You are here

Getting Ready for Goodbyes

July 6, 2018

You never know how fast time will pass until it's already happened. And boy, being in a foreign country just makes it seem so much faster.

I knew from the start that my study abroad program would fly by – I am doing a summer program, so I only have had around a month and a half here. In many ways, I feel that even if I had done a full semester, or even a year, I would come out of it still wanting more time.

Being in France feels as though you're plopped down in the middle of a movie set – every piece of art and architecture surrounding you is almost surreal in its beauty. My friends and I would often remark that it almost seems fake, like there's no possible way a city could be as delicately crafted and rich with history. I think being an American, we are used to things that are still so young. While America certainly has some very rich history, the grand civilizations that expanded so rapidly occured mostly on the other side of the world. It all seems so out of place at first: the history is all there, the buildings still standing, so close you can reach out and touch it. I often found myself cutting costs in my food budget in favor of paying the entry fees to any museum I could. And in Paris, even if you feel like you've hit them all, there will always be another one you've missed. 

Coming into the last week of my program, I was almost regretful, feeling as though I should have done more. The sheer vastness of experiences and places to attend in Paris is overwhelming, and I've realized now that trying to force them all into a month and a half will only devalue them. When you're abroad, you certainly feel the pressure to constantly go out and do. However, I've realized that in order to experience it to its fullest, you must know when to rest too. But if you must take an afternoon off, take advantage of the outdoors. One of my favorite Parisien experiences is simply lounging by the Seine, consuming Lu cookies and too many baguettes, watching the chic Parisiens and not-so-chic tourists pass by. 

No matter what you do, you will feel like you didn't have enough time. Don't take this as a loss – it's simply the push you need to get you back there sooner. 

From Our Blogs

Feb 21 7:47am

A Casa Mia - My Italian Homestay

by Amanda

A quick look at how my homestay experience is going after over a month.

Learn more
Feb 21 4:29am

Reactions to Rome

by Livia

The first few days in Rome have been crazy—a combination of adjusting to living in an apartment in a completely new country with its own language and culture plus attending a week-long orientation to situate us with our new IES Abroad program.

Learn more
Feb 21 12:52am

Trip to Hiroshima, Miyajima, and Himeji

by Lesli

For those curious about IES Abroad Nagoya field trips!

Learn more
Feb 19 8:03am

Being Social in a Foreign Country

by Cameron

This post is about my life so far in Rome and how I have managed to remain social even though I'm in a foreign country.

Learn more
Feb 18 11:21am

Ecuadorian Family Life: Finding Beauty in the Differences

by Julianna

The goal of this post on Ecuadorian family life is to help people recognize our ability to grow through experiencing a variety of cultures and reflecting on the similarities and differences between them and our own.

Learn more
Feb 18 9:18am

A Week Completed: My First Week in Buenos Aires

by Mollie

As I settle into Buenos Aires, I reflect on my first week in the city, including my arrival and program orientation and sightseeing.

Learn more