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France, the Romantic and Beautiful Country
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승인 2009.11.16  20:26:10
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn

 France, the Romantic and Beautiful Country



  Summer is always fun, but last summer was amazing. Last spring, I found an announcement about a global program operated by the Office of International Affairs at Chonnam National University. I decided to apply to the program with my friends because we are all interested in travelling to foreign countries and experiencing different cultures. We chose France as our destination, a country that we felt has the most original European culture. We named our team ‘Charme’, which means charm in French. After a long preparation, summer finally came. With a few anxieties and a lot of expectations, we finally boarded our plane to Paris.


Valuable Moments in Paris
  In two weeks, we visited six cities in France: Paris, Lyon, Avignon, Nice, Aix-en-Provence and Arles. Needless to say, every corner of France was beautiful and it was full of romantic things: lovely couples, beautiful parks and Gothic architecture. I have always dreamed of traveling to France, one of the world’s most romantic and attractive countries. But it was not always easy. The French were kind and always tried to help us, but we had some difficulties communicating with them. They gave us explanations in French, not in English. At first I was surprised that most French people did not speak English. Even though my friend and I studied a little French for this trip, it was not easy to find our way when we were lost. At that time, I promised myself I would learn French if I ever made it back to Korea. It is a good lesson that I learned from this trip. I recognized the need for studying foreign languages other than English.

  Moreover, the weather was not good. It rained a lot and it was too cold to wear just a T-shirt. Despite the cold weather, we met a lot of warm-hearted people in Paris. One night, we were so mesmerized looking at the Eiffel Tower that we missed the last train to our hotel. Unfortunately it was quite far from there and no taxi driver wanted to take us. However, a kind Chinese taxi driver listened to our pitiable situation and took us to our hotel. Maybe he thought we were Chinese. Despite some difficulties, it was a great experience to travel to Paris. The Eiffel Tower and the night view of Paris from the tower were as great as I expected. I will never forget the moment I laid on the grass in front of the tower with my friends. Seeing the Eiffel Tower was one of my dreams, so I took a lot of photos in order to remember it for a long time. My most memorable experience, however, was in the Louvre Museum. I saw a painting by Van Gogh, my favorite artist of all time. It was like a dream come true for me. Before going there, I could only see his work in books or on the Internet. The Louvre Museum has numerous works of famous artists but I did not have the chance to see them all because of the short time we had there.


Impressive Experiences in Arles and Avignon
  Each city we traveled to have some special attractive features. Arles was the best among the cities, as it was easy to find traces of Van Gogh like a bullfight or a cicada. Van Gogh’s most famous works were painted in Arles: The Night Cafe, Starry Night Over the Rhone, Bedroom in Arles’ and so on. It was amazing to see those sceneries. Arles was not as modern as Paris and not as lively as Avignon, but its peaceful atmosphere and greenness were very attractive. We were lucky enough to see a gladiator-show which is held once a month. We also spent a good time at the cafe which was the model for Van Gogh's The Night Cafe. I really enjoyed my time in Arles.



An Unforgettable Trip
  I learned much more than I expected on this trip. I realized that the language, culture and natural environment of a country are interrelated. French sounds sweet to the ear, like the charming atmosphere in France. French buildings are in harmony with nature. Individual everyday life and artistic activity seem to be inseparably related to one another. As I already mentioned, I also found out how important it is to be able to speak a foreign language. In a globalized world, communicative competence in foreign languages, especially English, is a critical competitive power. Additionally, I gained good friendships with my team members. Every member did her best for our trip and as a result we arrived in Korea safely. As a team leader I was really proud of my team. I will never forget this trip for as long as I live. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my university, my lovely team members Su-ji, Hye-jin, I-seul and the kind people in France. God bless you all! 

By Kim Sun-mi, Senior, Dept. of German Language and Literature

  Finally, in order to investigate the marketing strategy of regional festivals in a foreign country, which was the aim of our team, we visited Avignon where The Film & Play festival was being held. In Avignon, we enjoyed a real festival which was totally different from Korean ones. The city was very crowded with tourists and viewers who wanted to see movies and plays like us. The festival staff talked to people in person, one by one, to promote their plays. I found this method was effective to make many people participate in the plays and become enthralled by the shows. Especially, there were many street performers, who created a lively atmosphere. The festival and the music on the street were quite well matched.

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