Why I Actually Studied Abroad

Over the Seine
Hi everyone! Maybe it’s the winter weather, or my fear of losing track of my thoughts, but I finally managed to huddle inside and finish writing this post. Here it is: the “Why I Studied Abroad” post that you’ve been waiting for. Kind of. Back in August, before I left Vermont for Paris, I jotted down a few questions in my very first post. Questions like: What will I learn ab...
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Saving Money While Abroad

Baguette
Hi, everyone! Today, I’m writing from a cozy coffee shop in the 10th arrondissement. Yes, Paris is slowly coming around to the idea of coffee shops, though café terraces are still, and will always be, the norm. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about money’s role in study abroad, especially as I stare at the €5 drinks being offered at this particular coffee shop. As a complement ...
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To Those Who Wander

Passing Time
Flâner (v.): To stroll, wander, or roam without an end goal in mind. How appropriate it seems that this verb should be one of the first I encounter upon arriving in Paris. Appropriate? No no, that feels too… formal. Serendipitous, there we go. How serendipitous… that one of the first verbs I learned during orientation would come to define countless afternoons, would reveal t...
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Five Things I Never Thought I’d Miss While Abroad

Tower
Monday’s commute was the most typical commute I’ve had yet. Almost got nailed by a motorcycle on the way to the metro (classic Monday). Took the longer, scenic route to class, but the metro was backed up and I ended up late (classic Monday). But when the metro stopped unexpectedly over the Seine, instead of groaning, I snapped this picture. Yep, classic Monday. Paris co...
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Anonymity Abroad: Discovering a Sense of Place

Garden
Hey everyone! Happy autumn! Definitely my favorite season, autumn in Paris features strange weather, scarves, and sighs of relief as hordes of tourists return home. For me, this time of year always includes time for reflection. Maybe it’s the coming of winter or the start of a new school year, but I always find myself thinking about how my year has gone, what I want for the upc...
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A Study in Bread: My First Weeks in Paris

300-year-old covered passage feat. Andrea!
A few days ago, I was eating lunch in the local boulangerie when a man came in and yelled, “Five baguettes, s’il vous plait!” Needless to say, we were all impressed. At that moment, I decided to dedicate my second blog post to my first impressions of France, using my handy-dandy baguette experience scale. One baguette: This could totally be America. Five baguettes: Vive la Fran...
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A Less Than Romantic Countdown to the Most Romantic City in the World

Cecil and Teddie
T minus 7 days: Today, it hit me. You know the feeling (especially you Class of 2019ers). That thing you’ve been waiting an eternity for is almost here. Whoa. The emotions thunder in: joy and sadness, anticipation and anxiety. Do I jump for joy, run and hug my cat, devour some peanut butter? The peanut butter, definitely (justification: it’s really hard to find in France...
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Last Days WWOOFing

It’s the feel of the ordinary things I’ll remember most about this summer.  I’ll remember tonight.  Claire was packing her bag and listening to a podcast about knitting that was really about abortion.  I never catch her doing just one thing.  The glow of the kitchen lights was odd on her hair - the lopsided ponytail, the stray baby-hairs curling out of control in the humidity. ...
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Eating

More and more I’m thinking about food, not just as something that ends up on my plate but as a part of an intricate - and precarious - system.  We know about agribusiness; we know about the factory farms.  We know that, among other things, these farms are fundamentally unsustainable.  If there was no mental divorce between what we eat and how its made, we would be too queasy to...
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First Days in France

This summer, I am WWOOFing (volunteering at an organic farm) in France. I flew into Marseille a few days ago to meet Claire and Sallie.  I was too dazed to decide if I liked the city or not.  My body thought breakfast was dinner and daytime was nightime, so I spent the day sleepwalking through the streets.  I laughed everytime I saw a striped shirt and a baguette.  Red geran...
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