neutiquam erro
hi!! i'm piera. i am a 17 year old american girl on a year-long french exchange program via AFS. this is a blog i will be keeping during my stay so that i don't have to send emails to everyone in my family. i will post updates and pictures and stuff, usually around 5-9pm my time (so like 11am-3pm eastern time). hover over this box to see links appear MAGICALLY below
french accent 7/2 or so
piera  -  piera reads les mis in french
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wow, it’s been exactly one year since i arrived in paris!! and around 2 months since i recorded this, lol. i’m on my way to a school dance back home now, but i’m FINALLY UPLOADING THIS before i forget.

compare to this sucker

what i’m reading in french:

- les mis vol 5, book 1, chapter “orestes fasting and pylades drunk”

(album art by me)

noirbois said:
What advice would you give to other exchange students? Specifically, what advice would you give to exchange students in francophone areas & those who will be attending school in French? Enjoy your last few days!!!

i’m FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY getting around to answering this, like a loser

anyway so!!


  1. do it. eat the thing. even if the thing is raw oysters.
  2. make an effort to learn AND USE local slang. fortunately, urban dictionary is available in A SURPRISING NUMBER OF LANGUAGES! (this would have been helpful to me 10 months ago. guess when i made this discovery.)
  3. be prepared to have your butt OWNED by public transportation. it’s okay. it happens to the best of us. memorize landmarks.
  4. do the exact opposite of what i did, and stay as FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE from the internet/etc. i have no advice on how to do THAT, obviously, because i sucked majorly at it.
  5. a lot of people CLICK with their host families and they gain a second (or third) family for life, and that’s great. but a lot of people don’t, and that’s okay too. of course, if your host family really doesn’t work for you, don’t be afraid to speak up and get a NEW host family.
  6. be prepared to learn and play card games. card games are your friend, and they will make YOU friends.
  7. don’t let fear make your decisions for you. informed caution, sure, but not fear.


  1. listen to stromae forever bye
  2. french humor is really weird??? it’s weird. if you don’t get it don’t feel bad
  3. likewise, french people will probably not appreciate the INCREDIBLE GENIUS of monty python. what a bunch of scrubs
  4. make sure you can pronounce the difference between the word “queue” and the word “cul.” i have said ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS that someone is “in the ass” when in fact i meant “in the line.” wah.
  5. say “chirurgien” five times fast i DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU

the photos on the left were taken in september, in the youth hostel in paris. the photos on the right were taken july 5-6, also in the youth hostel in paris. time is a pretty weird thing.

There are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity.





appropriately, what looks to become the last post on this blog to be made in france is a food post. you can’t say i don’t treat you well, readers.

anyway, we went out to dinner because tonight was my last night in poitiers— tomorrow all the AFS kids in france will be making our respective ways to paris, where there’ll be an end-of-year orientation before everyone gets shuttled out to our home countries. most people get a full night in paris, but i understand that others have flights at oh-god-why in the morning, so they’ll have to wake up at like 4am. suckers.

in any case, these photos are of a steak-frites + mysterious sweet potato sauce thing, and a fondant chocolat with strawberry-mint ice cream and whipped cream. célestine said that the ice cream tasted like her favorite toothpaste from childhood, & while i have no experience with fruity toothpaste, i totally see where she’d coming from. it was delicious regardless of dental hygiene, though.

Anonymous said:
How do you feel about leaving? Will you miss your host family?

this is an excellent question!! thank you, anon!

honestly, i’m mostly just excited to come home right now. i’m sad to leave my french friends and host family (esp. since i FINALLY have a host family that works!!!), but i’m also really really excited to see everyone back home again!

i haven’t been letting a lot of it on this blog, but to be honest this year has been… pretty weird for me. i was talking to my dad the other day and we figured out that a big part of the problem with nantes was that i was having less fun there than i would be having in durham: i didn’t really go out with friends, i didn’t really go out to eat, i didn’t really go exploring… my default setting here is “make myself the least inconvenient possible,” which translates to… doing jack shit, apparently. i get so caught up in NOT BEING A NUISANCE that i end up coming across as boring/uninterested in doing stuff, which is THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT I WANTED. and like, i realize this, and am conscious of it, and yet continue doing it because i don’t know how NOT to.

obviously it’s been a lot better in poitiers— my school was RIGHT downtown, and i became much closer friends with many more people in much less time than in nantes, plus they had more free time, so we’d go out for lunch and window shop and get ice cream and stuff.

A N Y WAY, so yeah: it’s kinda bittersweet to leave, but it’s good to come home. i’ve been pretty much non-stop psyched about senior year since like, february, so i have that to look forward to!! it was weird, the first things i missed were 1. my dogs and 2. durham academy & all my teachers. so it’s gonna be really good to get back there.

i am gonna miss my host family, in particular nicole (host mom)— we haven’t actually had ALL that much time together— since only mid-march!— so it’s not gonna be like… heart-rending? in the way that i think a lot of exchange students’ departures are. so… there’s that. obviously we’ll be keeping in touch, doing the whole cards-at-christmas-and-birthdays thing, that stuff.

i’ve been thinking about how to qualify my experience— was it more happy or more hard? how much fun vs pain/unfun was there? were there more positive experiences or negative ones? — and i think that honestly, there were probably more negative experiences than positive ones for me. it was weird and hard and not super fun for a lot of the time.

this year hasn’t been overall very fun, but it HAS been interesting. it wasn’t good or bad, but it was worth it.

at the very least now i have something to talk about at parties hahahaha

#askies #long post #piera does france

getting started on my packing… WOW.


yesterday was an AFS picnic— i took lots of photos w everyone, which aren’t going on this blog bc i didn’t have the time to ask everyone their permission HAHAHA. (they are on facebook though!)

but AFTER the picnic i went w a couple other girls to the bibliocafé (see: chocolat viennois) and just wandered around poitiers for a couple hours, where we came across this sweet house-for-sale listing for… a castle. FRANCE!

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