|Posted by Rachel J Roche on September 9, 2012 at 6:40 AM|
It’s Sunday and this week has been a rollercoaster. I was so pleased when Friday afternoon came around because I was so tired, my brain was fried and my eyes stinging. The course is certainly full on and there is a lot of work, but I’m determined to keep at it and do my absolute best. I think I am having a bit more difficulty than I would perhaps like to admit on the language front, but then it’s only one week in and I know I can’t expect miracles just yet!
As for the content of the course, it’s really interesting. We have had a general introduction to the French legal system and methodology this week and next week we start on Constitutional Law, European Union Law, Contract, Administration and Company law. I managed to find a French/English legal dictionary on Friday which I think will help me a great deal in the coming weeks. It’s Harrap’s Dictionnaire Juridique. The guys in the book shop were really helpful and two of the main book shops are located just around the corner from me, as is the library where no doubt I’ll be spending lots of time in the months ahead! We should be getting our student cards soon which will let us use some of the student services. There is also another larger dictionary which I might buy depending on how I get on and that one is Dictionnaire Juridique et Economique by Laroche Baleyte but it’s pretty large and I don’t think I fancy lugging it to and from class just at the moment. I think the smaller dictionary will keep me going for now!
My walk to and from the university is really pretty, I cross the Seine and walk right past the Notre Dame every morning and afternoon (dodging the hundreds of tourists and their cameras – I bet I’m in so many snaps as I walk right in front of everyone.. haha). It takes me about 20 minutes which is probably less time than if I took the tube as I’d have to change twice – at Chatelet and then again at Gare de Lyon. It’s been really mild weather wise and so for as long as it doesn’t rain cats and dogs, I’m perfectly happy walking – not to mention the fact that it’s good exercise! In fact, I think I’ve lost about half a stone already with all the stress from this week!
For lunch, we tend to mainly stick together. On Tuesday for example, we all went to this American Breakfast place which was nice and then on other days, some of us might go to Starbucks or grab a sandwich at the Monoprix whilst chatting amongst ourselves. We get up to two hours for lunch which is quite a long time but it means that if any of us have anything to do in the day, such as go to the bank or something then we have plenty of time to do it without worrying that we are going to be late back. When all sat around chatting, I can’t help thinking that it must sound hilarious to some locals as we all have such varied accents, but we don’t speak English (or any other language for that matter) at all during the day so it’s the only way to communicate with each other!
On Friday afternoon, our French teacher Madame Lazerges took us on a tour of La Sorbonne which was steeped in history and pretty impressive! I got some good photos which I’ll post. I was really grateful for a chilled afternoon wondering around the building after all the hours of classes that we have had. I think we were all a bit shattered come the end of the week.
And then in the evening on Friday, the American girls Caroline and Meghan kindly invited us to their apartment for drinks and it was a really good night and we definitely deserved to let our hair down after our first week! I ended up staying the night on the spare bed in Meghan’s room save me walking home as it was pretty late (thanks Megs!) and then yesterday I just chilled out back at mine. My brain still hurts but there is a lot to do so I can’t have another day off! I have to get cracking with reading through the work we are going to tackle on Constitutional Law tomorrow – I also want to recap what we have done this week - and fire off some emails regarding finding a work placement at the end of the course. I’ve been very lucky and had some great pointers from a couple of my contacts on LinkedIn which I really want to follow up.
Adam is now home in the UK so we have been able to Skype a few times this week which has been great. I’m also really grateful to all my friends back home who have been messaging and emailing me. If I’ve not got back to you just yet, I haven’t forgotten it’s just been a bit crazy but I’ll give you a ring soon. I was missing home a bit on Tuesday night but I’m Ok now although I don’t think I’m going to be able to get home to see our new house until the beginning of November when we get a couple of days off for Toussaint (All Saints Day). I think Alexandra is going to come to London that weekend to see some friends of hers who are studying there, so we can travel back together on the Eurostar which will be cool.
All in all, a pretty stressful week but next week’s timetable is a little more kind so hopefully it will be Ok!