Hi! This is Akhil from India. I recently moved to France to pursue my master's in International Management. If you are reading this and wondering how rough my path was, well, Buckle up!
I chose France because of my love for this country, and culture and also because my future ambitions align with the domains that require French expertise. But little did I know that I was getting myself into a black hole of uncertainty and helplessness.
I live in the City of Nantes. Which is a beautiful and well-connected city, but it's a truly local french city. Which means u must know the language. And guess what, the only french I knew was "bonjour!". Adding to it, I am not good with technology. yeah, it sounds weird for someone who is young but it is what it is. My body doesn't react well to the new food and climate and I was lonely for the first 20 days. Nantes is a city where very few people speak English. I felt so bad for not learning french because I wasn't able to make conversations with all these amazing people in this city. I didn't have a place to stay as it was peak academic entry season and all the student residences and houses were occupied because all the universities and other institutions have already begun their courses. I was staying in a hotel and I had 10 days before my course to start and meet new people. I also had to find a house very soon because who wants to spend money on hotels?
I felt helpless and it looked like all the odds were against me and I made a complicated choice. That was when I decided to turn things around. I traveled the entire city covering all corners for all 10 days many times and the city felt different. I found a nice restaurant where I used to eat once every day and that generous lady became a friend of mine and I also get a little discount when I go there. I familiarised myself with the city transport and different restaurants, malls, stores, people, bars, pubs, different cuisine, bank, and other systems. And remember, I did all that with zero french and alone. I was no lesser than a mute person. all I did were signs. I learned to use the translator (PS: Iphones have inbuilt translators that work great, similar downloaded third-party ones ask for a subscription). I also happened to find a house. that was exactly when things started to fall into place. once I settled it was smooth. My school was super cool. I found new people to hang around with. And yeah, I am in a much better place now.
All I wanted to say is, there can be no worst-case scenario than mine coming into a foreign country. If I can make it through it, anyone can. Staying away from home will obviously be tough at the beginning, but all it takes is time and effort little effort. It is better to give things time to let them fall into place.
I'm still on my journey, France is a beautiful country, with some amazing people and I am loving every second here.
I'll come up with some lovely experiences and info in the next blog.
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