Student Blog

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

Managing Expectations

February 16, 2018

One of the biggest tropes of preparing to study abroad is having incredibly lofty expectations about your time in another country. I had romantic visions of myself riding a bike with a baguette in the basket and picnicking in a different country every weekend. Me as I imagined myself, very French. When I got here, I remembered that first of all, Paris is incredibly dangerous for bikers. And while they may look have a nice aesthetic for photos, berets are generally a very unflattering hat. So this expectation was never going to come true. Here's a list of some other expectations and reality checks I've had since coming here! Expectation: I was going to live in a foyer with the other French students and make a ton of French friends. Reality: After a month in my foyer, I decided it just wasn't for me. It was hard to cook since the only kitchen in the building was down five flights of stairs, with no elevator. I didn't have a mini-fridge so I was keeping my milk and cheese on the... Read More

Une manque de comprehension, or how I ended up with a very short haircut

January 28, 2018

One of the things that made me the most nervous about study abroad was finding trusted professionals like my favourite doctor, dental hygienist, and hair dresser. After one fateful haircut that my mom and I like to call the “Christmas Tree,” I have reason to be... Read More

Saint Malo and Mont Saint-Michel

January 22, 2018

This weekend we went on our first APA weekend trip and visited the walled city of Saint Malo and the old abbey of Mont Saint-Michel. It was rainy and gray for most of the trip, but that didn’t stop us from having a blast! (A blast of wind, get it?) Students accidentally... Read More

Welcome

January 16, 2018

Dear reader, My name is Clara and I’m a junior at Yale majoring in American Studies. I decided to spend this semester in Paris because study abroad has always seemed like such an incredible opportunity to me—the ability to spin a globe and put your finger down anywhere... Read More

To french or not to french…

December 10, 2017

Just as a warning, I’ve spent the last week furiously studying for the 5 billion exams I have next week, so I apologize if this blog post has turned into a heady, intellectually abstract monster…I feel the same way right about now 😉 When I was living in Houston,... Read More

The invisible guide to understanding french body language ch.1

December 3, 2017

I slid onto the metro 13 at Université Saint-Denis. As always, it quickly became packed with people and as the train signaled its warning with a buzz, a handful more arrived,  frantically pushing their way into the crowded car. Leaning against the back window, I... Read More

In the spirit of thanksgiving…

November 26, 2017

Up until a few weeks ago, I was in complete control. I went where I want, I spoke with whom I wanted, and I did it all whenever I wanted to. Pretty much my whole experience of Paris was on my own terms which is to say that I was able to live in almost... Read More

Nudists, friendship formulas, and depression.

November 12, 2017

Whether I’m at home in the 19eme, going from one place to the next, or enjoying a cup (France don’t kid yourself, its a flask) of coffee, I am never alone. This has been one of the main differences that I’ve had to adjust to, living in Paris. Compared to my life in rural... Read More

Some sage scholarly advice on how not to fail Paris.

November 7, 2017

**this is just so long and I didn’t feel like editing it so if you just want said sage advice, I’d scroll all the way down 😉 ** This being the first week of November, we have less than two months left of classes and that also means that we’ve had about two... Read More

Ode to Public Transportation

October 31, 2017

I love public transportation. It is one of the only instances where people from all walks of life are thrown suddenly into and must share the same space for an extended period of time only for that bond to be torn apart with the same inconsequential lightness that it was formed.... Read More

Intro to host family life 101

October 22, 2017

Returning home from our weekend trip to Normandy, I stepped into the dark rain-streaked streets of Belleville. I had been feeling anxious to the thought of re-entering the bustling, cobbled maze of Paris after a refreshing few days taking in the blustery, autumnal countryside of... Read More

Quest for the perfect study spot

October 15, 2017

Finding places to study, in this vast, beautiful place has proven to be far more challenging than anticipated. What with all the libraries, museums, cafes, parks, and campus wifi, I assumed I could drop in anywhere to get some work done. Instead, I have, through some... Read More

Good running vibes

October 9, 2017

Without getting too spiritual about it, running is a way for me to keep balance in my life. It gives me a chunk of time in the middle of the day to focus on myself, in silence, and outdoors and it helps me exert stress, stay physically fit, and sleep better. When I decided to... Read More

SOS which lines do I use in my notebook?

September 30, 2017

During our orientation week we had a session about the ways in which the French and US education systems differ. We learned all about the different paths students take to get into their chosen universities and how the academic programs are divided. It was eluded to us how... Read More

Vertigo

September 22, 2017

I. As I wait to for the little green person to light up as a sign that I can cross the street, I scan the sea of faces for anyone I recognize. I was on my way to one of APA’s intimate group tours of the various neighborhoods in Paris and was searching for our... Read More

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