Tag Archives: foreign language


Check out these Twenty in Paris Approved Articles on the Paris Study Abroad Experience

(photo by: bostinno.streetwise.co)

I came across these 5 articles, each offering something unique about Paris, French culture or the study abroad experience. When preparing to study abroad, it is important to look up all types of information on any available source.

This first article is more along the lines of the typical ‘Yeah, I’m in Paris and I’m going on a food tour!” type blog but the student is doing something really neat by visiting and blogging about every district in Paris. There are 20 unique districts in Paris and It’s important to visit each one to get a better understanding and appreciation of the city.



The second article is an even worse blog than the 1st in the regard where it’s the perfect summer abroad in Paris, the student merely brushes over the experience of taking classes abroad, and goes right into all the food she’s eating. The only post of substance I could find was about a trip to Disneyland Paris which gives great insight into the European customs and culture on personal space, PDA, and helping strangers.



The third article is a video from Comme une Française- if you haven’t signed up for her free mailing list, you really need to! These videos are so helpful and fun about different aspects of French culture and language. This video is on 5 things that scare non-French people about French culture. Andrea’s tips- watch it and then know what to expect. Don’t be afraid of the differences! Remember , YOU are the new one, not the French.



Dating is something that I never cover on this blog- why? Because I have no experience dating abroad (and I’m not sure if my guest bloggers do). So when I find an article about an aspect of life abroad that I don’t go into (like dating), I get real excited to share it. Here is an article from My French Life about dating in France.



One area that we can never go too much into, is how to better learn French. It is the most important aspect to the Paris (or anywhere else in France) study abroad experience. If you’re not speaking and learning French, then you’re only having a superficial experience abroad. The French are extremely proud of their language. They are in love with it. To not speak it while staying there is considered disrespectful and will only distance you from the culture. This article from My French Life goes over the different types of learners to help you identify which one you are and how to make the most of that style when learning French.



Should You Visit Home During A Long Time Abroad

(Featured photo by: thecrowdwire.org)

I feel like this is one of the hardest questions you face when you’re planning a trip abroad for ten months to one year. The pros and cons are all there- you shouldn’t go home because then you may not want to return to the foreign country, but then again it can be like recharging your battery to go home and see family, etc. Most of it depends on the individual person, but sometimes the situation is easier to read.

The younger you are, the more you should NOT visit home, at least considering that the time is not more than one year. Why? Because the less experience you have being away from home, the more you’ll be tempted to simply return home for good and miss out on so many wonderful opportunities abroad. Of course, it’s hard to put an age range on this, but the age range of study abroad-ers from about 18 to 24 is probably the hardest hit. However, I would say that it’s more accurately those who are going abroad on their own for the first time, especially the first time for a one-year duration, that are most encouraged to stick out the long stay without the visit back home.

If finances are hard, even for your parents/guardians, don’t empty that savings account just because the chance to go home is really nice. Being a young person abroad, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to afford the tickets home and back, which means you’ll be leaning on others for the expenses. Some travelers are lucky enough to go home when desired, but don’t put that pressure on family if they don’t really have the funds either. My advice is to ask them for a care package instead. It can still be pricey to send a box abroad, but it’s nothing compared to a plane ticket, and some little things from home make a huge difference in your happiness abroad.

Despite these important factors, I think the most crucial one is to plan from the beginning whether or not you’ll go home. If you wait to decide until you’re a few months in to see if you have the time/money, the chance is that you’ll be making the decision during your “down” time on the “W scale”, which will make you want to go home for the wrong reasons. And if you don’t plan on going home and it works out as a happy accident, great! But if you plan to go home and then it falls through because of lack of preparation, you’re going to be in for a rough ride. Your ducks have to be in a row no matter where or when you’re traveling! This has been my most recent problem and now the homesickness is worse than before.
Lots of big decisions have to be made before your time abroad, and whether or not to go home is a huge part of that. Write out the pros and cons, evaluate your own personality and situation, and make a choice that you can stick to. But if you can’t go home- don’t despair! Most families can afford small care packages, or if not, little mementos and lots of Skype calls will do the trick. It’s not the end of the world to be away from home for a year. Stay positive and have fun!


Chelsea Fairless

Chelsea is a home-bred Texan currently living in Geneva, Switzerland and studying French at the University of Geneva, while living and working with a family as a part-time nanny. She has been living in the Geneva area since August 2012. You can follow more of her story on her blog http://parolepassport.blogspot.com/ and other social media sites.

April showers bring Paris flowers

May is the best month in Paris. It’s when the city comes alive with fascinatingly fabulous flora; when strikes seem to stop; when Parisians are happily lounging outside on public lawns enjoying delicious picnics; when study abroad students are frantically running around the city trying to visit those last few sites they still haven’t yet seen and make as many long lasting memories as possible in the few short weeks before they leave to go home. It’s a beautiful time in Paris, the month that everyone all over the world waits for. Recently, I was at Gussie Park in Dallas whose beautiful, blooming flowers reminded me just a little of Paris. Since I didn’t take many pictures while I was in Paris (the only thing I regret from my time abroad), I partook in a little fantasy of pretending to be walking through a Paris garden. Sometimes you just have to indulge your imagination. All photos by Andrea .



Twenty in Paris Approved Study Abroad Blogs

Bon weekend à tous. If this trend of awesome study abroad blogs continue (which I hope it does), I plan to make this a weekly feature! This week’s study abroad blogs that have earned the official Twenty in Paris seal of approval are:

 san diego

Blog name: De San Diego à Paris

URL: http://desandiegoaparis.blogspot.com/

Who: Laura Neuzeth

What: Laura is a California girl with a passion for French who studies abroad in the City of Light for an academic year. Her blog also includes video updates in addition to written posts where she talks about French university system, her own personal observations about French culture, a trip to Disney Euro and much, much more. Laura was in France in 2012 but the information she provides is still current.



Blog name: Octopus Traveling

URL: http://polpoviaggio.tumblr.com/

Who: Vittoria

What: Vittoria is a Texan Christian University Journalism student who is also minoring in Italian. She is currently studying abroad in Genova, Italy. In addition to having my favorite animal as the title of her blog, she has candid posts on the differences between Italian and American culture and how being abroad makes her reflect on what she always viewed as normal. This blog is a great asset not only to students  interested in Italy but also in general study abroad. Ms. Vittoria’s observations are oh-so true, light and show you how studying abroad redefines your views on everything you thought you knew.




Blog name: The Local

URL: http://www.thelocal.fr/

Who: France Edition

What: I am always say that you should read the news of your host country in its native language (if applicable) before going abroad to familiarize yourself with the current culture. While I still stick to that philosophy, I know that right now is finals time and that everyone’s brain could use a break. So here is a blog that shares the news about multiple host countries (France, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland) in English. And when I say news, it’s not dry politics- it’s fun, quirky fun stories. My favorite for this week from the France edition of The Local is What the French Find Weird About Americans. These posts really give you great insight into the host culture from natives and expats living abroad who have discovered many aspects about the host culture that you can prepare for in advance.



Blog name: Study Abroad Scout


Who: N/A

What: I came across this blog thanks to an article titled Unspoken Rules in Study Abroad. This blog has student bloggers in addition to the website masters who write about about studying abroad tips on every continent in addition to rating study abroad programs, providing information on numerous destinations and even giving info for scholarships.



Blog name: Students Gone Global

URL: http://studentsgoneglobal.com/

Who: N/A

What: Students Gone Global is a community blogging site where students from every (Anglophone) country who are studying abroad in almost every country share their story on practically every topic to being sick abroad and having to go to the doctor, not being able to find school supplies so easily abroad, traveling, sight seeing, classes, home life and much, much more. This is a very interactive site and one of my favorite aspects of the SGG community. It’s free to join and be a part of.



Have you only been told about all the great things you are going to do abroad but aren’t quite buying? Are you someone who is looking for the truth? Answer all of your questions about what the experience of living and going to college abroad to avoid any surprises with book The Paris Diaries: The Study Abroad Experience Uncensored. Looking for something more technical like exactly how many and which documents do you need to get your French visa? Check out Twenty in Paris: A Young American Perspective of Studying Abroad in Paris. Don’t have a Kindle? Download the free Kindle App to your iPad or any other e-reader device.