Jonathan Thompson ’17

Hey everyone! It’s been awhile! I’m sorry for the serious lack of blogs over the past two months but I’m happy to get one out to you now as the semester has come to a close.

I’ll begin with my October break. We had the last week of October off here in Strasbourg so I decided to go to Amsterdam, Oxford, and London as I said in my last blog. Each of these amazing places had such a unique personality–I loved them all! My favorite would have to be Amsterdam–the sights, the sounds, the incredible architecture; it all just blew me away! Getting to go to the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh museum, and the Anne Frank House were my highlights. It was also great to see my good friend Megan in Oxford and then celebrate my twenty-first birthday together in London! In London, we got to see Westminster Abbey, where sadly pictures aren’t allowed anymore, the London Eye, and the Tate Modern among several other sights.

At the end of November, I was able to meet up with my friend who was studying in Istanbul this semester in Rome. This was my first time ever going to Italy and we had the best time! I got to see the Pantheon, Colosseum, Galleria Borghese, and the Roman Forum, which were all just spectacular. Rome was truly incredible, including the pizza, pasta, gelato, and cannolis I devoured!

My parents and brother arrive tomorrow! Hard to believe how quickly time has passed here. Only one semester left before I am back on American soil. For now, I am going to spend the holiday season with my family here in Strasbourg, then Zurich and finally Paris! I am so excited to show my family around Strasbourg and then experience Zurich and Paris together with them. It should be amazing. Until my return in January 2016, I wish you all the happiest of holiday seasons! Talk soon!

Hey everyone. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been in Strasbourg for nearly two months now. My classes have been great thus far this semester. I’m taking two English literature courses (one American, one British), a course on the history of the Alsace region, and finally a course on the early Christian church in addition to language classes twice a week. I’ve mainly been finding it interesting to compare how English literature classes are taught here versus back home. I also managed to work out my schedule this semester where I only have class Tuesday through Thursday, which is very ideal for traveling.

Just for your general knowledge, here are some things that I’ve realized/figured out since I last blogged include: in France it gets colder way quicker in the fall, the French word for “seal” sounds very similar to a particular American curse word, and I finally found a place where I can print my documents! Yay!

I know that back at HC October break just ended but here mine actually just began and I am so excited to tell you all about my plans. For the first part of the break, I’m going to Amsterdam with my friend Caroline from Holy Cross who is coming from Italy. After a few days there, I am taking a flight to London to stay with my friend Megan at Oxford for a couple days and then we are going to head into the big city for the weekend to celebrate my 21st birthday and Halloween! I’m so pumped to be able to spend my break seeing a few of Europe’s greatest cities.

I will be sure to blog about all of my travels when I return, as I plan on leaving my laptop here in Strasbourg. Until then, au revoir et bonne journée/soirée!

Salut! It’s been awhile since I wrote my last blog so I’m going to jump right into it.

I’m finally in Strasbourg! I’ve actually been here for about a month now–woah. Time has been flying! My home-stay situation is a bit different here from in Tours. I’m staying with two parents and they have five children, all of whom are either working or at university, thus I’m an only child, which has taken a bit of getting used to. The apartment is beautiful–lots of hard wood, old detail and charm. We’re located in a beautiful neighborhood–I’m just a quick tram ride to class in the mornings and I can walk to meet up with my friends whenever I want to.

So far as far as traveling, I’ve been to Munich for Oktoberfest so far, which was quite the experience, and I’m now in the process of planning Amsterdam and London trips for my October break. I’m realizing Strasbourg has a fantastic location for seeing Europe. I love the German influences here–from the food to the architecture and everything in between, it’s kind of like getting a two-for-one study abroad experience (can’t beat that).

Also being here, I’m quite thankful for my time in Tours. It was a great way to ease into French life. The university here is a bit more relaxed than HC, which has been interesting during this first month while settling in. There have been a lot of uncertainties as far as classes and other little things like where to print documents for class, but we’re all learning as we go. I know if I’d come right to Strasbourg without having spent time in Tours, I would have been far more overwhelmed than I am now.

This is the first of I’m sure many blogs that will be written from the university library here in Strasbourg. I must admit that it’s much cooler temp-wise here than I remember Dinand during this time last year. Talk soon.

*Hi guys. Sorry about not posting in awhile! I had some issues with accessing the blogs but now I’m all set, so expect more blogs in the near future. The following is a blog I wrote back in mid-August while I was still in Tours. Enjoy and I’ll talk to you all again very soon!*

Hey! I’m back with another blog. A lot has happened since I last blogged so I’m going to go ahead and dive right into it.

Just this past Wednesday evening I was pickpocketed on the street here in Tours. Before I tell you more, I just want to be clear that first, I am totally fine, and second, what happened should not reflect poorly on Holy Cross at all. I must admit I was a little nervous to write this blog but in an effort to paint an authentic and truthful picture of my study abroad experience, I’d like to tell you about what happened.

So two of my friends and I were walking home when we were approached by a group of seemingly normal, harmless guys who looked to be around our age. They spoke to us in English and gave us high fives, which then escalated to an odd handshake of sorts, followed by what I can only describe as an odd jig. After about ten seconds of this odd interaction, the men ran away. As I put my hand on my front pocket to feel for my cell phone, I quickly realized it was gone. Luckily the men did not take my wallet, which had a decent amount of euros, my license, and two credit cards.

While yes this whole experience has been a bit unsettling, over the past few days I’ve been trying to see a silver lining in that the whole experience could have gone far worse. For those of you reading this who might be freaked out, please don’t be! The reality is that in Europe pickpocketing is something that happens. It’s at times unavoidable, however there are definitely some precautions you can take:

  1. Keep your volume of English conversation to a minimum. Americans are often targets of pickpocketers if they are found speaking English at a high volume surrounded by a crowd of Europeans. Keeping conversation volume to a minimum in public is a simple way to avoid being targeted.
  2. Try to blend in when you can. If you carry yourself with the confidence and look of a local, you’re far less likely to be targeted.
  3. Always be aware of where your valuables are on yourself. No back pockets! Just be aware that my cell phone was taken from my front right pocket (crazy, right?!). A crossbody bag is a great place to store items like a phone, wallet, etc. and know that they are safe and sound.
  4. Don’t touch anyone who you don’t know and don’t let anyone who you don’t know touch you. This one sounds simple but sometimes, like in my situation, pickpocketers can get up in your face and this can be uncomfortable to refuse. Simply repeating “no” or in my case “non, merci” I’ve found to be the most effective method when dealing with persistent people on the street.


After all this that has transpired over the last few days, my new phone should arrive tomorrow! I’m lucky enough to have parents who were able to help me through this rough patch during my experience abroad. Although this experience has been a small setback, I’m happy I’m able to share it with you and hope I can educate those who may find themselves in a similar situation. Anyway, thanks for reading guys. À bientôt!

Bonjour mes amis! I am finally in France! It’s hard to believe I’ve only been here for one week–it feels like it’s been much longer already! This entire week has been a whirlwind. In this blog, I hope I can fill you all in on some general information about my time thus far in Tours and that in future posts I can dive into greater detail regarding different experiences I have.

First off, let me explain my living situation: I am living with a single woman here in addition to two other Chinese students who are also studying at the Institut de Touraine. We each have our own bedroom (which is lovely) and share one bathroom in Marie’s (my host mom’s) apartment here in Tours. I live on a quiet street just a block away from a beautiful park and am only a 15-minute walk from school. I eat two meals per day in the apartment, breakfast and dinner, and during the school week I am responsible for my own lunch–I’ll typically find something cheap in town. Now some school information: I have class 20 hours per week at the Institut de Touraine in addition to some, but not a lot, of homework. The courses in conjunction with speaking French at home have thus far been invaluable in preparing me for university in September.

So far the experience here in Tours has been fantastic. We’ve already been on 2 excursions: one at the Château de Chenonceau this past Wednesday and the other yesterday at Mont St. Michel and St. Malo, which is a sunny beachside town. I’m thankful after my first full week here to finally have had a moment to fill you all in on my time here! It’s been incredible and I cannot wait to tell you all more. Until next week, bonne journée!

Readers! Long time, no talk! I’m writing from my room at home in upstate NY. I’ve had an amazing summer home and with less than a week left until I leave for France, I can’t believe how quickly time has flown by!

This past Friday marked the last day of my summer internship. I spent my summer at a marketing agency and could not have asked for a better experience with their editorial and copywriting departments. During this coming week I have to get packing and make sure that I’m fully prepared for my Saturday evening departure from Boston. It should be a busy week but I’m excited to finally begin my long-awaited study abroad experience.

It’s hard to believe, but the next time I blog, I’ll be writing from Tours, France! That’s where I’ll spend my first month abroad while studying French intensively before heading west to Strasbourg for the remainder of the academic year. Until then, à bientôt!

Hey everyone! I’m finally back blogging again. It has been a whirlwind this past month with finals but I am happy to finally be home! The end of spring semester at HC was filled with so much fun. Spring weekend was definitely my personal highlight with all of the fun activities around campus. The spring concert with Jessie J was incredible. At the concert, my friend and I were only a couple rows back from the stage–we had such a blast. I really could not have asked for a better final semester in Worcester before my trip across the pond this August.

Since I have been home I have been relaxing and preparing for my advertising/marketing internship that starts June 1. It’s been so nice to sleep in and catch up with family and friends over these past two weeks but I am so excited to jump into work at my first college internship! It should be a fantastic experience that will help me decide what I want to do after my undergraduate work is complete.

I’ll be sure to blog again once my internship starts and again once I am preparing to leave for France on August 1. I can’t believe my departure is only a couple months away! I hope everyone’s enjoying the warm weather and I’ll talk to you soon. Happy Memorial Day!

Hey everyone! I know it’s been awhile since my last blog-my apologies! I have a lot to fill you guys in on. The last time I talked to you all, winter was in full swing here in Worcester. Now that it is nearly April, spring is here and although it might be snowing out at this very moment, most of the snow has melted and the birds are out chirping again. Springtime on the hill is my favorite-the sun comes out, everyone’s happy, and spring activities are abundant!

Also, since I last blogged, over spring break I was fortunate enough to go on an Immersion trip to Camden, New Jersey. The whole experience was fantastic and something I would highly encourage everyone who goes to Holy Cross to participate in at least once. For those who might not know, every spring break several hundred HC students set out to sites across the country to do service work and to live the mission of being “men and women for and with others.” It’s a program that I found pushed me out of my comfort zone in many ways, making me think deeply about not only myself but the communities I am a part of as well as the world as a whole.

Speaking of next year, I also now finally know that I will be spending junior year abroad in Strasbourg, France! I could not be more excited to finally know that I will be spending my junior year abroad. While in France I will be staying with a host family and hope to travel and see as much of Europe as possible. I cannot wait to blog further about my experience abroad next year when I am actually in France-be sure to stay tuned! Now that we are over half way through this semester, it is hard to believe that I won’t be returning to the Hill come September, however I know that my experience abroad will be incredible and help me to become fluent in French.

That’s all for now guys-thanks for reading and I’ll talk to you again soon!

Hey everyone! I’ve been back on campus for a couple weeks now and things are finally back in full swing here. It’s been nice to get back into a regular schedule coming off a relaxed month at home.

This week has been eventful to say the least. Winter storm Juno made for quite a fun time! With classes cancelled Tuesday and most of Wednesday, everyone was out sledding and taking in the snow-covered campus. It was definitely a semester highlight. On another note, I couldn’t be more excited for my courses this semester. I’m taking American Literature, French 301, Psych 101, and Intermediate Fiction (another creative writing class). All of them have proven interesting and not too stressful thus far. I’m predicting that my creative writing class will be my favorite by the end of the semester but we’ll have to wait and see.

This semester I was promoted to Chief-Opinions editor of the Crusader, which I’m really happy about! I can’t wait to dive into work on the paper this semester. Be sure to look for our first issue online and around campus next Friday. I’m also excited to say that I received that summer internship I wrote about interviewing for back in December! I’m so happy and relieved to already know my plans for this coming summer. I hopefully can tell you all more about that when the time comes.

I hope everyone’s enjoying their weekend and has fun watching the Super Bowl tomorrow! I’ll talk to you all again soon.

Hello everyone! I have successfully completed all of my finals and am now at home relaxing and preparing for the holiday. Between my schoolwork, extra-curriculars, applying to study abroad, and maintaining some form of a social life, it has been one hectic semester, but I’ve enjoyed every bit of it. As I relax at home I usually find now to be a good time to reflect on my time at Holy Cross: what I have enjoyed and learned, what I would have done differently, and what I am looking forward to with next semester.

This semester I learned that things will not always be easy when it comes to academics in college. I struggled a lot with my Biology class but in the end stuck it out and put in the work I had to. While the grade I receive might not be the one I’m the most pleased with this semester, in the end I am proud that I did not take the easy way out by withdrawing.

College will most definitely test you at times academically, socially, and in many other ways but it is important to remember to keep things in perspective as you move forward. In the end, my grade in this Biology class does not define who I am or what I can bring to the work force. Everyone has his or her strengths and weaknesses and in the end that’s what makes us human; discovering these is simply a part of life.

Overall, I am really excited for what’s to come as this semester closes and another opens in January. Believe it or not in just a couple days I have an interview for a summer internship! It’s hard to believe I am already thinking about what I will be up to next summer. In closing, I hope all of you enjoy your holidays and are able to spend them with the ones you love. Thank you for reading this semester and I will talk to you all very soon.

<< Back to Blogs

Jonathan Thompson '17

| More
Former Blogger