I chose to study abroad in Paris because it has always been my dream. I didn't have the opportunity in high school to take French classes and knew I wanted to at some point in my life. I went to Paris knowing little French so that aspect scared me a little but it turned out to be incredible.
She is a soon to be winter graduate who loves seeking out new adventures. Studying abroad has inspired her to go overseas again and this time to Scotland!
Why did you choose this program?
What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
My university program helped me out tremendously. They laid out what courses I would be taking and how many credits I would be earning for the classes. They even sat me down and helped me plan out what courses I would need for my French minor. We also attended a Study Abroad informational session. The session had information from safety to finances to what you need to pack. We were also informed about different ways to book cheap flights which I loved!
I didn't have to organize anything on my own. The programs fees covered everything. The only thing I had to really plan was when it came down to what I wanted to do on my own time in France. We, students, received airport pickup to our apartment and informational packets once we were settled in. They did an amazing job at relieving any nerves one would have beforehand as well as once there.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
DO IT! I always tell anyone and everyone I can that studying away is a must. If they are not interested in going abroad to study, they may be interested in volunteering or interning abroad.
I personally did tons of research and read articles ahead of time about Paris and France in general. I recommend doing your own research to educate yourself on the country you are visiting. I learned some helpful tips on greetings, food, and transportation. It makes you feel more prepared, and that is very beneficial!
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
If you go on this program, the average day would be attending classes. I had classes for nearly six hours a day. Some days we would only have classes for three hours but you do have an hour break in between, which is nice.
After classes finished, I would go explore some before going to work out. If you have homework, you would do homework as well. On the weekends, we would go on excursions with our group and sometimes another group. In my spare time, I just explored! On free days, I would plan to travel and see this or this.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
My biggest fear traveling to Paris was my safety. I was nervous due to the bombings occurring in the city, and the relation with the United States was tense at the time.
The great thing with my program is they would send you e-mails and texts everyday about something that happened in the city. For example, if there was an accident or a suspicious box, you would get an email or a text. This allowed me to know what places to avoid during what time. It was extremely helpful and relieved my nerves.
My view on the issue changed in the sense that I shouldn't stress or worry about the unknown. I should always be alert and attentive to matters. You do not want to risk anything, especially overseas!
What do you want to tell other travelers?
I want other travelers to know that when you are overseas, do not limit yourself to the city you are in.
Travel around to other cities or neighboring countries. This is your time to truly find yourself and what makes you happy!
I usually went to places with my roommates but my favorite memory was actually traveling by myself. I went to several different history museums and gardens, and it was the best day.
Knowing that you can accomplish finding your way in an unfamiliar location is the best feeling in the world. It might seem scary at first but once done, you come out feeling more independent and gaining skills you didn't know you had in you! I encourage everyone to challenge themselves.