I was excited when IES contacted me to write the “A Year Later” blog post because my future plans are a direct result of my time studying abroad. My semester in Paris was an unforgettable experience and as soon as I left I wanted to go back. I spent the majority of my senior year working on a project that I named “Going back to Paris…” and it turned out to be like taking an extra class!
I did hours of research about job opportunities, programs, scholarships and schools and I even took a trip over my winter break to hit the pavement and see what was possible. After talking to as many people as I could, it became clear that the most realistic option for me was going to be returning as a student and then being able to legally work part time.
My main passion is photography (I was a photo blogger for IES) and after taking some basic classes this year I quickly realized it is something I want to pursue further. Luckily I came across a program that combines my love for Paris and my desire to develop my creative skills. I am thrilled to say that I will be moving to Paris this fall to participate in a year long photography and graphic design program at the Paris College of Art!
To say I’m excited is an understatement. I can’t wait to spend more time in one of my favorite cities studying something I love. My study abroad experience with IES really prepared me to be able to make this big move. 10 months is a lot more than 4, and it’s a long time to be away from friends, family and America. But now I am familier with Paris and I have the language skills and connections to make my adventure there just as rewarding as the first time.
I know it sounds cheesy, but my dreams are coming true! I’m so lucky to have this opportunity and it goes to show how studying abroad can really change your life. For anyone thinking about studying abroad I have two words: Do it. And for those who are there now, keep in touch with the people you meet, your program staff and your friends because you never know when you might be back in town.
The day I left I said, à bientôt Paris. It looks like I was right.