People always think about culture shock whenever they study abroad. For me, the biggest shock has been the smoking. People always link Paris to the Eiffel Tower together, but they rarely link it to smoking. I don't think people realize the number of people who smoke here; it even happens (illegally of course), in the high schools. Thankfully, I've been able to get one of my friends to quit in exchange for help with English.
In relation to school, I have been doing rather well and sometimes thriving. Of course, I would do well in the English classes but my Spanish grades have been among the best in the class.
Every day, I learn new things about French society and the people, some good and some not so good. I wrote an article about one aspect of the people which I published on Facebook. I will attach it here if you are interested in reading it. Also, I will attach a few photos.
I hope you have been well and that you continue in your work helping young Jamaicans to further their education.
I believe the best way to describe how I am here is that I am surviving. I am surviving the language barrier that was much greater than I could have ever expected. But, my new friends quickly taught me the local lingo so that I could be kept in the loop. At this point, I believe that I have attained a 90% fluency in all situations (according to my own standards of course).
Another challenge I had to overcome was what most university students have to learn: how to cook. When I first came here, I could only fry chicken, and not very well. Thanks to my friends at the residence, I quickly learnt the tricks of the kitchen and thanks to several sites on Jamaican cooking, I have been able to make my own Jamaican food, which has helped to ward off any feelings of homesickness.