My name is Jonathan Skewes, and I am currently a junior at Pennsylvania State University. I am majoring in advertising, as well as minoring in French, political science, and international studies. I am an avid soccer fan, and I spend most of my weekends supporting Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain. I am itching with anticipation to attend multiple PSG games during my time in Paris. I am ecstatic to live and study in Paris for multiple months. I visited Paris when I was in 7th grade, and my first experience in the City of Light inspired me to study the French language. I am looking forward to interacting with fellow students who have chosen to study in Paris. The fact that all of us chose Paris as our destination indicates that we all share at least some similar interests, and I cannot wait to share my experiences with other people. Additionally, I feel both a sense of excitement and nervousness to meet my host family for the first time. I always knew I wanted to participate in a homestay during my time abroad, and I am hoping my host family can teach me about French and Parisian culture that I would not learn in a classroom.
Although I have not started to pack, I already have a list of some staple items I will bring with me. First and foremost, I will certainly add my black parka to my suitcase. Although Paris does not get as cold as most northern cities in the United States, it can still get pretty cool. I have gone on adventures where all I remember is how cold it was, and I do not want to add this experience to that unfortunate list. Additionally, I plan on bringing multiple pairs of black jeans. Several friends and blogs, as well as my personal memory, have informed me that Parisians dress in dark colors, like blacks and greys. Considering the fact that I do not want to stick out like a sore thumb, I plan on packing many dark, basic clothes, like black jeans. With that in mind, I am also adding a pair of basic black and white sneakers. I plan on getting good use out of them while walking through the streets of France.
While abroad, there are a couple destinations I would like to visit outside of France. Many friends have told me how wonderful Ireland is, so that is certainly on my list. Additionally, I would love to visit Amsterdam to tour the Anne Frank museum and marvel at the many canals that connect the capital of the Netherlands. In addition to those two locations, I have friends that currently reside in London and Munich, and I plan on visiting them to get a local perspective on two of the larger cities in Europe. With that being said, I want to understand all that Paris has to offer. I do not want to treat the city just as my school location. Rather, I want to know the ins-and-outs. I want to be able to recommend cafes and museums to friends and family that might not appear in Lonely Planet’s guide to the city. I plan on staying in Paris for multiple weekends so I can explore my temporary home.
With my departure date fast approaching, I am currently feeling a mix of utter excitement with a tinge of nervousness for the upcoming months. I look forward to making life-long memories in a city that most people only dream about. I cannot wait to update you, the reader, each month as I get lost in an unforgettable adventure.