Fears vs Realities in Grenoble – API Blog

Today’s blog post comes to us API Global Leader & Texas A&M student Carlee Hebert! She studied abroad with us last year in Grenoble, France. Want to join us this fall? Applications are due this month & we recommend you get started quickly!

I’m just going to say it: I was terrified to study abroad.

Sure, I was excited at first, but as my departure date got closer and closer the panic began to set it. Who thought it would be a good idea for me to go halfway across the world where I knew no one and barely spoke the language? Was it too late to get a refund? Could I just cancel this whole thing now? As I said goodbye to my family at the airport, I began to cry and didn’t stop until my plane landed in Paris. I’ll let you in on a secret here: everyone I talked to told me they cried on the plane ride over. Every single one. Yeah, we were terrified. And yes, it’s completely normal.

One of my biggest fears was that I would get over there, not make any friends, and spend the whole semester sad and alone.

A little dramatic, I know. But, as soon as I met everyone else in my API group, I knew it was going to be a fun semester. The girls I roomed with during orientation (and another from a different room) quickly became my best friends for the semester. We hung out after school, ate lunch together, met each other’s host families, and traveled all over Europe together. Looking back, I had nothing to worry about!

I was also really far from home. I’ve spent my whole life in Texas and I go to school only 2 hours away from my hometown. I was leaving everyone and everything I had ever known and that was scary.

Once I got to Grenoble though, it quickly became my home away from home.

Everyone I met was so welcoming and I quickly fell in to a routine. By the end of the semester, I was crying because I didn’t want to leave my new home and all my new friends. I really went full circle there!

The language barrier was also daunting. I remember during our orientation in Paris our resident director, Marie, was telling us about the Notre Dame and all I understood was “l’eglise” (the church) and “Notre Dame”. Yeah, that was a rude awakening. Thankfully, my host family and professors were all super understanding and patient with my very limited French skills. I picked up the language pretty quickly and after a while, didn’t have much to worry about!

Studying abroad is a magical and amazing experience that I would recommend to everyone, but it’s also a huge life change that can be really scary.

The most important thing I took away from studying abroad is that sometimes the best things in life come in packages wrapped in fear and if you can get through the fear, you can get to something amazing!

Enter your name and email to get new posts by email!

“Best of the Blogs” - Abroad101.com
“Top Study Abroad Blogs” - GoOverseas.com
“Blog of the Week” - GoAbroad.com
“Top 10 Study Abroad Blogs You Should Be Reading” - The Study Abroad Blog
"The Best Meaningful Travel Articles of 2016"-GoAbroad.com
  • We use cookies to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you have provided. Please check out our privacy policy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


  1. Nabha Tariq says

    I know not alot of flights fly out of the airport in Grenoble? How did you guys travel on your own, did you have to go to a different airport via train?

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!