Living Like a Local by Jack Watson

While living in La Rochelle, I’ve had the opportunity to try a variety of new food and cuisines. Pictured above is one of the markets in town that has the most beautiful fruit and produce! I live with a host family, so I am provided with breakfast and dinner. However, that means that lunch has to be out on the town, everyday. For those studying abroad in La Rochelle in the future, make sure you budget for that! My favorite place to go is the boulangerie
Saint-Nicholas, where my usual order is a sandwich poulet crudités with a tarte aux fruits rouges to make it a meal. The pastries and desserts and yummy treats of France are not overrated, and I make sure to enjoy them. The people who work at the boulangerie know me and my friends very well, and they are so kind. Below is a picture with one of the workers and my friend Soleil:

Eating dinner with my host family has also exposed me to new food and practices around eating. For example, we have four courses every night! And I mean every night. It is honestly quite impressive. First, we have the appetizer. Typically a salad. Next, the main meal, which changes every night. Then, the cheese course. Très français, non? I’ve tried so many cheeses while here, but my favorite is Camembert. A classic.
Food has also been a way to connect with locals in La Rochelle. I was out one time buying a crêpe when I made the unfortunate mistake of not having any euros on me at the strand that only takes euros. Oops! Luckily I started talking with the student in front of me, and she ended up kindly paying for my crepe. We kept talking and have been hanging out a bit since then. Otherwise, as La Rochelle is somewhat of a college town, the night life serves as a great way to meet other people who are studying or live in the city.

I’ll leave you all with a little snapshot of my average day: First, I wake up and eat breakfast, which is without fail two pieces of toast with Bonne Maman jam, orange juice, and instant coffee. Host students in La Rochelle aren’t really allowed to cook in the homes, so the toaster works. I then take the bus into town, which takes about 20 minutes. Next, I hop on the boat that goes through the Vieux Port of La Rochelle and takes me right up to the university. Pictured above is my French class, which has people learning French who are from Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia, Spain, Ecuador, South Korea, and of course the USA! School takes up a grand majority of my day, with almost half of my week going from 9:45am to 6:15pm. French course hours are really long. I do get two hours for lunch, which is when I run over to the boulangerie. After school, I take a bus back home and eat dinner with my host family from
7-9pm. Dinner is typically two hours, as we talk quite a bit. Finally, I finish up any work I have and call it a day. Any free time that I have during the day I’ll spend at the aquarium of La Rochelle or walking around and checking out the shops of the city.

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