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Study Abroad Student Shares Paris Experiences

  It’s the city of lights, romance, fashion, wonder, and fun. Where else would I be but Paris? I have been here for two months now and it still doesn’t feel real. Just walking along the street on my way to class I see gorgeous scarves in local shop windows, smell fresh pastries, and listen to Parisians talk about who knows what over their morning café.

I have always wanted to study abroad, as many people do. The shocking thing is that only 3% of people actually follow through. Preparing for study abroad was a little intimidating, especially the visa process, but it all worked out. Just follow the directions and be prepared. My school didn’t list CEA Global Education as a program, but I knew this was the one for me. It took a lot of paperwork to get to go but now I am one of the first people to do this program, and will be a source of information to future students. Don’t let anything stop you from studying abroad. If financial matters are slowing you down, search for study abroad scholarships, there are so many.

As a self pronounced fashion addict I found the packing aspect one of the more difficult obstacles to overcome. I mean come on it’s the fashion capital of the world! But just as everyone said, I realized when I arrived I did pack too much. Honestly ask yourself how many times you will be wearing something. Pack basics and then accessorize. When I arrived in Paris I definitely felt culture shock, especially since I didn’t know anyone. I was uncomfortable for the first few days, but now I look back on that week and think about how much I learned not only about myself but how the French people live. Exploring the city and seeing all the famous sites is astounding. There is always something going on in every neighborhood and the nightlife is amazing.

  It sounds corny but everyone on the CEA Paris staff is wonderful. If you have an important question, need some travel advice, or just want to know where to get a good crêpe, they have the answer. They also provide so many fun activities; you will want to do them all. We had a “mystery tour” which I cannot say much more about but trust me it was awesome, a bike tour around Paris, picnicked in a park, attended a grape harvest festival, visited Versailles and Fontainebleau castle, and spent the night in a castle in Loire Valley. I also have taken a few day trips. One was to Giverny which has Monet’s house and gardens, one was to Granville where Christian Dior’s home is, and another was to Mont Saint Michel. I also just went on my first trip outside of France to Munich, Germany, for Oktoberfest.

My classes are fabulous. They don’t even feel like schoolwork, yet I am still learning so much. I am taking:

• International Business
• Fashion Marketing & Merchandising
• Haute Couture in Paris: History of Style & Fashion
• Oenology: The History, Culture & Business of Wine
• French

I recently went to La Defense which is the business district with my class for International Business, walked down Avenue Montaigne which has a bunch of designer clothing stores for Fashion Marketing & Merchandising, went to the Louvre museum for Haute Couture, had a wine tasting session in Oenology, and got a behind the scenes tour of a boulangerie with my French class. It is so amazing!
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