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Small Victories in Paris

January 28, 2014
by CEA CAPA Content Creator
Initially, studying abroad can be stressful. Culture shock, a foreign language, jet's a lot to manage all at once! Even the most prepared students can experience challenging moments as they adjust to life in a new country.

During Orientation, Alexandra Mitchell, CEA Paris' Center Director, talks to students about recognizing small victories and savoring them when they happen.  This morning, as Spring 2014 students arrived for their first week of classes, just one week after arriving in Paris, we asked what small victories they had experienced thus far.

Check out their responses below!

- I took the metro alone for the first time and didn't go the wrong way! I made it to my final destination with no problems along the way. - Maria-Fernanda Sacramento, University of Texas at San Antonio

- I met Paul, a French student at my residence hall, and made my first French friend. - Brittany Jolivette, University of Florida

- We found Monoprix after 45 minutes of searching. We even asked for directions in French - multiple times! - Sabrina Romano, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Campus

- I had a full conversation with my host dad, only in French, for TEN minutes. - Emilie Dalavai, Cedarville University

- I went grocery shopping and found everything in the aisles that I needed. I got through the line seamlessly, just like native! - Shannon Powell, College of Charleston

- I was walking from the metro Gambetta and a French person stopped me to ask for directions. I was able to show him to the metro, only speaking in French. Our WHOLE conversation was in French! - Alex Lucas, University of Kansas

- Yesterday, I had a conversation with my host dad that lasted for more than 30 seconds, whereas all previous interaction was simply, 'Bonjour, Bonjour'... - Ariana Cheng, Cedarville University

- I recharged my Navigo pass for the first time, in French. - Hannah Zimmerman, San Diego State University

- I perfected the art of French flirting in the metro by offering my seat to a française. She lost the typical "metro stare" and shared not only a smile with me, but even said "au revoir" as she got off at her stop. I responded with "bonne journée", and it made my entire day. - Stefan Metrakos, Chapman University

- I understand how the metro works - I can read the map easily and get to places beyond CEA and home. Now I know the layout of the city. - Kelly Kern, Salve Regina University

- The other day a French woman asked us for a lighter in French. We didn't have one, but we were able to tell her - in French! - Katie Stavros, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Campus & Alice Gallagher, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Campus

- We've made a lot of French friends...even one girl in the restroom at a restaurant. Strangely enough, she invited us to go out with her tonight! - Chloe Hager, Boston University  & Kaily Pukini, University of Arizona

- I went to Monoprix all by myself. All I bought was a frozen pizza, but hey,  it was a really good one. My roommate also made a Monoprix solo-trip, and randomly came home with just a mango. Turns out she was sick of pizza...and had a little panic moment alone at the grocery store, grabbed it (paid for it) and ran out. Thankfully, it was one of the best mangoes we've had. Ha! - Sarah Light, University of California - Berkeley
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