It's pretty hard to contain my excitement about all of the wonderful students we have studying abroad this fall. It's been so great to work towards making sure that your academic experience while you're abroad is one that will enrich your life both inside and outside the classroom for years to come.
When I was an undergraduate student, I studied abroad in both Aix-en-Provence and Paris before completing my Bachelors degree in French from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I also pursued a Maîtrise es lettres modernes at the University of Grenoble, specializing in Francophone Literature and the works of Calixthe Beyala. To say that I hold France in high esteem would be an understatement—it has shaped so much of my personal and professional life in the years since that very first study abroad experience.
I still remember that anticipation I had prior to studying abroad, and I know that international travel looks and feels very different during a global pandemic. I'm sure that many of our students are curious about what life will actually be like on the ground once they go abroad, considering all of the changes that have happened over the last year and a half. Luckily, we had some wonderful student Correspondents sharing their experiences studying abroad in London and Barcelona during COVID-19 this summer, and I wanted to add to that list of resources by talking about my recent trip to France. Below are a few of my observations about traveling, sightseeing, and the overall atmosphere in France these days.