Student Blog

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

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 spend a year studying abroad in Paris, the first thing I researched was their running culture. Everywhere I have lived has been either surrounded by forested hills or vast expanses of corn fields, so the idea of living in a cobbled city had me stressed. But once I arrived, I immediately started to sense a good runners vibe. First of all, there are parks everywhere. Now, most of which, if you were to run in them, you’d have to loop the park 29 times before clocking a mile, but some are true running gems. As it turns out, I was placed with a host family that lives next to one of them. Le parc Buttes Chaumont is nestled amongst towering apartment buildings and is home to seemingly out-of-place waterfalls,... 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


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

not a question of Why, but of How

September 13, 2017

By the end of my years of high school French, it became clear that the goal wasn’t to speak French but rather to check off the obligatory “cultural exposure” class from the list of requirements that stood between the student and their graduation or their acceptance into a... Read More

My Paris: Looking Back

May 2, 2017

It’s an odd feeling, isn’t it – missing something before it’s left you. Unfortunately, time never slows in the face of nostalgia. Especially not in the warm-ish, glinting haze that is Paris in May. Having been away from the City of Light for about a week and a half... Read More

Weekend in the Loire Valley

April 24, 2017

This beautiful weekend saw a couple of things: the resultats of the premier tour of the French presidential elections (!), and an utterly gorgeous weekend in the Loire Valley. The Loire Valley spans 280 kilometres in central France and is referred to as the Garden of France... Read More

Travel Tip Round-Up: Spring 2017

April 14, 2017

It’s spring break (vacances de printemps) here in Paris – which means that a lot of APA students are enjoying their time-off with well-earned travel! Having been on the European continent for about three and a half months at this point, with plenty of travel to boot, many of... Read More

A Host Family Experience

April 9, 2017

I met my host-mom Solène (mère d’accueil) over macarons and champagne a few days after I arrived in Paris. Solène’s a nurse, and she has a habit of wearing two pairs of glasses at the same time. I met her husband, Thierry, about an hour later over dinner. Thierry owns a... Read More

The French Problématique: A French University Experience

March 28, 2017

With just over two months of classes at French university under my belt, I’ve had enough time to note the differences between the French and American school systems. During our orientation, the APA directors explained the differences in full, but practice can often be... Read More

Playing Tourguide

March 19, 2017

When my family and friends found out that I was officially going to be studying abroad in Paris, their first reaction was: We’re coming to visit! Oftentimes, your semester abroad gives the people who love you a perfect excuse to come to Paris (though really, do you need... Read More

First Weekend of Spring

March 12, 2017

Paris truly showed off this past weekend. It seemed like the first sunny days in months, though in reality it had only been a few weeks of gray skies and rain, and everybody was out and about enjoying the weather. This weekend served as a big hint of what the spring to come... Read More

Where to Study (Abroad)

March 9, 2017

Once in a while, there’s an aspect of being abroad that mirrors being back at our home universities. Sometimes it’s greasy food at 2am, sometimes it’s oversleeping after working late at night. These days, at the beginning of March, it’s the... Read More

Weekend in Bruxelles

March 2, 2017

The French political science class – French name is “Les Enjeux Politiques de la France” – spent last weekend in Bruxelles, Belgium. We were lucky to visit the actual European Union institutions that we had studied in class with our professor,... Read More

Paris Café Culture (and Tips)

February 27, 2017

PARIS — Paris does a lot of things right. Glimmering Haussmann architecture, satisfying wine, oozing cheese like jewels behind glass counters… and perfectly adequate street cleaning. Sadly, coffee (and the matter of public urination, among other things) doesn’t make the... Read More

Packing for your semester abroad

February 22, 2017

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a full seven weeks (!) since I arrived in Paris. Many students from my home university are just departing on their study abroad adventures, and I feel incredibly lucky that I’ve already gotten to spend so much time in Paris. I can safely... Read More