Friday, August 26, 2016
For a whole month, I was given the opportunity by the Citadel to study abroad in Montpellier, France. A month was too short, though, because Montpellier was always something new to experience whether it historic sites, festivals, cuisine or sports. I also saw students from all corners of the world who gave me their different perspectives on the world. I was never bored on my trip but I also learned more about French culture and language than I could have ever thought back in the US. Before this trip, I knew the France like other nations was not monocultural and knew a fair amount of French history but that did not prepare me in any way for the level of depth I saw. In Occitania, I found blurred lines with Northern French, Occitan, Italian, Spanish, North African, West African and many other cultures all contributing to the identity of the region.These layers are the very same reason I consider Carcassonne my favorite site of the whole of the trip. From a small Roman fort its multiple owners such as Goths, Moors, and Frenchs, to name a few, built and added to complex until it became to what we see today.This is why I say any cadet that has the possibility of studying abroad in France should because all someone needs to do is gaze and talk and they will gain a desire to learn new cultures just as I did.