Hey, I know you haven’t heard from me for a while, but I am still alive and on my year abroad in Paris. Or more specifically I am back again.
We had a long break during December and January and apart from celebrating Christmas and the New Year I also used the time to travel to England and see some of my friends there. Thanks to Bella and her 21st birthday party at this point for the great excuse to do so. The rest of the time I spent at home, catching up with friends, celebrating Christmas and the New Year and enjoying the time off after the stressful finish of the semester.
I also got to spend more time on internship applications, interviews and assessment centres. A great thing about my year abroad is that I will have a very long summer holiday; 5 months to be precise. But that’s also why I really need to make sure I fill those weeks with something interesting to do. So fingers crossed.
I came back to Paris a couple of days before the start of the Semester to have some time exploring Paris a bit more. You’d think that after four month of living in a place you have seen everything. But that’s absolutely not the case. It is so easy to just fall into your everyday routine, repeatedly going to the same places and doing the same things. There are still so many galleries, parks, chateaus, and places I want to visit and once my workload becomes too demanding I won’t make time for that. So right when I got back I wrote down a good old fashioned bucket list, stuck it to
my door and hope that I will cross off all the items before I will leave Paris in May.
Though I don’t want to say that I am unhappy with my everyday life. Quite the contrary. As I become more used to living in this buzzing city the less I feel like a stranger here. I now know where to find what in the local supermarket and how much things cost, I know the shorter ways to change between metro lines at Châtelet, have a set running route and can suggest nice cafes to meet. By now I know a different Paris than the one I got to experience when I was here on holidays or short exchanges. And I love that. I like being able to tell taxi drivers that I am flying back to Paris because I live there and that I know my way around the city. What felt like a holiday at the start has now become my life and I am more convinced than ever that coming here was an incredible good decision.
The second semester started smoothly. I was lucky enough to get the classes I wanted (if you are a prospective Sciences Po student: be warned, course registration can be a nightmare) and even brave enough to take one in French. I’m not quite sure yet that it will go well, but I figured that I rather try and force myself to do it than leaving France after my study abroad year without being able to communicate in this language.
I also had a couple more visitors for the weekends that kept me busy but in that positive, Embracing-Paris way.
After only three weeks of class we had our reading week last week. No one knows why they scheduled it so shortly after the start of the semester, especially as we won’t have another one. However, I’m not complaining having a week off in February as it was a perfect time to squeeze in a skiing holiday in Austria.
I am looking forward to what this semester might bring. Without doubt it will pass very quickly and I will have work to do. But it will also become warm and sunny again, more friends will visit me and hopefully my bucket list becomes shorter so that at the end of it I will be able to say that I made the most of it.