My name is Katherine Wilkes, I spent this past fall semester studying abroad in Paris, France. I went through the program CISabroad. I chose this program because of many different factors. The primary reason was that the school I would be attending through the program and what classes I would be able to take were most suited towards my major out of all of the programs.

Other things such as the type of housing and cost were also important factors. Overall, I felt that that was the program that would allow me to get what I wanted out of the experience the most. Something that really stood out to me while I was abroad is just how big the world really is. There are so many people and places and things and opportunities out there. Through this experience, I feel that I was able to learn a lot about myself and grow as a person while also learning a lot about the world, other people, and just life in general. I met people that I will never forget and made friends and memories that will hopefully last a lifetime. I was able to travel to other places than just Paris also. I went to other cities in France such as Nice, Chartres, and Lille. I went to other countries such as Belgium, Monaco, and the Netherlands also.

Living in Paris was an indescribable experience, the city was just so alive. The architecture was beautiful, there was so much history, the people were so unique, the list goes on and on. It was crazy to me how easily I was able to settle into a life there. I had picnics in front of the Eiffel Tower, went to the Louvre and so many other museums, I drank coffee at a cafe by the Seine every Saturday morning. I had the opportunity to experience and see for my own eyes how cultured the world really is. I was able to become even more independent than I already was and was able to learn and make connections that will benefit my academic career.

Studying abroad is something I highly recommend, I feel that it is important for people to go outside of their comfort zones, to explore the world, and to meet new people and try to understand life from another perspective than your own. Studying abroad allows you to do this while also furthering your academic career. The process is not the easiest especially if you are going for a decent amount of time but it is worth all of the time and planning that goes into it.

Katherine Wilkes is majoring in International Studies. She spent Fall 2018 studying abroad in Paris, France through CISabroad. Katherine had the following to say about her time abroad, “As cliche as it sounds, studying abroad can change your life. I will never forget the people I met and the experiences I had abroad. It’s a chance to get to know yourself while also getting to know the world.”

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