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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Toulouse, Midi Pyrénées, France

Mar 16, 2011 - Schoolwork

Since I mentioned it in my last entry and since, you know, it is what I'm supposed to be doing here in France, I thought I would take a minute to outline the whole "school" thing here in France. The French school system can be baffling, frustrating and sometimes work against all of its students. At my political science university, the grading system was some how wrong and first semester grades were completely incorrect for most students. This meant that some students that thought they had past all of their classes found out, in March, that...

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Mar 8, 2011 - Family Time!

Weeellll, I apologize for the very long absence, and the time I missed will have to be only lightly touched on, but here goes nothing! I didn't have time to mope about vacation being over when I got back from Paris, because who arrived four days later but my one and only brother Gabe!! I wanted to be so careful to be there when he got to the airport (you might notice a theme of me being overly worried about my perfectly competent family members) and then I got the arrival gate wrong, so ran around the corner just as Gabe sauntered out. He...

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Feb 28, 2011 - Just a brief stop

Really I should go straight on to Paris, but I didn't want the map to look like I went straight from one to the other. So a short entry about school holidays here in France. Much like most of the French bureaucracy, the universities follow their own special system that is a mystery to foreigners (and I think French people, they are just more accepting about it). I could go into lots of stories about that, but the jist of it is that my two universities took two different weeks off for "winter break" or "february vacations". Yes they had our...

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Feb 20, 2011 - Snowshoeing plus soccer? Yes please!

Earlier this week, my host sister told me there was a day trip with her student parish that was to the Pyrenees for the day to go snowshoeing! Well...I couldn't exactly pass that up, so for the second time in one weekend I woke up at seven am and headed out. I was a little nervous headed into the day because I literally knew no one. I had been to the student Mass the week before, but I didn't know anyone going on the day. Plus oh yeah, I'm not Catholic. Neither of those things mattered much when I got there though! Everyone was really nice,...

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Feb 18, 2011 - A week with wings

Will you look at that, another week is already done. The weeks are starting to fly here in Toulouse, although the days stay long and full of adventures. I like it a lot! I like my routine, I like the things I do, I like all the things I have to look forward to. It is endlessly interesting for me to read my friends that are also abroad and see where on the road they are. I can usually recognize the places I've been, like transitioning out of orientation and into regular school life. My abroad program started before a lot of people's, and it...

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Feb 8, 2011 - One Month here!

Well my my my, would you look at the date! That's right, a month ago today I was holding Sasha's hand as the plane landed in the airport at Toulouse and stumbling out of the gate to meet my host family. Aaah, what a day that was. Today, to mark my one month anniversary, I went on a splendid run by the river (to avoid going through streets I went back and forth along the same part of the river, I think I entertained some french people) I could get off on a tangent about running right now, but I'll save that. Then I came home, did some cover...

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Feb 5, 2011 - Circus and rock climbing!

The one element that has been missing from my life in Toulouse is sport-like activity, and the end of the week finally brought an end to that! Thursday I tried out the "circus arts" class at le Mirail, and Friday I finally successfully went to my rock climbing gym! So I just decided to try out circus arts because lets be real, who wouldn't? I got to the class early, having left myself lots of time and needing most of it to find the room where they put things like this. I was so early, in fact, that the room was still full of high schoolers...

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Feb 1, 2011 - Taking stock of Toulouse

Welcome to February! I don't really know what is so exciting about this month, but I get a kick out of knowing I did not arrive in this month. It's like another stepping stone. I don't have an exciting story to talk about, so I thought I would dwell on some of the beautiful excentricities of Toulouse. One: Store hours are completely arbitrary. Ok no, there is a system, but you can kind of think of them as arbitrary and it usually works out for you. It's hard to predict what day a certain store will close. It's hard to predict when a certain...

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Jan 30, 2011 - A New Adventure

Because France is not quite done with this excellent game of me having to adjust to something in my life every week I am here, this weekend brought another big change: a change of address. I changed host families this week, and now live with the Moulas family, in an even more central location. The new house is really fantastic. I have two friends that have already visited, one called it a castle, and one called it a fortress. I have three keys to get into my house, and one of them looks straight out of the Secret Garden. The location is...

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Jan 28, 2011 - End of another week!

So here I find myself with another weekend! This one will not be as jam-packed, and I see no mountains on the horizon, but I look forward just hanging around Toulouse, maybe taking in a museum or three. There is still so much to explore here! The week ended with a really cute reception at Dickinson Center! It was for the new students, old students and all host families. That was fun, I finally got to meet some of the people that everyone talks about every day. There was everyone from a two year old that is part of one of the boys' family to...

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Jan 27, 2011 - New york Nicks version in dot points

New York -Got into New York about 9pm we were tired. We then had to wait for our baggage for 3.5 hrs because it had snowed a lot. -We got a lucky lift from a driver heading into New York. The car was packed with our 8 bags plus two ski bags. - By the time we got to our apartment it was 1am. We were exhausted. -We went to a nearby Cafe called Cafe Duke almost every day. -We went to the Rockefeller Centre, Nike New York and The Moma ( Museum of modern art). - We went to Grand Central Station to meet the Longmuires then we took a train to...

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Jan 26, 2011 - Another University? Ok!

Today was my first day at UTM- le Mirail. I haven't decided which name I prefer for the university, so it may be both of them for awhile. Stay with me folks :) Le Mirail is a very interesting place. It's an actual campus, much more like an American University. However, it doesn't have the greatest reputation around Toulouse. This is partly because of the neighborhood it is located in (the roughest in Toulouse) and partly because when someone is asked to describe a typical Mirail student, the first adjective they come up with is "militant"....

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