This weekend, I went out to have dinner with another American student who is from Oakland, California. She is a first generation Mexican who came to Marseille on a full year program. We decided to have Mexican dinner on the beach. As we enjoyed our meal we talked about our experiences in Marseille. We shared a lot of funny, sad, and unforgetful stories. It was incredible how living in the same city and studying together formed a sense of community in us. We are just strangers who come from very different yet surprisingly similar backgrounds. We watched the water and heard French all around us and thought about leaving back to the States in two weeks.
After dinner, I went to see my friend who studies in Marseille and her three other friends from high school. I really enjoyed meeting them and we all had so much in common. One of the girls was a first generation Russian girl who is currently in med school. We spoke Russian together and shared our passion for films, music, art, and life. It was incredible how we connected.
I am inspired by the people I’ve met in Marseille. I think it is a blessing to meet people you enjoy having around. However, it’s clear that I will be leaving in two weeks. So bittersweet. I know that even after departure, I will continue staying in contact with my friends and someday visit them. To me, living abroad is about making relations with people. Undeniably, this experience is about traveling to places and enjoying the culture, but I’ve always believed that you really get a raw and real perspective of the culture and the history of a subject from the people. And the relations that I’ve developed here will never be forgotten.