IES provides various excursion trips to their students. Some are free while others require a co-pay but all give you access to popular sites just outside of Paris. This past weekend, the majority of the students in the program took an overnight trip to Normandy. We hopped on the bus Friday morning at 8am and headed northwest towards Caen. Our first stop was the memorial of Caen, a museum dedicated to telling the history of World War II. The museum was incredible and very eye-opening about not only the horrors of the Second World War, but also the ignorance of many people at the time. It provided an evolution of the war and provided insights into the lives of French civilians and government officials. The museum also highlighted D-Day or Jour-J as they say in France. After visiting the museum, we drove about an hour to Asnelles. We spent the rest of our day on the beach in front of our hostel. Asnelles is at the east side of the artificial harbor that the Allies built right after the invasion of Normandy. At low tide, we were able to walk right up next to the breakwaters eroded by years of storms; however, many students got trapped on a sandbar by the extremely fat-moving tide and ended up trudging through knee-deep water to return to land. A group of friends and I walked all the way to Arromanches before turning around to avoid getting stranded by the rising tides. The next day, we went to Omaha beach and the American cemetery. The whole morning was, as the French would say, “très émouvant.” In the afternoon, after an amazing lunch, we went to the D-Day museum in Arromanches. The museum guide went over the process of how they built such a large harbor in less than two weeks; it’s absolutely incredible that some of the breakwaters are still visible. We returned to Paris after visiting Arromanches, but the things I saw and learned on this trip will forever stay with me. I will never again forget the incredible significance of June 6th and all those who lost their lives fighting for the future of the world.
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<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hi! My name is Katie Baldwin. I am a junior International Business Major at Saint Joseph's University. I am a member of my school's Gaelic football team and a sister of Alpha Omicron Pi. I also work as a technician and a brand ambassador at SJU's Technology Service Center. I love travelling, painting, and dancing with my friends. I have always dreamed of studying abroad in Paris and that dream is finally coming true!</span></div>