Paris reflections

I writing you all from the very beautiful island of Corfu. What I should be doing is sitting out in the sun, but you all know me…

Studying abroad, while it may result in a difficult situation for me in the end in terms of credits, was an amazing, life-changing experience.

Some of you got my sobbing phone calls back in January when I was about to take off for this great adventure… To leave College Park (where I had a lot of great things going on) and go to a new place, without a friend or any kind of support system, and not knowing at all what to expect, was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Little did I know where the next four months would take me.

I’ve had the opportunity to study French in Paris, seeing the Eiffel Tower from my classroom window, and to get to know the city inside and out. This is something I started talking about doing when I chose to learn French at age ten. I also been lucky enough to travel – to different regions of France, to Ireland, to England, to Portugal, to Spain, and to Germany. I’ve gained a whole new perspective on International Affairs and my image of “the American” has of course been shifted.

On a personal level, a lot of things have happened for me that didn’t quite fall into place back home. I had a single, solid group of friends. (At Maryland, I do sometimes struggle to balance Greek and non-Greek friends and in high school I was part of a lot of different groups.) Without these four people – Beth, Erin, John and Jeff – my time in Paris would’ve been a lot more lonely, a lot less funny and, simply put, boring. I also met a really great guy and I hope that we’ll remain great friends. Honestly, he woke me up, he made me feel. And that’s a great thing. If nothing else, I come away with a lot of incredible memories and a big hope for the future.

Anyway, I think it’s time to head back to the beach. Can’t wait to hear from all of you about your crazy summer beginnings!

– Julie