be less about collaboration. However, I do not think this hurts the students, because I was told there are many super smart kids who do well in school. Also, it is different to be in a much less technology-based school. At Urban we have easy access to computers and smartboards, and it is easy to forget that luxury. Lastly, I noticed that all the students write in cursive here – and with quite nice handwriting at that! I think that students are required to learn a certain style of handwriting early and then expected to use it in school.
Lille has treated me very well so far! The classes are very interesting but so different than Urban classes. This morning, I had an English literature and philosophy class. In English Literature, the class is reading Hamlet, which I just read in my winter term at Urban! The class is totally in English so it is very easy to understand, except the teacher has a very strong Southern accent because he is from Alabama. The philosophy class is very interesting because it is a required class, unlike at Urban. The students are learning about the origins of justice and morality. I also am enjoying my time with my family a lot. Neither my host father nor mother speaks English, so I really have to practice my French with them. My exchange student lives outside of Lille so we take a bus to and from school everyday. My host family has been feeding me extremely well and it is interesting to see the differences between meals in France and America. We eat dinner a lot later than I do at home, especially because school ends at 5:30. Also all the dinners, I have had so far have had multiple courses, including cheese at the end!
I love Lille ! I am not fond of the weather, but the scenery and cute architecture makes up for it. My homestay family is extremely nice and has great hospitality. They feed me so much I’m probably going to gain weight. It’s so great. We have breakfast at 6 :30 am before school. That usually consists of pain au chocolat, bread and jam, fruit, coffee, juice, and tea ! During the weekend, my homestay family served me a three-course lunch ! And dinner of course, is a very big three-course meal. I’ve eaten plenty of bread, chocolate, and coffee. So far, I’ve had foie gras, bœuf bourguignon and I’m waiting to try escargots !