As I reflect on my time in France, my heart aches out of gratitude, joy, and reminiscence. Those two short weeks held some of the happiest and eye-opening experiences of my life where I learned more about myself, my habits, and my country.

Partaking in French culture’s leisurely lifestyle taught me to appreciate each moment, and cultivate patience, knowing it is okay to slow down. Sitting down for an unrushed meal and taking my time allowed me to connect with the others sitting around me, which is what French culture is all about: connection. On this note, the chance to connect with others on the trip and form lifelong friendships was one of my most treasured experiences. I will always cherish the fact I was able to explore such a beautiful city with such beautiful people surrounding me. I truly believe living my life in the lens of French culture has made me a happier, more appreciative, person and I cannot help but to implement this practice into my everyday life at home and at UA.

I am beyond thankful for this experience and that I pushed myself to apply for it, even if I knew nobody else going on the trip. Now I have more amazing friendships, long-lasting memories, a new mindset, skills and connections within my career field, and a hunger to keep travelling the world – more than I ever could have imagined I would have gained on this journey. If you’re reading this, I highly encourage you to push yourself and study abroad. It is truly a lifechanging experience that you need to experience at least once in your life. Thank you UA, and my professors, for this cherished opportunity!