And then there was WIFI

Well this week has been all sorts of exciting!

First of all, yesterday I finished my two-week observation period at my two schools and I absolutely loved it! If I had known how much I was going to enjoy it, last year would have been a lot less stressful. I started first at Lycée Ledoux, which is where I work for 8 hours a week shared over Mondays and Tuesdays. For most of the lessons, I stood at the front of the class so that the students could do a Q&A style interview with me. The questions they asked were fun and they got to know me a bit which was good for them. Then I got asked some really interesting questions, for example questions about Brexit. This then resulted in me giving a presentation to the class on the referendum and my personal views as they didn’t really know much about it.

Some classes were asking me about the Queen and the Royal Family, and I think they were quite surprised to see how much I love the Queen and they compared it to how much they don’t like François Hollande!

At Collège Lumière, I will only be working 4 hours a week on a Thursday. (Yaaaaas I’m free on Wednesdays and Fridays!!!). The pupils here are a bit younger and so with some classes I did do more actual observing. Nevertheless I still got asked some interesting questions including “What’s your phone number?” from an eleven year old! Also, a lot of the pupils were really confused to see me in their class rooms and in one of the older classes they thought I was a 15-year-old student there to join their lesson. But overall, the students at both of the schools have been really pleasant to spend time with and I’m definitely looking forward to spending the next year working with them.

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Collège Lumière where I work au centre ville

In other exciting news, WE NOW HAVE WiFi. By Monday night I really had given up and just accepted that I would have to wait a few more weeks. Then when my housemate Kenamy had a genius idea and it worked I had never been so happy. It sounds silly as I was only without wi-fi for 2 weeks and I was still able to use it in the town centre in the week, but just being able to catch up with corrie and FaceTime my lil dogs made me so happy, (and you mum ly xx).

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La Citadelle de Belfort

Since my last blog, it has also got a lot colder here in Franche Comté. On Sunday we went to Belfort to visit other language assistants and the weather really turned. At one point we were sat in a restaurant and it started hailing and lightly snowing. Then suddenly we were in the middle of a thunder-storm and with a big bang all the electricity went out!! But despite that it was a lovely day and we got to add another Citadelle to the list.

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Me freezing in Belfort

So in between freezing to death in the apartment (there’s no heating until next week) and catching up on all the Netflix I’ve been craving, this week we (Me, Daniela and Kenamy) went to a TANGO class. Wow I can’t believe it either but it happened. And it was soon fun!! We were the youngest ones there by at least 20 years, except for one of the teachers but everyone was so nice to us! For the most part I just sat and watched as everyone was putting their dance shoes on and I had rocked up in my trainers. Towards the end, one of the teachers took us to the back whilst everyone was tangoing around the room, and she taught us the basic technique of dancing with your partner. Next thing I know Phillipe, the other teacher, decided it was my turn to tango! Before I knew it I was dancing (or at least trying) round the room to some funky tango music and that was that. It was so fun and different though.

Tonight we’re going to Salsa so that should be another experience! I’ll tell you all about it next time! I only have Monday at school and then another induction day on Tuesday and then we’re on holiday for two weeks.

À bientôt,

Emily x

Bienvenue à Besançon

I’ve been meaning to start this blog for a while, but with no wifi in the apartment or on my phone it’s been quite difficult (currently my only source for internet is spending hours sat in the centre commercial or the library). Here’s just a brief update of how i’m getting on so far!

Nevertheless, it’s been a whole 10 days since I moved to Besançon, which I can’t quite believe. In those 10 days I have completely fallen in love with the city and my new life here. From the moment I got here everyone has been so welcoming and I have been so lucky to have settled in so well!

When I arrived last Monday, one of the English teachers, Libby, from my lycée came to collect me from Gare Viotte (the train station au centre-ville) and she even greeted me with a bag of shopping so that I wouldn’t starve that night! (everyone knows how much i love food and arriving at 6.30pm, food was one of my main concerns)

The apartment is basic but bigger than I was expecting! We have 2 floors, and 2 bathrooms between the four of us and even a little garden outside. My house mates are also lovely which has been a great help as having no wifi gets so boring and i’ve finished my puzzle book. Daniela and Kenamy have even been teaching me Spanish, and in return i’m helping them to speak English with a British accent… a northern one of course!

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A walk by the river with Daniela

After we had had a few days to settle in last week and explore the city, me and Alain went to lycée Ledoux on Thursday to meet the other English teachers and to have lunch with them. Again, everyone was so welcoming and really excited to meet us. The food at lunch was also so much better than anything i’ve ever experienced in an English school! Basically we got our first meal free and it included a salad, a piece of fruit, a main meal, bread, a yoghurt, a sweet snack and then in the teacher’s eating area as much french cheese as the heart could want.

We also had a gorgeous meal at Libby’s house on the Friday night with her husband and another English teacher, Joanna, where we drank plenty of the local Franche comté (the region Besançon is apart of) wine and also their delicious cheese. It really made me feel at home and showed me that there are a lot of people looking out for us here in Besançon.

The other really exciting thing I must write about is our visit to La Citadelle on Sunday. It’s so close to where we live as it’s only the other side of the town centre and we only had to take a 15 minute bus into town and then a 15 minute uphill walk. Although I did think I was going to collapse by the time I got to the top. It cost us about 8 euros to get in (unknown to us that we could have gotten free entry with the ‘carte jeunes‘), but that included entry to La Citadelle where the view was amazing, and then there is also a huge zoo and aquarium inside! So we got to spend the whole day there!

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La Citadelle, pre uphill walk
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The view from half way up

This week I started my two week observation period at my two schools and so far it’s going better than I could have hoped! But I will write all about that in my next blog post 🙂

À bientôt,

Emily x