Folarin Balogun admits he threw himself into the deep end at Reims as he tries to overcome the language barrier and Ligue 1.
The Arsenal striker has five goals in six starts on loan at Stade Auguste-Delaune, despite being fourth down after winning in eight games.
He won praise from Thierry Henry for going to France and took advice from team-mate Nicolas Pepe, now on loan at Nice, before making the move.
Balogun is now with England Under-21 ahead of Thursday’s friendly in Italy and Tuesday’s game against Germany in Sheffield, and believes the jump to France has already changed him.
“I think it’s very important to throw yourself deep, like I try to do, and hopefully I don’t drown,” the 21-year-old said.
“Almost every training session there is something that confuses me so I have to ask a lot of questions, I have to memorize key words and that’s how I learn the language at the moment.
“I just ask questions and, if I’m not sure about something, I try to remember phrases I’ve heard before.
“If you sit on the edge, it will take you longer to figure things out. I am still learning the language. I will learn it for a long time.
“It’s difficult but I’m doing my best to fit in with everyone. Lessons (French) are once a week for one hour. I tried to go a little longer but it started to give me a headache.
“Actually, you need it a lot, because there are maybe only three English speakers at the club. The players only speak French.
“There are a few times I ask simple things like, ‘can you pass me that water?’ and he looks at me thinking, ‘what are you saying?’
“So you absolutely have to learn the language. It helps me a lot to mature because you are on your own.
“Before moving, Mikel (Arteta) just wanted me to develop as a man. It was kind of like an open-ended answer and it was up to me to interpret what I meant by “developing as a man”.
“By moving abroad, I begin to understand what he meant by that. This does not only mean on the pitch but also off the pitch. I think by the time I come back, I’ll be in a better place to compete than before I left.
Meanwhile, Yaya Toure has been with the Young Lions this week as he continues to gain coaching experience.
The former Manchester City midfielder, who is Tottenham’s Under-16 manager, has not been involved in training and has had a custodial spell at St George’s Park.
“He knows Joel (Lescott) well and has a connection with John McDermott so it’s good luck for him,” boss Lee Carsley said. “It’s always good to have players like that around our players, inspiring ones who have been there and done it.
“He’s a pretty calm guy, he’s not sitting around telling stories about what he’s won. He’s very humble. He just supports us and spent two days with us.