Student Blog

Read first-hand accounts from our students about their experiences on APA Paris programs.

Meeting People

March 2, 2016

by apaparis

One of the most pressing concerns for incoming students is making French friends. The stereotype is that Parisians are closed off and that it is difficult to establish a relationship. First and foremost, I would recommend not stressing out about being alone. You will naturally meet people. Maybe they will not be French, maybe they will not become your best friends, but there will always be someone to go out with on a Friday night. Don’t hesitate to speak up in class. Some French students will be drawn to the fact that you are American. However, I have found that those who are the most receptive to striking up a conversation are other international students. Hearing us speaking English after class, we were approached by an Italian ERASMUS student. We now sit together in class, grab an espresso during the break and later got our respective groups to go out together to a bar near Bastille. It was a funny night – half of us Americans, half Italians, our common language,... Read More

Place de la République

February 27, 2016

by apaparis

The most impressionable thing I have seen so far is the statue at République, now a place of tribute to the victims of the November 13 terrorist attacks. Nearby is the venue where one of the coordinated attacks occurred, boarded up, also decorated with flowers and letters. On a... Read More

The Study in Study Abroad

February 27, 2016

by apaparis

Studying abroad in Paris – meeting new people, exploring your new city like a tourist and a local, going on crazy adventures! The flipside is the actual studying part. It is really easy to get caught up in the excitement and completely forget that you’re still in college and... Read More

Marché aux puces

February 20, 2016

by apaparis

Flea marketing near Porte de Clignancourt was an experience. If you go, be aware that you’re entering a not so nice part of Paris. Nothing major, you just have to be a little more careful with your things. I was not that impressed with the actual market – too many Chinese... Read More

Les Catacombes de Paris

February 20, 2016

by apaparis

The Catacombs were a lot less disturbing than I expected. Perhaps it was the museum-like order of the skulls and bones neatly stacked one on top the other, the desensitizing effect of how many there were… I strongly suspect it was our crew because we couldn’t keep it... Read More

Le Roi est Mort

February 13, 2016

by apaparis

At Versaille, there is an entire exhibit dedicated to Louis XIV death: La mort du roi. French monarchs were bearers of absolute and divine power. After his death, everyone wanted a piece of the Sun King. His body was buried in the Saint-Denis Basilica, his entrails sent to Notre... Read More

Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture

February 9, 2016

by apaparis

If you’re looking for an alternative activity away from the crowds, visit Paris’s abandoned railway, The Petite Ceinture, which stopped operation in 1934. There is no formal entrance: The way in was a simple swing over a barrier, but the way out, I am proud to say, I... Read More

Cider Taste Test

February 3, 2016

by apaparis

We took cover from the rain in the Coeur de Lion, one of Normandy’s famed cider distilleries. Who knew the apple had this many uses. The tasting was a great finish to the tour – apple and pear brandy, calvados, gin. Then came the puzzle: How do you get the apple inside... Read More

Carmen à tout prix at the Théâtre Trévise !

February 3, 2016

by apaparis

  The perks of having a friend in the program whose host mother is an opera singer, actor and comedian: front row seats to the show! A spin on Carmen, the show starts with an announcement of its cancellation. What comes next is a hilariously thrown together production. The... Read More

Visite Montmartre

January 24, 2016

by apaparis

  The cobblestone streets here start climbing upward and require a good amount of leg work. At the summit is the Sacre-Coeur overlooking all of Paris where tourists mill around taking pictures of the sprawling view. We were lucky to have our first visit here accompanied by... Read More

The Packing One

December 31, 2015

by apaparis

NOTE: this post speaks more directly to girls, as they tend to have a much more difficult job of packing to do than boys. Sorry, guys. Now that the holidays are nearly over, I’m sure many of you are overrun with new clothes. In addition to all the super cute new... Read More

A Word from the Wise

December 25, 2015

by apaparis

These are some pieces of advice directly from the girls of this past semester. Heed their word! Don’t be afraid to ask for help even if you’re not sure if you’ll need it. About literally anything. (The APA directors are super available, really helpful, and... Read More

Tips for future pigeons

December 22, 2015

by apaparis

My last week in Paris was a flurry of exams and papers. To recap so any future students can know what to expect, I took 5 classes. Two were the required APA classes, one a language course, the other essentially a modern French poli sci and culture course. I took three classes... Read More

Madelyne Pigeon Barcelona

December 22, 2015

by apaparis

Running off to Barcelona the weekend before exams perhaps isn’t the wisest idea, but I honestly regret nothing. I even watched “Vicky Christina Barcelona” the night before leaving to excite myself for the trip. Leaving Friday after impulsively buying a cheap round... Read More

A digression into ducks

December 22, 2015

by apaparis

The weekend after London I did very little except study, prepare for exams and attempt to write 10 page essays in French, but I did get out a little to explore more of Paris. Here are some pictures from the Canal Saint Martin, the 4.5 km long canal that starts near Place de... Read More

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