I have this amazing opportunity to learn a foreign language in a foreign country. I am experiencing first hand how French students learn at the University of La Rochelle. Earlier this week one of our French professors took our class to a market in the town. Stands were set up in the promenade selling all kinds of fresh fruit, vegetables, bread, a variety of seafood, some deserts, and even flowers! It was a perfect day for the market; the sun shining down on all of the kiosks was just picturesque. This outside part of the market, the spécial marché, is not available everyday, however there is a market inside that is open everyday. The inside market contains permanent kiosks that sell everything from the outside market and so much more. All the meat is sold inside. It was an eye-opening experience for me to walk past rabbits hanging on the walls and ducks on the display counter, shaved everywhere but their heads. This interesting aspect of the market shows customers that the meat is fresh.
I loved all of the samples available to the public. I tried some really sweet melon and a variety of cheese! This experience was very unique to the University of La Rochelle. As a visitor and a student in France this was a nice way to experience French culture and learn the French language because I was thrown into the daily life of many French people. At the market the French language was spoken all around me. It was impossible not to pick up on some of the words I heard as I walked around. All of the produce was labeled with signs in French writing. I would see fruits and vegetables I recognized but did not know the French for. I learned a lot of French that day just by observing the signs and everything around me. This type of experience is not something that could be taught in the classroom.