I’ve been home for a little over a month, and I think it’s time I write my “study abroad” experience blog post. Where do I even begin?
What an incredible experience. I am SO HAPPY I took the plunge and decided to follow my dreams of studying abroad. I think I picked the BEST place to study. I fell in love with Paris, but let’s be honest- who doesn’t fall in love with the city of lights? It’s charming, the wine is amazing, and everywhere you turn it’s visually pleasing. The Parisian buildings, famous landmarks, and museums made me never want to leave.
I had picnics by the Eiffel Tower (something I’ll never forget) with wine, cheese, and baguettes, enjoyed wild nights out in Bastille with amazing friends, and enjoyed drinking coffee at my favorite cafe called Radiodays. Life in Paris for 4 months was a complete DREAM.
I found myself there. I gained my confidence back, I learned how to be independent again, and I chased adventure. For the first time in a very long time, I felt happy and free. I felt like I could accomplish anything. This is my biggest take away from studying abroad. I was able to reinvent myself, and focus completely on myself. I had just gotten out of a long term relationship, and going to Paris when I did was the best thing ever. It put a lot of things into perspective, and for the first time in years, I was single!
I made friends for life. Before going abroad, I was so nervous to meet new people. I am pretty reserved and mostly always to myself, so to my surprise I made a ton of friends. I traveled to different countries with them- and we experienced different cultures together. It was hard saying goodbye to these people, because most of them live on the East Coast! But one day, I plan on visiting them all and having a little reunion. I miss them all so much.
I finally can say I’ve been to Europe. For the longest time I’ve been itching to travel to Europe. I’d watch “House Hunters International” on HGTV, and record the episodes that were specifically in Europe. Places like Paris, London, Madrid, Milan, Prague and more were calling my name. Studying abroad in Paris meant that it was easy to travel to other surrounding countries (a huge BONUS)! So, as you all know from prior blog posts I was able to go to: Amsterdam, London, Barcelona, Nice & Cannes, Venice, Rome, Naples, and Marseille. This was me traveling on a budget and having limited money… I was so fortunate to be able to see all those beautiful cities. I cannot wait to go back and explore the places I didn’t get to visit. Now that I’ve had a little taste of traveling, I want more!
School/Fun ratio was perfect. The American Business School of Paris is where I attended for Spring semester. I took a full load (12 units), and had more than enough downtime to travel, have fun, and enjoy the city life. I had class Tuesday, Thursday and Friday’s. I loved having three day weekends; it truly was the best. I liked the school, and loved how many different nationalities went there! I got to meet all kinds of people, from all over.
If I could go back to Paris, I would in a heartbeat. I’m actually still dealing with withdrawals and coming down from my Paris high- as I call it. I hope to go back to Europe when I graduate from college next fall. I’d love to backpack for 3 months or so, but obviously that all depends on finances & where I’m at in my life. BUT- that’s the goal. I must go back! Some places I’d love to see that I didn’t? Switzerland, Greece, Germany, Belgium, Croatia, Austria, Czech Republic, Portugal, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, should I even go on? I’d be down to go ANYWHERE!
I’d tell anyone thinking about studying abroad to DO IT. Jump in, head first. It really did change my life, and opened my eyes to a whole new world. If you have any questions, or would love some advice about Paris- I’d be happy to share my knowledge and experiences. This was a special blog post to write, I hope y’all loved it.