First Day in Paris

For once, the plane didn’t have a crying baby on it. That had to be my first time flying without a crying or screaming child in, well, ever. Unfortunately, the television screens didn’t work, but I had brought several books to keep me company. As a twenty-year old traveler who has only flown a handful of times, I still knew that having backup entertainment is a must, especially for an eight-hour long flight.

Haunted by jet-lag, I made my way to a beautiful hotel in Paris. This hotel had everything, from free wifi to a delicious, complimentary breakfast every morning. Although there were five girls staying in one room, we rarely spent time in the room except to sleep, so it never seemed crowded. I had been to Paris before, back in July of 2011, but this experience differed greatly. In 2011, I had lived with a wonderful host family, and we stayed in an apartment not too far from Moulin Rouge. This time, I found myself in a room with four other girls I didn’t know, all excited and ready to explore.

The first day, we took a boat ride on the Seine River to keep it low-key. Everyone had jet-lag, so the directors did the smart thing and kept the day simple. We left at 5:15 in the evening, on a lovely boat that also happened to have several school groups on it. This boat ride passed several of the main tourist attractions in Paris, including the Louvre, Musée D’Orsay, and the Eiffel Tower.

eiffel tower

Every bridge we passed under had intricate architecture, designs, and decorations, often in gold leaf. The care taken in designing and decorating these bridges just amazed me. In my hometown, bridges are just functional pieces of concrete. If they are decorated, it is often with bird nests. But the bridges in Paris were all so carefully constructed, it took your breath away. You could imagine the planning and work that went in to creating these functional pieces of art.


Several bridges we passed were covered in locks. People came to the bridges with the locks, locked them onto the bridge with their loved one, and threw the key into the Seine River. The idea is that their love is locked forever, just like the lock without a key. We passed quite a few bridges that looked like one couldn’t fit another lock onto it! Even bridges we walked over after the boat ride had people sitting on the sidewalk, selling padlocks to couples to lock onto the bridge.


My friend and I closed the day walking down the streets of Paris, looking up at the Eiffel Tower as it lit up, and getting crepes for dinner and dessert. We stopped at a little store to pick up a drink, then ate a small table in our rooms. After such a busy first day, we needed the rest.

Even though it was only my first day in Paris this time, I was still exhausted. All it took was jet lag and a boat ride, and I slept through the night.

Mikayla Peters is a student at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and an official API Student Blogger. Mikayla is studying abroad with API in Grenoble, France.

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May 10, 2021 @ 16:02
You still have time to make summer 2021 your best summer yet! ☀️Discover Costa Rica, Italy, and Ireland, or explore virtual programs from anywhere in the world. We also have new programs right here in the U.S.! #studyabroad #ispyapi #apiabroad APIabroad photo
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!
🇮🇹 🍕
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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
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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
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