IES Paris, France
Describe your typical day: I would wake up at 7:30, grab breakfast from my host family’s kitchen, normally cereal or toast, and then take two metros to school. Class would finish by 5:00. After, I would hang out with friends and go explore new parts of the city.
What was one highlight of your semester off-campus? In general, making new friends. I was fearful to be going international for the first time. My birthday was just a few days after the program started, and I thought I wouldn’t have anyone to celebrate with. But a girl from my program approached me and asked if I wanted to go to the Louvre. When we left, it was raining, and we got lost wandering around the city. We ended up at the Eiffel Tower just as it started to sparkle.
Favorite food discovered while abroad: I love fried eggs, so I would eat croque madame anytime I could get one.
What was your favorite part of the city to visit? Luxembourg Garden. It’s touristy but felt pretty calm. There was also a little bakery on the same street as our program center that we’d go to regularly, they knew us there.
What was one challenge you faced during your semester off-campus? My course at the Sorbonne. The professor didn’t write on the board, she just talked. It forced me to reach out to the French students in my class. One of them ended up getting us into the talk show taped in the Eiffel Tower!
Advice: Just do it! You have the time now, it’s an experience you won’t ever be able to have in the future.