Over half of the study abroad program has been completed, with only two weeks left to go! Time has completely flown by, which the staff at the Paris BIA center said would happen, but I just wish it wasn’t true. My program of 6 people has been the best time I could imagine, and I cannot stress how fast our small group became friends. When you are in as small of a group as my program happened to be, it offers so many advantages to the overall experience of being in a brand new city so far away from home. You have a solid set of friends you can rely on, travel outside of your study abroad country with, and explore all your city has to offer. The lonely feeling that most students are afraid of can be replaced with a new sense of belonging as you all figure out your place amongst one another and within the city. I am just so happy and thankful that I met the people I met on this trip, and the wonderful thing is that we all live close to one another back in the U.S. and can see each other at home if we wanted! Study abroad is truly an experience where you can never be completely sure of how it is going to go, what to expect, and what life will be like, but pushing down that fear of the unknown is completely worth it, just trust me. You’ll get to your city and pretty soon you won’t want to leave. You won’t be able to handle leaving your new friends, and maybe you’ll even miss some of your professors.
Something you’ll never miss, though, is exams. I just completed my last midterm exam for my classes earlier this morning and while they were not too difficult (I already know I got an A on my French midterm), the global marketing one was a little bit tricky. Studying definitely pays off because, at least for me, my marketing midterm was very specific when asking questions. Also, don’t think you’re on a break from essay questions because, chances are, you’re not. In terms of feeling prepared and learning in general, it did not feel like I was learning in the same way that I typically do at school. I felt like I was absorbing the concepts from both my French and my marketing class through the city of Paris instead of in the confines of a classroom for multiple hours per day. I was surprised at how much I knew in such a short time and how I could apply it to the real world’s current situations so easily. Different learning techniques and environments can really be refreshing and good for the mind!
So I leave you with this update for now. I’ll be trying to shove as many Parisian things into my schedule over these next two weeks before I leave, and I’ll be sure to tell you all about it.