After thinking things over last night, I realized that I really do have a better deal than most other exchange students, and I shouldn’t be moping. I get to be part of a wonderful family that provides me with an instant cultural connection to France. Every day, I’m immersed in French living, and that’s better than having mindless chats with classmates in the hall.
I’m here to learn the language and culture of France-not to speak English constantly with the other North American students. While it would be wonderful to have a large, understanding support system here like I do at home, I’m content to have one or two friends. The rest of the time, I can hang out with my host family and engage in what I’m really here to do.
This isn’t a vacation; it’s an opportunity to learn in a place that just happens to be incredibly beautiful and exciting. It won’t always be easy, and that’s fine. I didn’t sign up for easy.