Arriving in Paris: Exploring Museums, Monuments, and More

Two weeks ago, a group of small group students said goodbye to their parents and close friends, toted over- or under-packed bags to the local airport, and boarded planes all headed to the same destination: Paris, France.  We sat anxiously for hours, half-heartedly watching movies in a futile attempt to calm our nerves, yet all the while, wondering what the next few months would hold.  None of us even considered how much could happen in just fourteen days abroad.

The group atop the Eiffel Tower

Arriving in Paris in the morning, we were on the Seine by three o’clock.  Two hours by boat afforded us a week’s worth of sightseeing by foot.  The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Musée d’Orsay and much more flowed by during the warm September afternoon.  During the next few days, we would become more acquainted with these landmarks as we ran after our surprisingly quick program director.  Marie, an ex-Parisian, believed that we should cram as much possible into our four days in the City of Lights, and that we did.  Versailles: check.  The Louvre: check.  Luxembourg Gardens, Père Lachaise Cemetery, a detailed introduction to French table etiquette, Shakespeare & Co., a glimpse of Nicolas Sarkozy (yes, that Nicolas Sarkozy), and a pleasant night view of the capital from atop the Eiffel Tower: check.  Marie eventually was the one trying to keep up with us.

Then on the fifth day, our fatigued, yet very fulfilled, group left Paris and boarded  the TGV (train à grande vitesse, the high-speed rail) for a three-hour train ride through the countryside and into the French Alps.  Once in Grenoble, we were looking forward to some rest.  We should have known better by now.  We met our host families, moved into our new rooms, hiked across mountains, swam in alpine lakes, found nearby waterfalls, attended a student party in the 18th century Bastille, navigated the local markets, took exams to determine out placement, began classes, were late to classes, maybe missed a class, learned to use the tram system, and adjusted to Europe’s slower pace of life.

Bonbons!

At the beginning of our third week, we are finally settling into some type of routine.  The days are getting colder, classes are becoming challenging, and we are assimilating to the habits and schedules of our host families.  Paris and the US are now just happy memories.  We are starting to realize that we are actually here.

This post was written by Jacob, an Aspire by API student who is currently taking part in a gap year program in Grenoble, France.  He will be updating the blog periodically throughout his time abroad.

The Cathedral of Notre Dame


Enter your name and email to get new posts by email!

“Best of the Blogs” - Abroad101.com
“Top Study Abroad Blogs” - GoOverseas.com
“Blog of the Week” - GoAbroad.com
“Top 10 Study Abroad Blogs You Should Be Reading” - The Study Abroad Blog
"The Best Meaningful Travel Articles of 2016"-GoAbroad.com
  • We use cookies to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you have provided. Please check out our privacy policy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Speak Your Mind

*

Pinterest

[fts_pinterest pinterest_name=apiabroad type=boards_list]

Twitter

Apr 29, 2021 @ 18:30
👋 Hi everyone! I'm Eryn Fleener a senior at DePaul University in Chicago, studying Early Childhood Education. I studied abroad with API Summer 2019 in Florence, Italy! I will be taking over API Instagram tomorrow, make sure you follow along!
🇮🇹 🍕

https://t.co/VhSHJedGCf https://t.co/cFV88MLHQY
APIabroad photo
Apr 29, 2021 @ 17:51
🗞️ 🌏 Breaking news! The world is opening back up and travel will return! Enjoy some good news before the weekend! #studyabroad #apiabroad #ispyapi #internationaltravel #Europe
https://t.co/hZqa6AopTl https://t.co/qKUuoQyo9j
APIabroad photo
Apr 29, 2021 @ 10:57
A lovely day for a tour of Montparnasse au des années folles and some delicious glace 🍦avec API. There is always something new to discover in Paris! #apiabroad #paris
📷 by @api_paris https://t.co/FODTCGyJpf
APIabroad photo
Apr 28, 2021 @ 18:40
The world is slowly opening back up! Vaccinated tourists will be allowed to visit Europe as early as this Summer! #ispyapi #studyabroad #summer2021
https://t.co/hZqa6AopTl https://t.co/WwYMkkfToJ
APIabroad photo
The API Abroad Blog