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Prepared Not Unprepared

4 Ways to Prepare for Study Abroad Cultural and Linguistic Immersion

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There are a lot of steps you have to take to get ready for your up-coming study abroad. You need to register with a program, get a student visa, work with your student loan companies to cover your tuition, and prepare for cultural and linguistic immersion. However, many American students aren’t doing the last part and not every program is guiding students on how to do this. From someone who did no preparation for the experience aspect of studying abroad, I can tell you that this can come back to bite you in the derrière. You spend all this time choosing the right program and preparing all your paperwork for the visa, why not spend just as much time preparing for cultural and linguistic immersion? Cultural and linguistic immersion are the very essence of the study abroad experience. Without it, you’re probably having a vacation with books and you could’ve done that for a lot cheaper than paying for a study abroad. Just like finding a program and preparing to get your student visa, the prep work for cultural and linguistic immersion takes time. Six months to be exact; at least, that’s my recommended time frame.

This video is what I call a note worthy video. Meaning you should be taking notes while you’re watching it. The Twenty in Paris team watched it and told me that it’s too long. “Students like to receive information in short, fun bursts”, they told me. They might be right on that but I couldn’t help but be perturbed by this observation. My rationale is that if you can’t take 9 minutes to watch a video on cultural and linguistic immersion tips, how can you ever have the patience to do the daily work needed before and once your abroad? Studying abroad isn’t a walk in Champs de Mars, so neither will be its preparation. But your preparation perseverance will pay off in the long run.


Bonne chance!

- Andrea


Twenty in Paris Updates

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Bonjour à tous,

Sorry I’ve been absente these past few days. I was super lucky to have had another 3 day weekend where I mixed business with fun in Austin, TX and I’m just getting back to the grindstone. There’s been a lot going on at Twenty in Paris- here’s what new:

  • and I teamed up for a 3rd time to help you decide if you should study abroad in the beautiful and world famous Paris or in sunny and college town friendly Aix-en-Provence. I hope to keep writing for them on a monthly basis – it’s been really fun!
  • During my trip to Austin, I had a fantastic business lunch with iE-USA- They’re a study abroad program which helps get high school students to study abroad at local public high schools in numerous countries. We’re working on something together but it’s a little early to spill the beans.
  • Did you know that by signing up for the Twenty in Paris newsletter you are entered in for a chance to win some awesome French design paper which is  perfect for framing, using as a desk liner, a window shade decoration or even a lamp shade pattern or any craft project!  It’s not too late but sign up sooner rather than later to make sure that you’re the lucky winner! To sign up, just enter in your email address in the  “Subscribe” box on the right had side bar.
  • Speaking of prizes… guest bloggers for Twenty in Paris have the chance to win an Amazon gift card if there post reaches 100 views in the month. Are you an introvert but interested in writing and joining a community of fellow Francophiles and wanderlusters? Come be a guest blogger! You’ll have a chance to win prizes, it looks good on a resume and it gets your voice out there. All bloggers between 9/1 – 9/30/14 have the chance to win so act fast- who knows, that Amazon gift card may just have your name on it!




5 Ways to Enjoy Paris When You’re Poor

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I’m really excited to share with you this Paris study abroad guest post by Damon and Jo from Shut Up and Goyour go-to travel site for the broke twenty-something!

It’s really easy to adopt the “blasé” French snobitude when you’re broke in Paris. Euros aren’t our friends, and inflated prices for puny cups of espressos just ain’t cute. Lucky for you, we’re two frugal twenty-somethings that have uncovered the cheapest corners of the City of Light.

Back when we studied abroad in Paris, it was impossible to keep up with trust-funded fellow study-abroaders who would wine and dine in the trendiest venues in France. So instead of staying inside and complaining (that would have been so French of us), we opted out for a more “Damon and Jo” style of travel – the broke betch swag that leaves you wandering around windy streets for hours until you stumble upon hidden gems of cheap goodness.

And voilà, we present you our secrets of Paris that will make your séjour cheap and charmant:

1)   Pre-game with two euro wine at Monoprix

If anyone ever told you that it was unclassy to buy wine in grocery stores, they got another thing comin’. Most Parisians live off the wine found on the shelves of Monoprix, one of the largest grocery store chains in France, where there you don’t have to be wealthy to wine up. We usually picked up the two euro Monoprix brand of Sauvignon, which we deemed “clochard wine” because it was what we’d see the homeless people drinking. No shame in our cheap wine game.

2)   Scarf down food in the food maze in Saint Michel, Quartier Latin

Why are French people so skinny? Because it’s so pricey to eat a full meal. Of course, you could survive on a diet consisting of demi-baguettes or jambon-beurres, but if you’re looking to fulfill more than one food group, we most def’ recommend exploring the food maze in the “Quartier Latin.” Located in one of the most historic parts of town, the slim streets of the Quartier Latin house both touristy restaurants with pushy hosts trying to get you in the door, as well as petit, hole-in-the-wall restaurants that will fill your appetite without emptying your bank account. Here you’ll find everything from Turkish gyros with massive €6 pitas, crêperies with €4 sweet or salty crêpes, and foot-long paninis that cost no more than €5.

Directions: Take the 4 metro line to St. Michel and face the Seine to orient yourself. You’ll be surrounded by bright yellow signs that say Gibert Jeune (a massive chain of bookstores). Turn right and begin walking until you see small windy streets. Take Rue De La Huchette to your left and feast frugally.

3) Père Pops

As Americans studying abroad in Paris, all we wanted at times, was a decent WiFi connection and a cheap cup of coffee…that wasn’t McDonalds. Is that so much to ask for, Paris? Luckily, a French friend introduced us to a super French, super bobo café-bar number.

Located in the 19th arrondissement off a random street, Pères Populaires boasts everything you might possibly want in a Brooklyn coffee shop, but in Paris. Indoor benches so you can attempt to make French friends, quirky 70s décor, outdoor seating (probably filled by smokers, beware), and best of all, €1 cups of espresso. Now that, my friends, is unheard of.

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4) Cheap souvenirs in Rue Mouffetard

So yo momma asked you to pick up souvenirs for basically everyone in your family and you’re not trying to spend your life savings on the occasion. That’s where Rue Mouffetard comes in. Start your daytime shopping spree on Place Monge and Rue Mouffetard and walk all the way down to Square Saint-Médard where you’ll find the same souvenirs that might be double the price by the Champs-Elysées. Rue Mouffetard is a classic cobblestone French in the 5th arrondissement that only allows pedestrians, or, as you might soon find out, people dancing in the streets to an old Edith Piaf melody.

Directions: Take the 7 metro line to Place Monge, walk towards Pl. Monge and take a right until you hit Rue Mouffetard. Continue your walking tour all the way down until you hit the Square Saint-Médard.

5) to party fo’ free

Learning where the cheap hot spots to get crunk in a foreign country isn’t exactly the easiest thing to nail down, especially with limited French skills and limited French friends. After countless Google searches, we came across SoonNight, a website that lists every club with free admission for each night of the week. Why spend a €10 cover when you could booty-drop for free?

Don’t forget to connect with Damon & Jo on YouTube and their Website!

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