As soon as your plane’s wheels hit the ground to study abroad in Paris, the next 24 hours are a whirlwind of sights, sounds, and smells — not to mention emotions! So many emotions. The first? Excitement as you leave the airport, spot the Eiffel Tower in the distance, and receive your Bienvenue Pack from CEA.
Next? Frustration. When your apartment keys seem too big and medieval to possibly fit in the lock (trust me, they do!), or when the store LeFrenchMobile tells you they’ve run out of SIM cards, and you assume they must be lying (they aren’t!). The third? Pride—that you’ve navigated a brand new city, found your apartment, and made it this far.
I’ve heard that Parisians can easily identify foreigners based on how much they look at their surroundings. If this is true, I stick out like a sore thumb. But hey — that’s okay. As much as I want to be taken for a pro, nonchalant Parisian, the sights are too incredible to not stare (or snap a few pics). It’s okay to act like a “tourist” because we’re not, really. We’re students lucky enough to call Paris home for the next four or five months — enough time to truly immerse ourselves in its rich culture and learn directly from the locals. What tourist can say that?
Find our more about studying abroad in Paris.
Olivia Hunt is the Spring 2020 CEA MOJO Blogger in Paris, France, and is currently studying at University of San Diego.