“The French, it seems to me, strike a happy balance between intimacy and reserve. Some of this must be helped by the language, which lends itself to graceful expression even when dealing with fairly basic subjects.... And there's that famously elegant subtitle from a classic Western.
COWBOY: "Gimme a shot of red-eye."
SUBTITLE: "Un Dubonnet, s'il vous plait."
No wonder French was the language of diplomacy for all those years.”
― Peter Mayle, Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France


After forcing myself not to think about how excited I am for IAU in order to make it through final exams, and succeeding, I am now about to explode. I finished exams last Thursday, got home from college on Sunday night, and leave in a WEEK for France. I am so ready.

Except for that I still need to buy a carry-on suitcase, photocopy everything, figure out what I am packing, print off the contact numbers for IAU, etc. - close enough. J

My name is Lesley and I attend Wofford College, which is a small liberal arts college in the south. I attended the University of British Columbia in Kelowna, BC, Canada until I transferred Junior year; I wanted to experience somewhere entirely different during college, which is why I chose a school so far away. I expect studying in Aix-en-Provence to again be a chance to learn so much about another culture, and to likely be quite different from my experience in BC.

I am kind of nervous for the actual travel; I have a 14-hour flight, and will then take a taxi from the airport to Aix-en-Provence. The bus is a much more economical option, but my French is not amazing and I expect to be pretty out of it after the flight. IAU would have picked me up at the airport, but I am arriving a day early (much cheaper flight!). After crashing at a cute hotel and exploring the city a bit in the morning, I get to finally meet my homestay family – yay!

Expectations/ Anticipation -

I spent last summer working in Manhattan, NY, and get the idea that the style should be similar. I plan on packing mostly maxi dresses, sundresses, and a few trendy skirts and tops; my style expectations are high! This is the country of Coco Chanel and Christian Louboutin.

I also started looking around online for pictures of Provence, and it is beyond gorgeous. It looks like one of those places one would dream up for a painting. I bought a little lavender plant for my windowsill at home in anticipation of the gorgeous lavender fields.

Since January, whenever I get a break from studying, I have been reading Julia Child’s My Life in France, which is such a wonderful book. She talks about life in Paris and Marseilles, and, most importantly, French food and the culture surrounding it.

I intend to experience everything I can in this 6-week adventure that will surely be over much too quickly.



    School of Humanities and Social Sciences
    Wofford College


    May 2013