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Week 4: Rennes

After four incredible and indescribable weeks abroad, this past Saturday I sorrowfully returned to my hometown in New Jersey. As my normal life continues, now is the perfect time to reflect on the wonderful journey I just experienced in Rennes and the lasting effect my studies will have on the rest of my academic career.


One of my favorite aspects of the program with CIEE was living with my host mom.  In my opinion, living with my host mom Isabelle was both a great way to practice and take risks with my French as well as create a new lifelong relationship that I will cherish for years to come. It was very hard to say goodbye to Isabelle this past weekend, but I am truly grateful for my time with her and her help in improving my French.

I believe that my French has vastly improved since the beginning of the program, especially with regards to my listening and reading skills. Being surrounded by the French language 24/7 really helped me hone in on my comprehension abilities. It was certainly difficult to understand some of the faster French citizens, but by the end of the month I found it a lot easier to comprehend even the speediest speaker.


Learning through immersion in France is a lot different from just sitting in a classroom here in the United States and learning with a textbook. I really liked how as part of the program the other participants and I took part in activities to get us integrated into the French culture. These activities varied from going on local tours to taking dance classes to even rafting. Other activities included “Into the Community’s”, which as I’ve mentioned before involved going up to locals and asking them questions in order to practice the language. In all honesty, these activities were quite nerve-wracking but I feel that I gained a lot personally by being part of them. For example, I think now I am more outgoing than I was before participating in the program.


As I say goodbye to my life in Rennes, I cannot help but feel excited for how my experiences will impact the rest of my life. Au revoir for now, my friends!  

Shout-out to my friends Hannah, Rene, and Anastasia, who wanted to be featured on the blog! 😊

-Elena M.

'Global Navigator Voices' is a collection of blog articles and pictures by our very own high school study abroad participants. Follow their adventures before, during, and after their experiences abroad!