Week two has been an experience of its own. Starting my internship has proven quite difficult. Working in a new language is a complete feat of its own. Gaging what to expect when working in another country did not do me very well, as I was thrown into my company without the expected training session, and was expected to start right off the bat. It was difficult figuring out my tasks, but after asking for help every five minutes, I think I may have gotten the hang of it.
Compared the Americans, the French are very spontaneous, and also less organized. It’s overwhelming at work to see the clutters of paper and the messy desks, but that is simply their nature. Although its quite stressful at the moment, I’m learning to figure out the culture of French companies. They work hard during the day, and rest well during their breaks. My entire company eats lunch together around a table, and this hour serves almost as a daily bonding experience.
On a separate note, I’m finding it difficult to meet locals while I’m here. I thought making friends wouldn’t be so much of a problem since I would be in a social environment almost every day at work. Contrary to my beliefs, most of my colleagues are much older than me, and it is also difficult to integrate into pre-formed groups. I have made goals with myself to try a meet more people during the next week to come. Hopefully having one on one conversations will be a start to language improvement, and who doesn’t want more friends?! I’ll be sure to write about my adventures.
My goals for next week are to improve my professional, working French as much as I can, make at least one project proposition at work, start reading more and writing more in French, and to meet some cool locals! Wish me luck!