Subject: German and French
Student status: Home, Finalist
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France, as I said, well you probably guessed I had a really good time in Germany.  It was also the fact that I was in a big city and you know I had a lot of independence and a lot of things to do by myself.  France was the total opposite.  I had these memories of this great time in Germany and I knew I wasn't going to be able to recreate it out there. 

I was put in a very rural French village in the middle of summer which means absolutely nothing is open and nothing is going on.  And just to be thrown into that and to be on my own again was a culture shock really for six weeks. Again I threw myself into it it was just there wasn't that much to throw myself into. After having a year of speaking German my French wasn't up to the same standard and so that was hard as well.  So I had to cope with language things, being on my own, knowing my friends were having a great time still in Germany because they were telling me so. 

I just got to a point where I just went 'Right I can't cope with this anymore.'  And then everybody just said 'Well you've only got another few weeks stick with it, you can do it' type thing, and I did and it did get better.  I was working in a youth hostel and my relationship with my boss because we lived on site wasn't very good at the start and then it got better over time sort of after I had wanted to go home.  The work was not too bad and I had a lot of time on my own I think as well sort of to think about what I was missing. If you have that then I think that's the time when loneliness and depression, not depression you know what I mean sadness hits you the most is when you've got a lot of time to sit and think about what you haven't got. 

I think that's the same for a lot of people when they first go to university because they've got a lot of free time and you suddenly think 'Oh well I'm on my own.'  But that was the first time it really hit me I think once I had started university was when I was in France.  But I made it through and I don't regret staying because you know I think it would have been worse if I hadn't stayed.  And you know it worked out in the end and you know it was just one of those things really.