Bonjour à tous!
Are you a France study abroad student? Discovering things about the study abroad experience or life in France that weren’t quite how you expected and want to share those stories?
Twenty in Paris is looking for guest bloggers who love to write and want to share their stories of being a student abroad to help other students, Francophiles, parents and study abroad programs create the best experience possible in France.
I am looking for guest bloggers who are:
1) Students who are going to study abroad, currently studying abroad or came back from studying abroad in the past 6 months-2 years.
2) Interested in writing and providing informative, honest, and eye-opening stories about life in France
3) Eager to share their tips, advice and personal stories about the study abroad experience from the initial planning stages to the return home and everything in between.
Why should you guest blog on Twenty in Paris?
- This is a great opportunity to share your love and knowledge of studying abroad with others.
- Writers will also have their website and/or all social media sites posted in a bio box at the end of each post- a great way to promote your site!
By: Andrea Bouchaud
Seven years ago, I had the privilege to spend a year in the most beautiful city on Earth. Paris is an amazing place and I always look fondly back on my time I spent there. However, it was not my first host city choice for studying abroad. When I first decided I wanted to study abroad in France for my junior year of college, I applied to my university’s program in Tours. Unfortunately, this program was canceled about 4 weeks into the registration process and I had to find another one. The next program I applied to was in Nice with the University of Maryland. I was well into the registration process for this program when I had a brilliant idea to contact long, lost family in Paris. My grandfather’s sister lived in Paris and I thought by living with her for the summer before the start of classes in the fall, I could get accustomed to speaking French daily. Upon hearing this idea, she offered me the opportunity to live in Paris rent free. As this newfound opportunity alleviated a huge financial strain, I had to cancel my enrollment in the Nice program and find a study abroad program in Paris. Although I have an immense love for the City of Light, it was not my first or even second choice as a host city in France. Why? Because I don’t have a “big” personality. I find that I get lost in the bigness of a situation and then don’t have a good time/ do my best. My first year of college, I went to Drexel University. Drexel is a big school and I was just one of thousands of students on campus. I felt overwhelmed at its size and impersonal nature. When I transferred to Rutgers for the rest of my college career, its small campus and intimate class settings appealed to me and I flourished beautifully there. Just like a too big college campus, big cities are also a little too much of everything: people, crime, pollution, things to do and see, money you have to spend to be able to live there. I’m more of a homebody and not a night life kind of gal so living in a major metropolitan area with all kinds of activities, all the time is lost on me. Don’t get me wrong. I still overall had a great time in Paris but I think that I would’ve succeeded differently and maybe sooner had I studied abroad in a smaller city. Paris was an ideal study abroad location because of my unique housing situation and it doesn’t hurt that it also has great schools. I still would recommend to study abroad in Paris to anyone (as long as it is the best choice for your major, of course) but would caution to find a program that also suits your personality. Looking back, Paris was not my ideal host city for study abroad but I’m still glad that I had the chance to live there.
By: Andrea Bouchaud
(photo by friend- this is me at Jardin de Luxembourg. This has nothing to do with New Years other than it is a fun photo that was taken in the spring semester during my year in Paris. Woohoo for big bows!)
That’s what New Year’s Day meant to me as a twenty year old American student in Paris who had a tough 1st semester. When the clock struck midnight on December 31st that year while I stood in a quiet Parisian street watching the lights on the Eiffel Tower flicker crazily while fireworks went off in the background, I made a promise to myself that the spring semester would be different for me than the fall semester. I promised myself that I would not make the same mistakes twice and would take and seek out every opportunity available in the great city of Paris. No more would I look down on the French culture when it wasn’t how I hoped it would be. My attitude changed for things like: Strikes- they became charming; The uncanny ability the French have to disagree with most things –it became an amusing conversation piece; The “work to live” mentality – became an exemplary way to structure a society and economy.
But it didn’t stop there. No more would I be afraid to speak. No more would I stay in the studio and sulk. No more would I be the person I was in the first semester. That spring semester in Paris truly was a difference for me. I became the positive changes I wanted to see. If you’re studying in France for an academic year, I hope that this New Year treats you well and is even better than your last semester. If this spring semester is your first semester abroad, I wish you best of luck. Don’t forget to make it everything you want it to be.