As I write this, I have been home for a little over three months. Reflecting on the four weeks I spent in Paris, what do I think? Would I recommend other students to go abroad?
Paris has always been somewhere I’ve wanted to visit. For no particular reason, other than wanting to visit the Eiffel Tower. I’ve been obsessed with the Eiffel Tower for as long as I can remember. And let me tell you, it does not disappoint. I visited the Eiffel Tower at least 5 times throughout my time in Paris. When this opportunity arose, I got excited. I took the necessary steps to apply, attended the pre-departure orientation course. Even while taking the pre-departure class, I didn’t really think I was actually going to go. But the further along I went, the more it became a reality. There is a lot of preparation, and it can definitely get overwhelming. I went into this with no expectations, because I didn’t know what it would be like and I also didn’t want to be let down.
I had decided to go to another country alone, it was quite terrifying. I have to say that going solo wasn’t so bad. It forced me to step out of my comfort zone, and really encourage me to make new friends. It helped me grow in that sense, but also helped me gain independence.
It is crazy looking back on it, because I met complete strangers and they became the only people I knew in the whole country. They became family. They are the people I ate dinner with, laughed with, went shopping with, went exploring the city with. I made life long memories with so many people who live across the globe. There is a good chance I may never see some of them ever again. But, I will cherish the memories I have with them forever.
I would definitely recommend studying abroad to anyone who has the chance. This experience is one that not many have the opportunity to have. My study abroad experience is quite different than others because I was luckily enough to spend the summer with all international students. We had a blast, there was never a dull moment, and there was always someone who was interested in what you wanted to do. Normally, many students go abroad and attend class with the students of that university. There were only two French ESSCA students in the whole program. Our program was tailored to us, they encouraged going out in the city and make the most of our trip.
My perspective was widen to a global view. I studied in a different country with a British, Ukraine, and French professors, with students from all over the world, which include, but not limited to: Michigan, Florida, Australia, Hong Kong, Scotland, Brazil, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Vietnam, the Phillippines, and Italy.
If you’ve read some of my other posts, you will know that it wasn’t a walk in the park. I had some obstacles, and problems I faced, but the ups and downs really allowed me to learn and grow. I will forever cherish the memories I made and lessons I’ve learned.
A few classmates of mine, spent most of their days in their hotel room, and really didn’t explore what the city had to offer. They wanted to go home from the start. So, if you were to ask them, they would not recommend it. If you want to put yourself out there and be exposed to a new lifestyle, I would recommend this to you, with a willing attitude.
Here’s an article about I did with a fellow Global Vulcan: https://hilo.hawaii.edu/chancellor/stories/2019/09/26/2019-study-abroad-programs-in-europe/