Exploring Paris: Insights, Impressions, and Iconic Sights

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Johannes Ong
March 17, 2024

Paris, a city known for its charm and allure, has long been at the top of my list of dream travel destinations. Recently, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the city's culture and delve into its fascinating history thanks to the IES Abroad European Union Program. My trip was filled with stimulating conversations and the awe-inspiring sights of Parisian landmarks. 

A standout experience during my journey was engaging in a conversation with Ms. Marie Krpata, a research fellow at the Study Committee on Franco-German Relations. Our discussion delved into the complexities of Franco-American relations, offering valuable insights into the collaborative endeavors and obstacles faced by these significant European nations. Ms. Krpatas expertise and passion for the topic were truly enlightening, providing me with a perspective on Europe's landscape.

Another captivating encounter was meeting Mr. Mathieu Zagrodzki, a researcher at the Centre d'études sociologiques sur le droit et les institutions pénales (CESDIP) and a lecturer at IES Abroad Paris. Mr. Zagrodzki shared his insights on France's climate, shedding light on the intricate social dynamics and legal structures that shape French society. His perspectives sparked reflections on governance and public policy complexities in a way. Doing a phenomenal job of breaking down the French political system.

During our engaging discussions, I also had the pleasure of taking part in some activities. One standout experience was the Seine Boat Tour with Bateaux Mouches, an event that left a lasting impression. We gathered at Port de la Conférence by the side of Pont de l'Alma. Cruising along the Seine, we were treated to breathtaking views of Paris landmarks bathed in the glow of the sunset. It was a moment of beauty and serenity that will stay with me forever.

Exploring Paris would not be complete without immersing oneself in its museums and monuments. The Louvre, with its galleries brimming with art and history, was truly a dream come true. Standing face-to-face with the Mona Lisa evoked a connection to history. It left me in awe of such an iconic masterpiece. Then there was the Eiffel Tower—its towering presence never fails to inspire awe. Observing Paris from its summit as the city lights began twinkling was an experience I'll never forget.

Yet, Paris is not about its landmarks; it's also a haven for delights waiting at every turn. From buttery croissants and decadent éclairs to coq au vin and flavorful ratatouille, each meal felt like a tribute to cuisine. The cafes, with their atmosphere and delightful coffee, quickly became my places to unwind and ponder after a day of sightseeing.

That being said, while the trip of a lifetime, I now know not to underestimate the tole travel takes on the body. Is it worth it? Absolutely! As a blogger it is my job to completely transparent so I thought I would quickly mention the WHOLE picture.

My time in Paris was not a vacation; it was a dive into culture, politics, art, and history. It provided me with the chance to interact with thinkers, admire the splendor of landmarks, and savor the flavors of French cuisine. The enchanting allure and sophistication of Paris have left an impression on my heart, sparking aspirations for trips and more discoveries.

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Johannes Ong headshot

Johannes Ong

Hello! I'm Jo, an economics student at Pomona College, originally from New York and later a CA San Diegan since the age of 11. I love to run and am excited about the program!

2024 Spring
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