Amy Rader, Paris, France

On top of Notre-Dame

Bonjour toute le Monde!

I have been in Paris almost three weeks and I am loving every minute of it! So far, I have started my program, moved into my apartment with my roommates, and started classes. It definitely has been adjustment but I am enjoying the differences between here and home, and here and Spain. The biggest difference so far from Spain is my living situation. Here in France, I live in an apartment in the 13th district. It is 2 bedrooms and there are 3 other girls living with me. For an apartment in the city, it is pretty spacious. It has a really great view of a park that is right down the street. With this choice of living, we each get a gift card with 70euros a month for food shopping at Carrefour, a very common grocery store in Europe. So that means we cook our own meals. I never thought I liked cooking until I started doing it with my roommates. It is a very interesting way to be immersed into French culture. Since we have to figure out our way through the grocery store, we are learning more words and interacting more with locals. All of my roommates get along great so far!! It is interesting to live with strangers but we are bonding very quickly.

My Bedroom

Living room

I have been in school a little over a week and I really like my classes. It is a little different because I am going to the Institut Catholique de Paris. There are many students who are from countries all over the world and trying to learn French. In one of my two grammar classes, I am the only one from the United States. It is totally weird but really awesome. I am learning so much so quickly. I am also taking a French culture class and a French literature class. So far, so good.

I have visited some really incredible places already. It is nice to have so much time here because I can take my time to see everything. I have seen the Eiffel Tower (obviously it was the first place I went), the Louvre, Notre-Dame, Sacre-Coeur, Moulin Rouge, and I took a tour of the city on the Seine. I have also taken time to sit at cafes and sit in the park near my apartment and just be a local. However, this past weekend, I went to the most magical place on earth, Disneyland Paris. And it was amazing. Many things are different from Orlando, and many are the same. But the joy of Disney was totally there. It was an unforgettable experience.

Eiffel Tower lite up at night



Paris from the top of Notre-Dame

Moulin Rouge


Decorated for Halloween

This coming weekend, I am going to Roussillon, a city in the south of France on the coast of the Mediterranean. I am so excited, the weather is supposed to be beautiful. Tonight I signed up for an event called Franglish. It is always at a different bar, and as a student, it costs 6euros. I am paired with a French speaker and we speak in French for 7 minutes, and then we speak in English for 7 minutes. Then, we switch partners. I am very nervous to go. But I know it will help improve my French and give me the opportunity to talk to native speakers.
“Do one thing a day that scares you” –Anna Huddle

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