Annushka Shivnani

IES Paris, France 
International Relations 

 
Describe your typical day:
I would wake up each morning and have breakfast with my host family. Then I took the metro to our program center for class. All of my classes were in French, including the two intro IR electives I took. Class ended around noon or two. In the afternoons, I’d go to a museum or really nice park, or walk around. There are so many beautiful parks in Paris. Sometimes the program planned trips for us on weekends. In the evening, I’d eat dinner with my host family. On weekends I traveled a lot.  

Favorite food discovered while abroad:
The food was amazing, I loved everything. My homestay mom would make chocolate crepes and typical French desserts, which were delicious.  

What was your favorite part of the city to visit?
I enjoyed le Marais, a district with really cool boutiques and nice restaurants. My favorite is called Las de Falafel. I also liked the Latin Quarter, an area full of small streets and beautiful fountains. You can find all different cuisines there.  

What was one highlight of your semester off-campus?
You really do get to immerse yourself in French culture. Between classes and my homestay, I learned a lot about myself and was able to be very independent. There is so much to see or do that you don’t feel like you have to have someone with you all the time.  

What was one challenge you faced during your semester off-campus?
I had a romantic idea of Paris, but living there is actually not easy. You walk and take the metro everywhere. I really enjoyed classes and love my professors, but there weren’t many structured activities to participate in outside of class so you have to learn to fill your time with other things.   

Advice:
Go abroad-it opens your eyes beyond the Claremont bubble. There is so much more to life than getting a job and studying.