I came into the MEI France and Switzerland Program feeling scared and expecting it to be like regular school, but it turns out my fears were for nothing and it was very different from regular school. Where in regular school you learn about things more in theory, during this trip there were a lot of opportunities to practice your french skills with first hand experiences such as talking to merchants at the market in Annecy or ordering your meals everyday. Because of this practice talking to francophones in real life, I found myself becoming more confident in my french speaking skills and in actually speaking french to others, something I was previously embarrassed to do. Speaking to francophones also helps to improve how well you understand people when they speak french. The teachers also help with this because they always speak to you in french. As for the actual lessons, I found I learned a lot despite the short period of time. There were two lessons a day and each one was taught on site. For example, we learned about gothic architecture and the Notre Dame right in front of the Notre Dame, after having walked around inside and climbed to the top. This kind of learning really helped me internalize the information because I could make connections with what I was seeing, and it made it fun. Aside from the actual school learning, this trip teaches you a lot about yourself as well because you learn to be independent and responsible so that you can hand in assignments on time, or so that you don't get lost during free time. Finally, everyone on the trip, the students and the teachers, are very nice and extremely supportive of one another. When you spend so much time together you are bound to make close friendships and that's exactly what happens. There are so many opportunities to try new things and get out your comfort zone and the biggest suggestion I can give to anyone going on this trip is to get out of your comfort zone and try something you wouldn't normal do. It's opportunities like these where you can learn the most about yourself and about life.