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CEA MOJO in Paris Discusses Bringing Study Abroad With You

When you are in your home university, which for me is a large public school in Montclair, New Jersey, you do not always take the time to consider how your future study abroad experience will come to be used. Studying abroad for me was an easy choice. I wanted to go somewhere that I could learn a new culture and I wanted to go to a place where I could take the best photos. France has allowed me to do all of this.

 


Learning about another culture can be shocking. When we first came to Paris we were told that when things seemed “weird or strange" we should say that things are “different”. I was surprised with this approach to fitting in or becoming used to the different situations one comes across when living in France. Walking into a grocery you see many new labels, brands and foods you have never seen. After shopping through some very distinctive areas of the store, you go to check out only to have the store clerk give you dirty looks and continue to ask you things in French. Then, when you are ready to leave, you are charged for the bags you use.

Not all grocery stores in Paris are like this but for most, these events could have been improved with some general knowledge of what it’s like to shop in France. Like knowing that most often, the customer has to weigh produce themselves and put a price tag on their items, or that most cashiers will ask you if you have the change for the payment. Also, some will charge you for grocery bags, so it’s a good idea to buy reusable bags.

Studying in France I’ve learned more about culture then just shopping. I’ve been learning more and more about the French attitude. Speaking to a mass of people who are not native English speakers, you begin to realize that your diction has to change to an international way of speaking. Speaking slowly, more clearly, and using universal terminology or more common words help the French and most non-English speakers understand the point you are attempting to convey.

Being in Paris has also given me the subjects that I need to further my portfolio with photography. Since I’ve been here, my goal has been to shoot (photograph) as much as possible. While traveling around the city or just picking a good spot, the photography has been great. The photos of the Parisian people have been remarkable. As a street photographer, it is my job to shoot the everyday life of these astonishing people. It has not always been easy, but the results are well worth it.


Hope you enjoyed.
Matt Mitchell CEA Mojo in Paris, France

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