I officially leave for Tours, France a week from Friday - the 29th of August -and I'm still in the stage of massive nerves and trying to complete never ending lists of "to-dos." It's strange knowing that in four months I will be a different person, older, wiser, probably less tan.
Before you go abroad everyone gives you massive amounts of helpful advice, mostly saying "you will change while in Europe." The only problem is, I like who I am. The only useful bits that I've received thus far are 1. Weigh your suitcase before you get to the airport and 2. Realize that culture shock will not hit you until you come back home to the United States.
For the fall semester of 2008, my junior year at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, I will be attending the Université François-Rabelais, a public (state run) university of France - official website: http://www.univ-tours.fr
There are, according to wikipedia, 25,000 students in this school which was established in 1969, though the town has been in existence since the 1st century. Indeed, it was not "Tours"at the time - it's first name was Caesarodunum, meaning the hill of Caesar. Gotta love those Romans. The name evolved to Turones in the 4th century, then Civitas Turonorum, then finally Tours. Where they got Turones from Caesardounum...the world may never know, or all ready do, and have yet to post it on wikipedia.
Located between two rivers, the Loire and the Cher, the town, which is sometimes known as "le Jardin de la France" (the garden of France) has 142,000 residents and is thus, more of a small city than town. It is only an hour outside of Paris via the TGV, the high speed trains of Europe, in the south west direction. One of the most famous landmarks of Tours is the cathedral, which was built in the 12th century. Through minor research, I've come to believe that the version depicted here was not completed until the 15th century with final embellishments. It is also famous for it's unadulterated (also known as "pure") unaccented French, outshining the Parisians.
It is with fear and apprehension that this blog begins, but I am quite sure and hopeful that it will be filled with excitement and joy as the days continue. As well as many photos and memories of one of my most incredible experiences of college, not to raise the bar or anything.