Many people have been asking me what I have been doing to prepare to spend a year teaching English in France. Right now from a paperwork logistics point of view, I cannot really do anything other than wait for more news on my exact school/city placement (this is good practice for the French Bureaucracy, which is notorious for requiring extended heaps of paperwork and waiting periods!) For the time being, I have made copies of my birth certificate and passport, continued saving/budgeting money, and most importantly, practicing my French skills. Even though I majored in French, I don’t use it everyday (even though I should- I have a French-speaking mother!) Besides listening to French music and watching French movies, I have taken the initiative to join a bi-weekly French Conversation Group in downtown Milwaukee I found at www.Meetup.com.
Meetup.com is a website created for people who want to meet people with whom they have things in common. Groups vary from book clubs, anime, stay-at-home-moms, sports leagues, singles meet ups, bar hopping, etc. Luckily for me, there was a group in Milwaukee for French speakers!
This group meets every other Thursday from 7 PM until whenever (usually 9:30-10:00 PM) at Indulge, a winery in downtown Milwaukee. We speak French for the entire duration we are there. The levels range from beginners to advanced, and we have about 3-4 native French speakers who also attend. We talk about anything under the sun, but always learn something new!
I’ve appreciated this group, especially because I have just recently moved home from college. It’s given me something to do as well as meet new, interesting people who love all things French, just like me! I will be sad to leave this fabulous group of people come fall, but it’s been so great to practice my French!
If anyone is looking to meet new people, I highly encourage joining MeetUp.com. Membership is free and it only takes minutes to sign up (you can even link your Facebook page!) The intention of Meet Up is NOT online dating but instead meeting new friends (though there are singles groups if that is something you are interested in!)