Now that I’m back home I can take a huge sigh of relief. Although I will miss Paris extremely, I was missing being home even much more. Paris, at the time, was having a lot of issues with their labor laws and a protest was occurring every other day to the point it effected our main transportation system. Being that those events occurred pushed me to want to travel back home to my family and friends. Upon arrival to the airport I was so excited I forgot how to get my phone back working. It was nice to not have to scout out wifi anymore! But, the process of getting off the plane and through customs was the worst. It took me two hours after I landed to be greeted by my family. I do miss Paris and my classmates a lot, the scenery as well or maybe even the food more. I would give anything for a Parisian meal right about now.
Furthermore, I can honestly say that I did change from studying abroad. I am a more outspoken and honest person yet so much more cultured in something I never imagined having the privilege to indulge in. In terms of studying abroad changing my views, I tend to compare Parisian culture to that of America in almost everything I come across or do. My friends and family have noticed that I am even more outspoken than normal and I do not tolerate disrespect. The French tend to be very very rude, granted some, meaning very few, are nice.
Coming back to the United States more times than none I would said thank you or please in French, not realizing that the person I am talking to has no idea what I am saying. Also, I found myself getting impatient when waiting for my food to come out. In Paris you receive your food extremely fast but here in the United States that’s not always the case.
My advice to anyone interested, do it! And for anyone getting ready to go, enjoy it! It goes by so fast and is literally an experience of a lifetime. Coming to college I never thought studying abroad would be in my path but now I couldn’t imagine graduating and not having done so. Before I went I wish I looked into the weather more, it was a little more chilly and a lot more chilly than expected but other than that I was very much prepared. I do suggest if you plan on studying in a country where you don’t know the native language, take time to learn it. You may become the groups personal translator but it really will make so much easier on you while you’re over there. As far as packing goes, don’t pack your whole life like I did. I promise you won’t need it all. If you like shopping bring big suitcases but leave them half empty so you have room to buy souvenirs and whatever else may muse you. Don’t pack toiletries in your suitcase that you could buy overseas and can throw out when your trip is over with. It will take up unnecessary space. Lastly, make sure you purchase a protector case for your card. Pick-pocketing is more prevalent in more countries than others but there’s no such thing as being too safe. Have fun, be safe, do everything and stop and smell the roses, you never know when you’ll be able to travel there again!