Bonjour à tous!
As the title says, it already passed one month or 30 days, or 720 hours, or 43200 minutes since I arrived in Nantes and I decided to share what I experienced last days.

First impressions (read: impressions after one month)

After taking the « online journey throughout Nantes » before departure, I can say that my expectations were true. Nantes (or Naoned) is a really big town with a lot of interesting things to see such as parks, river la Loire, Château de la Duchesse Anne, the architecture, islands and so on. Le Grand Éléphant is for Nantes what the Tour Eiffel is for Paris, so it is something that you MUST SEE and take a lot of touristic pictures. From my perspective, Nantes is a dynamic town filled with people that don’t rush and spend more time outside, in the parks, on the sun, next to the river, etc. Some of the things that I was surprised:

  • Colorful people (color of the skin, religion, sexual orientation…)
  • Cheese (Comté, Selles-sur-Cher, Tomme de Savoie…)
  • Recycling (yellow and blue trash bags for different wastes in appartments)
  • For lunch or dinner there has to be a dessert !
  • Picard – market with only frozen food

I didn’t have time to check all the things that should be visited in Nantes, but, mollo mollo. It will happen soon!

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Karlovac vs. Nantes

Karlovac is an average town with around 55,000 inhabitants. Comparing Karlovac and Nantes in one sentence is like comparing Capuchin monkey with gorilla. Nantes could be like Karlovac 2.0. A town where young people (or the ones that feel like it) are making important decisions, crucial actions that will make some kind of a positive impact for an hour, or for some years. Every day you can do something in Nantes and in Karlovac – participate on small réunions in a bar, drive a bike, visit exhibitions, take a walk, chill in the parks, go to a concert and so on, and on, and on. After one month, I can say that Nantes is an artistic town where you can find many art installations or sculptures, innovative things and meet friendly people that even though their English is not good, they will try to help you.

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Learning french language

Learning another language is not an easy thing, especially french that has 1.342.908 rules. And even French people don’t know why they exist! But one thing is sure, it takes a lot of time and patience to progress. Since I started to learn french language last year (audio books, Duolingo, Lingvist, YouTube videos, movies in french, talking with a french friend, etc.) I can say that I progressed in last one month. For now I can’t have a normal communication, but I know how to introduce myself, ask for directions and ask basic questions. It happened many times that I somehow understood the conversation between a few people. « The strategy » that I used naturally was by listening for keywords and then connecting in a sentence. It’s a struggle sometimes, but it works. I hope that till end of this 2016. I will reach B1 level (CEFR) in understanding and speaking.

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EVS part

Last week I did my first presentations (yaaay) in a Maison Familiale Rurale (MFR) in a town called Riaillé and another one in Maison de l’Europe. Presentations were about Croatia, my experience in France + comparaison with Croatia and EVS. How did it go? Très Bien ! When at the end of presentation people ask you some questions it means that it was interesting. I’m looking forward to do more presentations, motivate and inspire others about Europe, about this idea that lives and connect us, Europeans. In the next days/ weeks I will participate in organization of Nantes Creative Generations event that encourages innovative citizen initiatives, openness to Europe, meetings and networking between young people from Nantes and Europe. This year NCG will gather 60 participants all over the Europe from 26 – 29 of October where young people will present their projects, share best practices, develop new skills, take part in cultural and social events, and so on…

Till the next time…

À bientôt !

Tomislav