Archive for Eric Halvorson


For over thirty posts, I have related experiences and observations from my life in France.  Vignette by vignette, I have told the story of Nantes becoming my third home.  This is my last post in this travel journal, and it is not about the details of the story I have been telling you.  Today, I […]

Being an American

This semester has been a classroom.  I went to France ready to learn about its language, culture, politics, history, and people.  Yet, while I learned a great deal about France, some of my best lessons have been about what it means to be an American.  I learned about France by going there, and I learned […]


At the beginning of our program, we were asked to write down goals for the semester abroad.  I  wrote “je voudrais m’installer en France pour que la France puisse s’installer en moi.”  This basically means “I want to install myself in France so that France may install itself in me.”  Feel free to laugh now […]

Leaving Nantes

On Saturday, I watched the French countryside fly by on the train that took me from Nantes to Paris, from where I will fly to the United States on Monday.  On the tray table in front of me sat my journal, the (French) Harry Potter book I’m currently reading, some tissues, and a packet of […]

Our Food Used to Be Alive

This may be surprising to many Americans, but most of our food used to be alive.  Before those chicken nuggets were ground and reshaped for dipping in colorful high-fructose corn syrup, they were chickens with beaks, feathers, and legs.  Before our Blizzard was a shake, the cream came from a cow that mooed, had hooves, […]

Words…also Studying Abroad

Words are like magic that we made up. They are a created force used to represent our thoughts and our mind, to reveal and discuss reality, and to understand and change the world in which we live.  Words are like magic for the way in which they direct the flow of our mind.  We can […]


I started out this adventure with so many plans and goals.  As it continued, I only accumulated more.  The problem is that I  thought of new goals faster than I checked them off.  It’s now May, and I have less than two weeks left in my program.  This fact slapped me in the face recently […]

The Power of Shoes

Leaning towards the window to look out at the French countryside, I watched trees flash by from the comfort of my seat on a train.  This was a TGV train, which is France’s high speed rail network, and one of the fastest (if not the fastest) in the world.  The plum colored seat in which […]

College, à la française

Our professor pulled out a packet of tissues and set it on the desk.  It made a small plastic noise as he pulled out one of the small paper squares.  I assumed he needed to blow his nose, but he didn’t bring the tissue to his face.  Instead, he lifted it to the white board, […]

La Révolution Française

In elementary school, I did a project on the French Revolution.  I made one of those tri-fold display posters, covering it with construction paper, names, dates.  The poster explained that the French Revolution was when France won its independence.  The problem was that no matter how much research I did, I couldn’t figure out from whom the […]