Student Blog

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

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 still have work to do. Of course, there is a little leeway because classes do not count towards your GPA, but as the study abroad office warned, potential employers sometimes ask for your transcripts. Putting that aside, many of us accustomed to As and Bs probably don’t want to see our grades take a drastic dip. Or we would rather avoid incoherently babbling in front of our class (exposés i.e. oral presentations are common. But don’t worry – if you think that = your worst nightmare, APA will arrange for you to have another essay instead). So here are three core tips I could give: See how your travel and academic schedules match up! Don’t be like me and sign up for an oral presentation slot, right... 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

Carmen à tout prix at the Théâtre Trévise !

February 3, 2016

  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

  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

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

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

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

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

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

The British Pigeon

December 22, 2015

First, I have to apologize for my absence the past couple weeks. As finals have come to an end, I finally have some catch-up time. For any future students doing an abroad program in France through their university system, be ready for a storm at the end of each semester, the... Read More

The Identity of a Pigeon

November 25, 2015

Despite all that has happened, Paris has almost gotten back to normal. People still go out to cafés, bars, concerts and continue to live with joy and vivacity as always. C’est toujours le bonheur à Paris. The city has a special way of rebirthing itself and igniting tiny... Read More