Every one always told me that studying abroad would change my life. They always said that it would be the experience that I would never forget. They always said it would be the trip of a life time. And you know what, they were right. It did change my life. Everyone on this site has said it, but its true, you do become more independent and respectful of other cultures and peoples. To steal Brittney`s cooking example, I made a Thanksgiving dinner. Now for those of you who know me, you might remember me 1) setting water on fire (didn`t know there was oil in there) 2) over cooking one half of an egg while undercooking another 3) blowing up soup OUTSIDE of a microwave. I see an oven and the house is doomed. But, I was able to make this dinner wiht only a few words of wisdom from my mother and a rather unfamiliar measuring system and grocery store contents. Even though my apple pie looked more like an apple calzone (apparently it takes more than 6 French apples to make a pie because they are smaller), I was able to cook. Me, the terror of the kitchen. Not only is that a new skill, but also an independence and a risk taking that I, an only child, had never known. Its only gotten better. When I got to France, I was too afraid to wander the town, fearing I would get lost (and those who know Angers would know how ridiculous that sounds) and I was too uncomfortable to go to a cafe or grocery alone, so I ate a twix I had brought from home for lunch and dinner, and stayed in the hotel watching French tv I didn`t understand. Now i go places alone all the time and am far less afraid of the unfamiliar. I can use the trains like a pro and can go days without the internet! All in all, this experience has been a real eye opener and I can genuinely say that it is an experince I will never forget and will be difficult to top. Lets see if the next semester in Paris can beat it.