Search

Invitation To The Voyage

Broaden your horizons

Category

Culture

The summer I spent studying abroad

This story was published on student com.co.uk

IMG_8960

The world card where we all wrote down our names. 
 
Last summer, I decided to take the plunge and study abroad for the summer. From June to September, I decided to go to another country. I had already travelled before but never for so long and in a place where I didn’t know anyone.
I can still remember the feeling I had when packing my stuff the night before leaving (organisation skills!). I was mixed with feelings, in one hand I couldn’t wait to discover a new culture, new people and a new language but in the other hand I wouldn’t see my family and friends for a whole summer. Leaving your beloved relatives and best friends for people you don’t know, who would do that? I did, and so far it’s been the best experience of my life.
 
I headed for the hills, leaving my calm, French life for an exciting British one. So I landed on the cupcake island under a bright sun. I still remember that day because I always had in mind the idea of a grey country when it rains everyday and where people are quite sceptic when you start talking about the sun.
 
So many questions mingled around in my head: How are the people going to be there? Will I survive on my own? Will I be able to cook without burning the kitchen and turning it upside down? Will I get used to drinking tea and what about porridge and jelly!?
 
I stayed in Halls, I had an ensuite room and I was sharing the kitchen. I was independent, without having my parents on my back telling me what to do. This summer also enabled me to gain in maturity because I have learnt to live on my own without depending on someone.
 
During this summer, I had the best moments of my life. I met amazing people, I was lucky I was in an international college so it enabled me to meet people from all around the world:  people from Netherlands, Belgium, Brazil, Finland, Latvia, Russia and many more.  I am still in touch with most of them and I’m planning to visit them one day.
 
It was for me a once in a lifetime experience, not only did I discover a new culture; queuing for the bus for example, no one does that in France, having milk with tea, how people are open-minded and ready to help you, I also discovered a new me. I used to be a little bit shy, you know that girl who was very discreet that doesn’t talk much. I used to be that girl. But before going to England I made a promise to myself and I told myself that I didn’t have anything to loose trying to socialise and talk with people. I didn’t know any of them, they didn’t know me and if something bad happened I would never see them again.
 
I never thought that I could get so close to people so quickly; we all lived together for 3 months so we didn’t have any choice but to bond. The parties I have shared with them were the craziest ones.
 
I was lucky to find my friend soul mate, she was keen on baking and on ballet like me. I remember a day when everybody was beginning to fall apart and it ended up with a big argument, my friend and I woke up early in the morning and baked all day long. When everybody woke up
they all found baskets full of cupcakes in front of their doors, and let me tell you that cupcakes can fix more situations than you think.

study1

 

During this summer, I also took the chance to be with crazy people to tick off some of my bucketlist tasks. Like doing my grocery shopping in pyjamas.  You could never do that in France, everyone
would be staring at you thinking please go back in your asylum!

 

 

 

study2

 

It also took the summer for me to realise something I always wanted to make: a tiered cake. Unfortunately I didn’t have the opportunity to make a proper one but for my friends birthday I made an Impressive cupcake’ (I try to sell it as I can).

 

 

 

I am a little ashamed of this one but I even tried pole dancing, for a single session. It’s very physical!

 
This summer was so memorable: all the wonderful people I met, everything that I have done! I have spoken a lot about leisure, but I did also study there! I got my IELTS (English test) with 7 out of 9.
 
 I was so moved by England that I eventually decided to stay there for university. If you have the opportunity to travel, I would highly recommend that you take it, it’s amazingly surprizing how you can learn from something you don’t know and also from others.  We are young, it’s time to go and explore the world to broaden our horizons.

Advertisements

Valentine’s Day Special

Valentine's Day Special : 'Genoise aux Fraises et aux Framboises avec un glacage au citron vert'

Valentine’s Day is almost here. Even though nowadays it’s more a commercial celebration, no one can deny it’s not a pleasure to have a little attention during this day. There’s no need to give diamonds or anything precious, as my grandmother was always saying :’ The way you give is more important that what you’re giving’. And this is so true.

For this Valentine’s Day I would like to share with you a short Chinese legend my Chinese friend told me.

It’s the legend of Tian Xian Pei.

While the seven daughters of the Jade Emperor ( Ruler of the Heaven) travel on Earth, Tian Xian Pei the youngest sister falls madly in love with Dong Yong a poor farmer. He was struggling to pay his late fathers debts and had 100 days to pay them. The humble seven fairies help him to find a solution to his problem and eventually everything get better for him. He is on a pedestal because everything is perfect for him, he is about to ask Tian Xian Pei to marry him. But the destiny decides something else, the parents of the seven sister called them back in the Heaven. When the youngest sister tells her parents that she wants to marry a mortal men, they immediatly fly into a terrible fury. Tian Xian Pei shelters in her room and cry all the tears of her body. Outside the birds touched by  the long sobs of the violins of autumn build a bridge for her. So  Once a year, on the 7th of July (07/07) the two lovers can meet in secret and live their passion.

I’m not very an emotive person but I was touched by this fairy tale and little girl in me was brought alive for a while.

I have a thought for the people that are not lucky to have their beloved ones with them this year. To all those people that went away too fast, may they rest in peace. We won’t forget you, you’ll be present in our hearts forever.

PS : You can find the recipe of the  : ‘Genoise aux Fraises et aux Framboises avec un glacage au citron vert here.

Banksy, one the most well known street artist didn’t finished to amazed us. He decided to overthrown the codes of street art by selling his work. Traditionally you would find his work along the street, because what characterizes street art from another art is the fact that it won’t last and that an other graffiti will be recovering his drawing. It’s the rules of street.

The other astonishing fact is that since Banksy has began his activity he always remainded anynymous and nobody knows his real identity. We just know that he was born in Bristol (where we can find several of his work).As a  street artist he is worldly acknowledged.

Image

One of Banksy’s painting in Bristol
But he left his hometown to settle down in New York for his project “Better Out Than In”;  he took his fans into a treasure hunting all around the big apple streets. He draws on the wall and then posts a picture of his work  upon his blog and people take pleasure to find the place in the city.To make the  buzz he  set up a stall in New York Central Park, where original and signed canvasses of his painting were sold for 60 dollars each (around £38). Usually his work is estimated  to be worth up to £20,000 each. He didn’t tell a word to anyone, he just posted a video on his blog with the simple legend : “Please note: This was a one off. The stall will not be there again today” .

The video of the stall he put on his blog

Though the old man, settled his stall from 11 am he made his first sale at 3.30 pm : a woman bought 2  canvasses after negotiating a 50% discount as well  a New Zealander .To thank her the old man gave him a kiss on the cheek. The last buyer was a man from Chicago who needed something “only to decorate the walls” of the new house he just acquired. At 6pm the graybeard packs up his stuff, he earned 420 dollars.

A lot of people have been traveling around Bristol or New York especially to gaze at his work,his videos have been watched by millions of people all around the world (more that 5 millions people have already watched the video of the sale). Despite this worldwide succes only 3 persons stopped at the stall and bought canvasses. We could wonder if when people buy painting they are rather buying the signature that is on it.

This story reminds me of a experience made by the Washington Post in 2007. In Washington’s underground a  man  starts playing the violin : 45 minutes and 6 pieces of Bach performed with excellence, talent and grace.  As  the performance took place during rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people cross the station, most of them were on their way to work.

The video of the talented violinist entitled Stop and hear the music

Only a man recognized that the street musician was in reality a world famous violin virtuoso and gave him a 10 dollar note. An other one leant against the wall to listen to him but he looked at his watch and carry on walking. A woman throws a coin to the violinist without stopping by. Several children fell on the musician to admire him but all the parents (without exception) forced them to walk because they were in a hurry.

During the 45 minutes he played only 6 persons stopped by and stayed a while, 20 gave him some money and carry on walking. He received 32 dollars overall. When he finished to play nobody noticed and there was no standing ovation. In fact this musician playing anonymously was  Joshua Bell,one of the best violinist in the world    and the violin he was playing on was nothing but a stradivarius (a very rare violin worthing 3,5 millions of dollar) . Two days before he was to playing  to a full house and the ticked were sold out for 100 dollars.

These surprising stories raises concern about people view on art in general and about how our world is evolving. Nowadays things are going faster and faster, and people don’t take necessarily take the  time to appreciate what is going on around them.In the recent  years, the world witness a fresh outbreak  of  lack of time that transformed our lifestyles. Fast food, frozen food sales  have significantly increased. Because of the social networks we don’t take time to call or to drop a line to a friend anymore. New technologies (smartphones, tablet, laptop) are ruling our lives we became a connected society. Though all this thriving inventions  helped  us to improve our everyday life it,  tends to make us miss the essential of what living is. What is the point of having everything if we can’t take advantage of it.

Art is everywhere, even though we don’t always pay attention we are surrounded by it. If we don’t see the music of one of the best musician on this globe what else are we missing? Can we recognize the talent by itself, for it’s own value? For what it really is ?

If we were a little bit less selfish and sensitive to the world we are living in, I’m sure we’ll be overwhelmed by the all beauty we can find on earth.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑