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School Year Abroad in Rennes, France

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As an eleventh grade student of School Year Abroad in Rennes, France during the 2009-2010 school year, I have found this experience extremely rewarding and would not trade it for anything. While living with a cordial and understanding host family, I have opened my eyes to a different culture and perspective, learning to adopt the French customs and lifestyle. Speaking French throughout the day and becoming accustomed to living in a completely different environment than San Diego was a challenge at first, but now becoming second nature. I enjoy coming home to a long day and chatting with my host family: sharing conversations at the dinner table over an epicurean meal. I am also involved with Breton folk dancing, a unique and culturally stimulating activity that has allowed me to try something new that I never would have been introduced to at my high school in the US (The Bishop’s School).
We are also receiving a more in-depth education of the humanities all taught in French: French language, literature, history, art history, and elocution, with the exceptions of math and English. While coping with the rigorous French grading system, maintaining a healthy relationship with a host family, and honoring commitments to extracurricular activities, I realized that going outside the box was by no means easy, but so worth the risk. Also, the school trips allow us to see different regions in France; for example, we partake on adventures to the Gulf of Morbihan, the Loire Valley Châteaux, the Mont Saint-Michel, Provence, and Paris. I love Rennes: the quaint shops and cobblestone streets, the delectable desserts and exotic cheeses, the Breton style houses. Overall, SYA is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I will cherish forever, as I continue to be enriched by the French experience, hoping to return to the city that has become my second home.

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