Derrick's Semester in France- Two Weeks
Derrick Cline - August 26, 2016
I’ve been in Paris for a little over two weeks and I’m having the time of my life! I’ve managed to cram in as many “touristy” excursions as possible. From sipping wine underneath the Eiffel Tower, to walking along the Champs-Elysees, marveling at the l’Arc de Triomphe, or trying to find the perfect angle for a picture of Notre Dame (spoiler: they’re all perfect). Never in my life did I think I would be living in the most beautiful city in the world. I get to live in a studio apartment in the 14th arrondisment (district) where I am completely independent and responsible for myself. I live with my one roommate but I have made so many friends with not only the locals, but also with others in my program. I now have friends from around the country, around France, and around the world! My everyday commute consists of walking past the most beautiful and historic sites in the world! Every day is an exciting opportunity to explore more of this vibrant and (dare I say) perfect city.
Already I feel like a local. We have become metro pros. We can get anywhere in the city in a matter of 30 minutes. It is incredible how efficient and convenient the metro is compared to back home (SEPTA I’m looking at you). I’ve discovered which cafes are true cafes and which ones are the tourist traps. I find myself passing fanny-pack wearing, giant-map-toting, photograph-taking families thinking “silly tourists”, before realizing that I have only been here two weeks and the locals probably say the same thing about me!
Although I have having the best time of my life, I do find myself missing Rosemont. It’s weird to see the Welcome Back Barbecue, or the Block Party, or seeing the RPLs do their thing without actually being there. It definitely helps having all these amazing friends here!
Between my actual classes and being surrounded by it 24/7, my French is definitely getting better. I find myself starting texts to my Anglophonic friends with French before realizing my mistake. It’s almost weird hearing English. I can’t wait to see where I am in December. Not only am I learning the language, but I’m learning how to do things the French way. The French definitely do things differently and it’s always fun experimenting with a new way of life. Au revoir!