While there were no students in Talloires during the summer of 2021, below is a collection of reflections from past years reminding us of the valuable lessons and personal growth that can occur when we explore new cultures.
We look forward to the day when students will have that opportunity again.
Three lessons from french culture
Some things that I picked up from my host family:
Walking in the rain
The very first week I was here a group of students and I missed the bus and decided to walk from Veyrier to Talloires. Ordinarily, walking an hour and a half in the rain would have made me somewhat miserable, but due to the people I was with and our shared enthusiasm, this walk was one of my most memorable experiences. We shared life stories, swapped jokes, and later that day we got to brag to everyone that we’d walked four and a half miles to school in the pouring rain. After that day I made a point of walking to school with one of my friends from Veyrier du Lac at least once a week.
Tala, Class of 2016
Discovering my best self
Not only did I have amazing experiences, but also I be- came my best self. I believe that I am now more confident, positive, and appreciative of everything I am and have. Tufts in Talloires is like an amazing hidden gem that some don’t know about, but that blesses those who do with its beauty and all the unbelievably incredible things about it.
Matea, Class of 2018
At home with my hosts
I was caught off guard at how at home I felt with my host family. Through living with them, I was able to gain more personal insight into what family means to me. I learned more about love, laughter, and excitement. Home has never been a place of excitement for me, but through camping, making s’mores, and playing riddles, I realized that I could find it through my host family. It felt refreshing that I could go back to a house filled with white people and still be my black Muslim woman self. Muna, Class of 2019
A life-changing experience
If there were one person that I can attribute most of my improving French vocabulary to, it would be my host sister, Justine. I spent a lot of time with her, jumping on the trampoline, drawing pictures, and playing card games. I pointed to things and she taught me the word, and I did the same for her in English. From my experience, I have found that children have this unique ability to get along with anybody, regardless of race, language or religion.
At the Kids’ Day, I had so much fun painting faces and learning the words for all of the things I painted. We could not explicitly communicate with words, but smiles and laughs and gestures were all that was needed.
One thing that I cannot get over here is the absolute beauty of my surroundings. When I go for runs in the evening and see the orange and pink sun setting behind the majestic mountains and reflected on the brilliant blue lake, it literally takes my breath away. A few weekends ago, our group took a day trip to Chamonix and hiked through the mountains. Coming from Florida, which is unbelievably flat, being amongst mountains was such a new experience. I loved that I had the opportunity to hike throughout the trails and see snow, even though it was late May and quite warm outside. My experience hiking Mount Blanc has made me want to try more adventures in the outdoors.
Both classes that I am taking—environmental economics and nuclear France in a warming world—have shown me how much trouble our world is currently in, but have made me want to do something about it. Rather than take the pessimistic view, my professors have shown optimism and hope and that we are the ones who can change things and make a difference. Being given the opportunity to come to Talloires has been the most life-changing experience for me, and I’m truly grateful to be given this chance.
Rebecca, Class of 2011