Whilst living here in Tours I’ve met a lot of fellow exchange students. Since many of us live in different parts of town, someone suggested we get to together and share a meal once a fortnight or so to check in on each other and catch up. Eating out can be expensive, so we decided to cook the meal together at one of the few residences which has a reasonably spacious share kitchen. A “To Bring List” was sent out each week, so that each of us could buy a few ingredients and contribute to a delicious meal.
Among other things, we had burritos, pasta, curry, aisan stir fry, French Coq-au-Vin and a ‘soup and dessert’ night for the sweet tooths. It was such a nice way to spend the evening, and surprisingly, despite the vast majority of anglophones present, we managed to spend most of the time talking in French- learning words for the kitchen utensils as we went along. These dinners together have been really encouraging part of my exchange experience, as it is helpful to talk with people who understand the difficulties of living in a new and foreign place: the excitement about being here, the distance from home, the good days and the bad. It’s encouraged me to make an effort to host people more often back home- there’s something really nice about being invited into someone’s home and sitting down for a meal together.