To preface this blog, there really is no typical day in Angers. Each day I have different classes, different responsibilities and always seem to end up doing different things. What follows is just an approximation of a typical Tuesday.
8:30 Time to get up.
8:45 Second alarm goes off, time to really start thinking about getting up.
9:00 Third Alarm, this one finally gets me to get out of bed. Get dressed, get ready and head downstairs for breakfast. Options are bread, bread, or sometimes bread. I usually smear a slice with an inappropriate amount of Nutella and a sliced banana.
9:40 Leave for class, it’s about a 20 minute walk to the university, during which I pass a 700-year old castle and about 10 bakeries.
Here is the outer wall of the medieval castle just a few minutes from where I live
10:15-12:15 Histoire de la Musique. This class is mostly centered on French Baroque music and taught by a man I can best describe as a mid-1930s Mickey Mouse cartoon if Mickey Mouse was gangly, old, and French. Class is mixed between lectures, watching clips, and listening to works.
12:30-14:30 Au Fils des Ans et de la Loire. This class is taught by our on-site director and is only offered to Notre Dame students. It’s a mix of French history and literature focused on notable historical women from the region, such as Joan of Arc and Anne de Bretagne. It’s definitely one of my hardest classes but it’s very interesting,
14:30-17:00 What I do during this time truly changes each week. I usually go to bakery and get a sandwich for lunch. Sandwiches here are great because they almost always have butter on them, however my health here isn’t great because sandwiches almost always have butter on them. In addition to lunch I might work on homework, go to the gym, or head back home for a quick nap.
17:00-18:00 Grammaire. And here we have my least favorite class. Basically I sit for an hour and try to endure being mercilessly drilled on prepositions. It’s the dentist of classes, you hate to go but it’s good for you in the long run.
This is the building in which my classes are held (notice anything... domelike?)
18:00-20:00 I head home and basically waste time until dinner. This would be normal-college-student-time-wasting, not just abroad-college-student-time-wasting; Netflix, practicing on my host family’s piano, reading, and in general avoiding responsibility. If I’m desperate enough I might even go do laundry down the street.
20:00-21:30 Dinner with my host family and the two other students, one from Japan and one from South Korea, they’re also hosting. Dinner is always delicious. They serve four courses; an appetizer, usually salad or homemade soup, the main course that can be anything from galette to burgers (a veggie burger for me), a cheese course, and finally a dessert. I eat with them four nights a week and can say I definitely got lucky to have a host family that really enjoys cooking and buying fresh produce at the weekly markets.
21:30- 24 The time following dinner is very variable. If it’s been a busy day I might stay in and do homework, waste time looking at places to travel, or FaceTime my friends or family. Occasionally my university will host soirees in the evenings so I’ll head out to a bar and meet up with my friends and classmates. At the end of the day, I get ready for bed and pray that my host family has finally turned on the heating.