Student Blog

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

Donald Trump? Marine Le Pen?

March 25, 2016

Europeans are fascinated with Donald Trump. If someone hears that you are American, they will likely ask you about the Republican candidate. Case in point: Overhearing us speaking English, a man at a café enjoying his afternoon omelet, turned to us and asked, “Donald Trump”? We immediately began blustering on about how his popularity is overblown and how most don’t support his policies on immigration. At least not in New York City... At which point we were stopped mid-sentence with a: -And why shouldn’t you? -Because banning all Muslims or building a wall is not conducive to anything and is racist. The solution is not as simple as closing the border. - If they come and bomb us, what is there left to do? We don’t want them here. Many in France are beginning to think like this: First privately and now openly. The rise of Trump has coincided with that of Marine Le Pen, President of the Front National, France’s far right, conservative, nationalistic party. On one end... Read More

Paris, Brussels, …?

March 25, 2016

On Tuesday, a series of bombings occurred at the Zaventem airport and the Maelbeek metro station in Brussels. Today, according to the French Interior Minister, an anti-terror raid in Argenteuil successfully foiled plans of another bombing in Paris. The next major attacks are... Read More

Coming Together

March 20, 2016

I am about two months into my stay in France and this week, my mom and my best friend came to visit. It was amazing exploring the city with these two and I was surprised to see how comfortable I’ve gotten in Paris and that I can do things like explain the metro system,... Read More

Not Just a Pretty Picture

March 20, 2016

I have a love hate relationship with my art history class at the Sorbonne. At times the analysis seems farfetched. For some reason, art history professors enjoy teaching in semi-darkness which is not particularly conducive to staying awake. As this is my first time studying the... Read More

Marrakech

March 14, 2016

I was in the red city this weekend. Marrakech is a vibrant maze. Its dusty streets are pulsating with life and there are hardly any signs so when you ask a Moroccan for directions, it goes something like this: -Excuse me, how do you find La Maison Arabe? -Ah! That’s easy. You... Read More

La Loi Travail

March 14, 2016

The French love a good protest. I’ve passed by numerous manifestations, people chanting, holding up signs, making impassioned speeches. On one hand, it is impressive how sure people are that there individual voices will make a difference to causes they care about, on the... Read More

Moscow-Amsterdam-Maastricht-Bruges

March 6, 2016

February break went too quickly! After a few days in Moscow, I flew into Amsterdam to meet up with friends from back home. We stayed in Clink Noord, a warehouse now hip hostel, just a ferry ride away from the city center. I highly recommend the Van Gogh museum and Anne Frank... Read More

Meeting People

March 2, 2016

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... Read More

Place de la République

February 27, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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