Bonjour! Yes it’s still in French; I just started my last month of research in Paris. Things are still going pretty well, despite the stabilization of my ôrrible French, the deterioration of my English and an enormous uninterpretable dataset, but that’s life! I reached my goal of ‘learning surgery’ within one month, so I had a lot of time to do real experiments and get some data. For this last month, I will complete my data, do another experiment and slowly say goodbye to Paris and her people. I found out that there is a big difference between an internship, in which you usually get to do work that is part of the PhD of somebody else, and your own PhD, wherein you are responsible for everything that happens within your project (at least it feels like that). Especially, I found out that it is really important to be able to work independently and not to rely too much on other people.
Living abroad is a wonderful experience, but these last weeks, my mind is set towards Holland more and more every day. Paris is getting colder, I miss my boyfriend, and my sister is having a baby any moment so I’m really looking forward going home. What I realized about living abroad is that all the people you meet have their own life built tightly around them and you cannot just walk through the door, intermingle and leave after 5 months. Of course you can ;) but you are not in their ‘system’. For me, the people here are the only people I know in Paris and of course that’s not working perfectly because I have plenty of time to spend with them, but not the other way around. Fortunately, almost all the weekends of these last 5 months were filled with Dutch friends and family. It was an honor to have so many friends and family that wanted to spend time and money to visit me (and Paris ;)).
So, that’s it for Paris, my next blog will be written in Holland again!