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Introduction

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Zac’s the name, writing columns is the game.

No, in all seriousness, it isn’t. This is first time I’ve ever done this and I’m actually a joint honours French and English student and I’ve just finished my second year. Since I study English it was logical to assume that I would enjoy writing an article every now and then, you know, dabble a bit, dip my feet in, you know how it is. Having just finished my second year however, I am off to the south of France in September for my year abroad; it’s all very exciting.

As a result, I couldn’t think of any better way to spend my time in Marseille than to write a column in the uni magazine (of course this is in between attempting to share every second on social media so that my friends back home who tell me a BA in languages is not as good as a BSc in anything become increasingly jealous as I update my story with a geotag of 18⁰C in mid-October).

I hope I can inject this column with some of my experiences, so that at least if you were not, shall we say, ballsy enough to take a degree in languages you can reap the benefits nonetheless.

This may indeed involve none of the arduousness of approaching everyday life in a different language as I will be attempting, and it certainly hasn’t involved any of the last 5 or 6 years of preparatory homework trying to work out exactly what Jean-Claude was doing in La Rochelle that weekend with his mum. It hasn’t even involved you undergoing horrendously embarrassing moments trying to have a conversation and thinking you were asking for directions to a shop, when, in fact, you were asking for directions to a magazine (the magasin ­magazine situation is notoriously treacherous for a GCSE French student). On a side note, I’ve also noticed that the French queue very close to each another, it’s very disconcerting, but you won’t have to live through that either. You will be able to read my column though and I hope you enjoy that.

Either way, I’ll try and make it entertaining and avoid a tripadvisor-like analysis of the south of France. However, I cannot guarantee that there wont be the odd bit of tourism, and there will almost certainly be a picture of me in a beret sooner or later. I’m also pretty sure that at some point I will give you my opinion on the finest French cuisine has to offer, that is to say, snails, frogs and mussels, i.e. nothing that you in your right mind would think is remotely appetising on this side of the Channel. But as they say, when in Rome.

Let’s start small with CUB then. If it goes well, it’s only a couple of steps away from the Chief Editor of the Guardian. This probably won’t happen, I mean it could, but it’s unlikely. We’ll see how it goes.

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