Student Blog

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

The French medical system

April 28, 2016

It is easy to get worn out from travel and the end of semester academic pile up. Around this time of year the metro becomes germ central. Getting sick is no fun and getting sick in a foreign country makes things even more complicated. Luckily, France has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. APA can recommend a doctor or better yet ask your host family who they see. When I wheezed that I was sick, my host sister made an appointment for me with the physician whose office was right in the building. We made are way over later that same day as my host sister volunteered to interpret. We both realized I didn’t need it, but still it was nice having some moral support. The process was just some paperwork and the typical examination. I got the impression that doctors see a lot of patients one after the other during the day. However, I had a positive experience and found the doctor to be efficient and very sweet. Don’t forget to ask for a certificate excusing you from classes!... Read More


April 11, 2016

Berlin is not your typical traditional fairy-tale European city. As most of it was destroyed during WWII, it is ultra modern. To me, it felt like a cross between an industrial complex and a park, in the coolest possible way. The streets are extremely wide, so after packed in... Read More

Les dames de Fontainebleau

April 11, 2016

We got a taste of France’s chateaus during the APA excursion to the Loire Valley and some needed more!  Last Saturday students got together to visit Chateau de Fontainebleau, a perfect day trip to take out of Paris. While there, they had a little photo shoot and got... Read More


April 5, 2016

There is no way you can discover Le Comptoir Général just by walking along canal Saint-Martin unless you see other people sneaking in or were given explicit directions. My UChicago friends studying in Barcelona and I were brought here by a French friend who wanted to show us a... Read More


April 5, 2016

If you want to see French people lose their minds and learn some colorful language, go to a soccer game at the Stade de France. We got French flags on our cheeks and I patriotically painted the Russian flag on my forehead. The security was top notch due to the November attacks... Read More

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... 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


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


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