It makes sense that you would be nervous, if you are anything like me about travelling abroad alone, whether it is to learn French in France, explore the beautiful cities like Montpellier or whether it is for a long or short time to experience a little French culture. Speaking from experience as I’ve been here in Montpellier for a French language stay for quite some time now I would like to tell you that making good friends during your language stay is the last thing you’ll need to worry about. At the French immersion language school, everyone is amazing and everyone is also looking to meet new people. You will be in your French class with up to ten people majority from different places around the world, and they will all also be in the same situation as a new French student learning and doing a language stay for the first time as well, and open to meeting new people.
During my time, here I have only met lovely people, staying in the school’s residence, being in class being introduced to new people that don’t even go to the school through mutual friends is also something you can look forward to. A good tip I can share to stay in contact with the people you meet here and make sure you can do as many things with your friends as possible is to get WhatsApp, a communication app that everyone uses here to keep in contact throughout the day. You will meet so many people and there will be so many group chats and things going on that everyone wants to do all the time, believe me there will be no boredom or shortage of things to do while you are in Montpellier.
The best ways to meet new people is to embrace the night life, and the ILA events. Go out at night to different bars with some people you meet from ila, this way they will already know the ins and outs of the Montpellier night life and will be able to take you to the best spots. Meeting and talking with the local French while out on the town is always a highlight of my nights. It’s a good way to keep speaking French outside of the class room. The youth in Montpellier are so welcoming and friendly as well, they are just as interested in you and where you come from as you are with them and what they do in Montpellier. If you want to meet more people who speak French or other languages as well, going to the language exchanges that take place in several bars in Montpellier during the week is a perfect way to do that. You go for a night out to a language exchange and you can opt for a beer or not, sit with someone who speaks a language that is not your own, then you speak a little in French and after you switch and speak a little English the other language is could have in common, then after that you switch partners and you continue to meet and talk with new people throughout the night until it’s over. After that you may have exchanged numbers with a few people whom you can call your new friends to go out on the town with.
I have kept in contact with many of the people I have met here in the last 9 months I have met here during my French language immersion stay and I am planning on getting together with some of these people to do some travelling in the future. Thanks to the wondering age of internet and social networks we live in now it is not hard to keep up to date with people you meet during your language stay in Montpellier. Learning a language, learning French is difficult and meeting people and making friends who are also learning French and in a French language course alongside you are a great way to learn and benefit off of each other. So, do not worry about meeting people during your French immersion stay here, it will come naturally!