Studying Abroad in Paris, France
When we first arrived in Paris, France it was a bit overwhelming after flying all night, but once we started to drive through the streets of Paris I was overcome with the excitement of seeing what would be my new home for the next month. Paris was exactly how I had pictured it, with beautiful buildings, people walking along the streets and cafés on every corner.
We arrived at our hotel earlier than the check-in time, so we decided to drop off our bags and find a place for lunch. Since we had only been in Paris for less than an hour we didn’t know the area too well, so we chose the first place that we could find. When we went to the restaurant, it was a bit of a culture shock as to how we should act and communicate with the employees. As a French minor, I came to France knowing how to speak French, but I quickly learned how different simple things such as restaurant etiquette are other countries. We found it very interesting that French restaurants don’t automatically split the check for each person, and it took us a few tries to figure out how to communicate that we would like to pay separately for our meals. Luckily by now we have been able to get better at going to restaurants!
The hotel rooms that we are staying in are gorgeous. From the minute that we got here, this place has felt like home. The staff here is great, and as we continue our stay we’ve been able to get to know everyone from the concierge to the front desk.
Going to class on the first day we were greeted in the lobby of our hotel by one of our professors so that he could make sure that we made it safely. Our classroom is across Paris, so rather than taking the metro each day we are able to ride in private cars from our hotel to the classroom. This makes going to class each day really easy!
Our classroom is at one of the University of Paris locations, though the campus is a lot different than what we are used to at Alabama. The classrooms and most buildings are very basic, but that’s one thing that we’ve gotten used to! The rest of Paris is completely stunning, and we get to see so many cool buildings simply driving to class each day. It feels like every day that we are here we see something new!
Comparing our lives now to the first few days that we were here, this place feels like home. We are more used to getting around and communicating with people, so there is a lot less stress and more enjoying all of the moments. Unfortunately, we have had a lot of rain lately, but when the sun comes out it’s so beautiful.