Tellus: (tel’us), n. 1. [Latin] earth, soil, and the land; a country; the world. 2. a collection of Willamette University student’s insights, stories, photos and thoughts from their experiences studying abroad.

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This entry is written in response to the first question posed by the office of international education on the blog question worksheet:
What did you assume before you left that you are not finding in your host-country, host-culture and/or host family and friends? Discuss why you think you made those assumptions?
Throughout my French courses in high school and at Willamette, listening to French music was a fairly regular occurrence. Therefore, I was excited and ready to hear French music during my stay in Angers. During my first day in Angers, as I was walking down the street, I could hear songs by T.I. and Eminem coming from car stereos. A café in town was playing a song by Michael Bublé and the boutique across the street was playing a song by the Beatles. Each morning my host mom listens to a radio station that plays music from musicians such as Maroon 5, Keane, Lifehouse, Norah Jones etc. Everywhere I turned I was surrounded by music that I hear in the states. I have made it my mission to find a store, restaurant or café that plays French music—thus far I have only found one in Angers. Furthermore, I find that I am hard pressed to find popular French artists on Itunes. Even the French students at my university readily admit that truly “French” artists are not popular among the French youth.
After having been exposed to a handful of French songs and artists in the past, I had expected to discover more when I was in France—it seemed logical. Now that I am here, I understand that the French youth are enamored with international music and movies, so playing French music in a store like H&M may not bode well for attracting customers. What I don’t understand, however, is why I (and other international) students can’t seem to find many new or modern French musicians who are becoming popular. I am also surprised that I haven’t heard more French rap or hip/hop music.
In the United States, we are constantly inundated with songs, both old and new, that are sung or composed by American musicians or songwriters. Perhaps because I am used to this musical culture, I expected to have a similar experience in France.

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