New Year, New Start: How I spent New Years Eve in my Paris Study Abroad

(photo by www.health.com)

Bonne Année à tous! I hope that you had a great and safe New Years last night. A new year is always a great time to re-evaluate and restart your priorities and goals so that you don’t repeat the same mistakes as the previous year. I’ve never been a big fan of New Years festivities but my favorite and most memorable New Years to date has to be the year I was in Paris. Today’s guest post comes you to as an excerpt from Twenty in Paris: A Young American Perspective of Studying Abroad in Paris (getting a make-over in 2015. Stay Tuned for more info!).

Chapter 11: New Year, New Start

New Years fell in the middle of my father’s visit. We ushered in the New Year watching the Eiffel Tower New Years spectacle from a deserted Parisian side street. The Parisian version of the ball drop in Times Square is having the Eiffel Tower lights go off sporadically for one minute accompanied by fire works. Despite not reaching the Eiffel Tower in time, it was still a magical way to bring in the New Year. If you are going to be in Paris for the New Year, I highly recommend going to Champs de Mars for the Eiffel Tower spectacle. Champs de Mars is the small field upon which the Eiffel Tower sits. You should get there at least a few hours before midnight to find a seat. Do not forget to bundle up; Paris is very cold this time of year.

With a new year comes a new start. My new years enlightenment for 2008 was that I needed a few days a week “off” from Tatie. By January, Tatie and I had come to a better understanding. I was learning a lot from staying with her but I realized that it is neither healthy nor normal for a 21 year old to be spending all her time with a 76 year old. I needed not only young blood, but American blood. The second semester AYA students were a major improvement from the earlier lot. These students were friendlier, pleasant and out-going. I befriended a girl that spring semester and we would do things together on days I was not with Tatie. It really helped to have a friend in Paris and it was unfortunate I had to wait five months for one to come.

I was an immediate hit with the second semester students due to my first semester experience in Paris. To them, I was a seasoned veteran. As they sat around talking about the unknowns of Parisian life, I was putting my feet up and basking in five months of personal experience. I did lend a helping hand and provide information whenever I could. This bunch was quick to learn and got the hang of things a lot sooner than the fall semester students.

Friends and having a few days a week to myself were a great start to a new semester. I was determined to not repeat the first semester and make most of every opportunity presented to me.


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