mon échange langue

21 March 2009 at 8:34 am 2 comments

Here at the College International de Cannes, there is a program called “échange langue.” In English, this means a language exchange. I’d known about this program since Heather studied in Cannes, and she absolutely raved about the opportunity. Luckily for her, her échange langue, Carole, was a great match, and therefore they had a really successful experience. I hoped for a similar one, but now that I’ve begun it, I can’t say that it will be similar at all.

Near the beginning of the semester, AIFS took us on a trip to see the old town of Nice, and we were lead by a group of tourism students from Nice who gave us a bilingual tour. Our resident directors, Sandrine and Aude, had hoped that from this trip, we might hit it off with one of the students and find an échange langue. That weekend, my roommates went to Barcelona, and I remember considering going, but deciding that I wanted an échange langue more, so I stayed in Cannes for the Nice trip.

So, when I had little luck conversing with any of the French students, I was obviously disappointed. Sometimes it is so easy just to speak English all of the time because I am constantly around other Americans studying here. I really wanted a chance to converse with a native.

After I got over not finding an échange langue from the Nice trip, I decided to try again. I talked to Patrique, the director of the College, and requested that he set me up with someone. I asked for a girl, but when he started looking through the options I had, it seemed as though he didn’t have any girls looking for and échange langue at the moment. “C’est pas grave,” I said. “Un garçon serait okay aussi.” (It’s okay – a boy would be okay also.) So Patrique enthusiastically left a message for a “boy” named Stephane and I awaited a response.

Long story short, it all worked out. The following week, I met Stephane, and we had a lovely afternoon walking around Cannes and getting to know each other. (The way the program works, we speak half of the time in French, and the other half in English.) He’s a very nice guy, but when I saw him and his little bits of graying hair, I was a bit confused. This was no boy. Finally, when he said something about his “jeunesse” in our conversation (his youth), I gathered the guts to ask him how old he was. “Trente-huit,” he said. 38.

I tried not to be shocked, and we continued to talk. Our afternoon was very pleasant. However, I couldn’t get out of my mind the fact that he was almost double my age. It made it even more awkward the next time we hung out, when he told me that his mother had pointed out that he could be my father. Nice.

But anyway, I shouldn’t complain. Stephane is a very nice man, and is incredibly enthusiastic about practicing his English and helping me with my French. In fact, he’s been doing the program for a long time, and I am his 7th échange langue. I am still getting used to our dynamics, but I am hopeful that after a bit, I won’t even notice his age.

We hung out last Wednesday, and he took me to a lovely park called “Le Croix des Gardes.” When we arrived, I realized that I had already been there with Bre one day that we were wandering around Cannes, but we still had a nice time — the view is beautiful since the park is up a big hill. Unfortunately, I didn’t wear appropriate shoes for a big hill, so I’m suffering from some blisters because of it.

Stephane and I have another rendez-vous planned for next Wednesday… let’s hope it goes well!

In other news, Nat is here! I went to the airport this morning to meet him, where he told me of his apparently hellish time getting here. He almost missed both of his flights! I am so grateful that he made it. Now, we are back in Cannes and he is resting a bit, since the jet-lag and all of his running around seems to have worn him out. He is staying until Tuesday or Wednesday, and I am so excited for his visit!

I’m done for now. Expect one more update this week, and then on Thursday, my spring break begins! And Friday, I turn 21!


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

paris, je t’aime une visite et une surprise

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alyssa  |  23 March 2009 at 11:03 am

    aahaha I am sorry I think it’s absolutely hilarious that you are meeting with a 38 year old and then he even added that he could be your Dad… thats wayyyy toooo funny hahah miss you Sarah and enjoy your time with Nat! : )

  • 2. Victoria  |  24 March 2009 at 9:40 am

    Whoops, totally forgot to comment on this, didn’t I?

    Well, Stephan might not exactly be the most excellent resource for age-appropriate clubs and whatnot, but I bet he’s still a super useful person to have ’round.

    Hope you’re having fun with Nat! And off to Florence soon!! So neat! Happy pre-emptive birthday my kitten!


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Sarah in Cannes

Welcome to my blog! I am studying in Cannes, France for Spring of '09 and will be telling my stories here.

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