As I sat down on the plane headed to Paris, I began to regret every moment I had spent this summer doing anything but study French. I panicked the entire way to my host family’s house, but pretty soon my worries were put to rest. My host family welcomed me, and although
they did not speak English, we understood each other well enough. I learned the next day that plenty of students in the Education First Program came to France without knowing any French, which made me feel a lot better. My school was located in the ninth arrondissement, just a few blocks from the Opera. One of my favorite memories is from my visit to the ballet. We went the morning of the show and bought tickets for only ten euros. When we got there, we found ourselves in a tiny box, with a wall blocking part of the stage. We could, however, see some empty chairs on the balcony below us. During intermission, we snuck down to the better seats! We were so scared of getting caught, but we ended up having a great view and one of the best nights of our lives.
Another fun, if slightly risky, way to save money in Paris is to pretend to be seventeen to get into museums for free. Everyone under eighteen can get in for free, and members of the EU who are under twenty-six often receive discounts. It’s important to save money when possible,
because Paris can be very pricey. They have cafes on every street, but they are more like a combination of our cafes and restaurants. If one was just looking for a croissant or coffee to go, a boulangerie would be a better place to stop. The main reason I chose the Education First program was because it was the least expensive. While I had a great time in Paris, if I were going for a longer amount of time, I would research different programs more thoroughly. Being careful with my money, as well as traveling throughout Europe, really helped me to become more responsible.
My favorite spot in Paris was anywhere I could see the Eiffel Tower. Whether it was picnicking beside the Louvre or strolling by the Seine, watching the tower sparkle for a few minutes each night always left me feeling content and grateful. The month I spent in Paris has
changed me for the rest of my life. Not only have I improved my French, but I learned so much about different countries and cultures. Students from all of the world, with vastly different backgrounds, all came together to learn about France. I was also able to visit Ireland and
Belgium while in Europe. This trip has increased my love of traveling more than I could have imagined. I am already looking forward to my next adventure!
Sarah Shuler is majoring in Creative Writing with a minor in French . She spent Summer, 2018 studying abroad in Paris, France through EF Language. Sarah had the following to say about her time abroad, “Studying abroad will impact your future in the best ways possible. Not only will you learn about different cultures and languages, but you will learn about yourself as well. Making travel a priority now will create a desire to discover the world that will last your whole lifetime.”
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