High School Abroad, High School France

What to Pack? What to Expect? Preparing for High School in France

by Jordyn Gagnon, CCI/Greenheart Travel high school abroad participant in France

What to pack for a high school abroad program in France...

Countdown: 2 weeks. That’s 14 days; 336 hours; 20,160 minutes; 1,209,600 seconds. Correction: 1,209,599… 1,209,598… Time is slipping through my fingers like sand, and the harder I grip, the more cracks it finds to seep through. But on the other hand, time cannot pass fast enough; while I’m not eager to leave, I’m more than ready to begin my journey to France.

My suitcase is open on my floor, as it has been for the past month, already overflowing with the few things I feel can be transferred from this life to the next: a French-English Dictionary, a converter for my trusted electronics, a few pairs of shoes, some clothes, host family presents… and last but not least, my student visa, which came in the mail only yesterday. I opened my passport with anticipation, and was quite relieved to see the visa stuck to page eleven.

I’m not quite sure what to expect, or even what is expected of me, but I guess I’ll figure it out. Certainly, I’ve done everything I could to prepare myself. Still, can I ever truly be prepared for this? To drop everything comforting and familiar, and be shipped across the world where the only thing I’m sure of is myself? Even then, I doubt I can survive this unchanged. Whatever’s in store, I still have two weeks to prepare myself, a year to experience it, and a lifetime to learn from it. But above all, I will embrace whatever comes my way.

Bisous, Jordyn

PS. Bisous means “kisses” in French. This is something I’ve already picked up from my host sister- it’s how she signs her letters.


About Greenheart Travel

CCI Greenheart Travel is personally invested in providing cultural immersion programs that change lives, advance careers and create leaders. We achieve this by partnering with organizations and governments overseas that empower their local communities through experiential learning and practical development. We provide others with the same positive travel experiences in which we ourselves engage. Through travel and cultural exchange, we help individuals reach their full potential, leading to a more tolerant, peaceful and environmentally sustainable world.


3 thoughts on “What to Pack? What to Expect? Preparing for High School in France

  1. Jordyn, we are so very proud of you! Follow your dreams and don’t wait till tomorrow what you want to do today! Nothing can hold you back! You are truly an inspiration to us all. Love you, miss you too.

    Posted by Rick Gagnon | August 30, 2011, 11:42 pm
  2. Waiting for next installment.

    Posted by Audrey Hamilton | August 28, 2011, 8:32 pm
  3. We will all change and grow while you are away. I am so very proud of you for taking this HUGE step. You will have memories to recount for the rest of your life. Grab life by the tail, and go for it.

    Love Lee

    Posted by Lee Sauer | August 20, 2011, 7:17 pm

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