Paris, the city of love… Crêpes, macarons, French wine, and the sparkling Eiffel Tower. It is hard to describe the love a girl has for Paris. A fairytale destination we all wish to visit someday because everything about Paris is a blessing.
Two years ago on the 4th of January, a good friend of mine dropped me at the airport and my flight was taking me to my abroad semester. – Paris in four months.
After giving you 10 reasons to study abroad, today I am telling you my own experiences about studying in another country and also why I decided to move to Paris even though I do not even speak French…
Back then it really was the situation of a new year, new city, new university and kind of a new life. Was I nervous? A little bit, to be honest. I have been living in London before, due to that I already knew the challenges of moving to another country, but I never expected I would need such a long time like then to get used to living in Paris.
The reason why I went to Paris for my first study abroad semester was, (I am currently completing my second one. Curious where I am at the moment? Follow me on Instagram @ly.hoang for the answer!) that from my home university we were just allowed to moving to countries within Europe. In the beginning, I actually wanted to move back to London, but then I thought it would be better to move to a new place.
Since I have always loved French fashion and could also find the right study abroad program, the decision was quickly made that it’s going to be Paris in four months.
THE BEGINNING, ACCOMMODATION, SIGHTSEEING…
While I was in the city of love, I lived in the second arrondissement. This is in the city centre, but unfortunately, the building was looking like a run-down place. Thanks to visiting Vietnam a lot, I was used to seeing not so pretty places, but I would have never expected to face a situation like this in France.
Luckily, my apartment was super cosy and pretty from the inside and at the end that’s the fact that matters, isn’t it?
As I already said, somehow I struggled a little bit at the beginning of my time in Paris. Even though I wish I could speak the most beautiful language in the world, I can only say a few sentences and maybe count the numbers, but that’s it.
Furthermore, I moved to the capital of France alone (my best friend went to another uni in Paris, and therefore he came a few weeks later) and so in the beginning, I was trying to handle a lot of things on my own, which included sightseeing and a lot of shopping.
With my family, I already visited Paris a lot of times, so all the sightseeing and shopping streets were pretty familiar to me. I just have never been to the museums, and they say Paris stands for food, fashion, art and culture. Because of that I gave myself a hint and visited the museums too this time. In the end, I really enjoyed the visit, and they weren’t boring at all!
Here are the top 15 places you have to visit in Paris!
UNIVERSITY, FRIENDS, LIFESTYLE…
On my first day in university, I had my orientation day, where we learned more about our timetable for studying and where we could meet the other exchange students. We also had the opportunity the meet local students who are organising the events for us.
Did you know that they say the friendships with “I didn’t like you in the beginning” are in the end the best? Once again it was proven that this quote was right. On the orientation day, I met Nhi, a Vietnamese girl from Berlin. Of course, we were talking a little bit. It’s always easier to connect with people from Germany, but seriously, somehow I didn’t like that girl…
Anyway, a few weeks later we were sitting next to each other because we had a lot of courses together and we started to get to know each other. She wasn’t as bad as I thought like in the beginning. Furthermore, Nhi even became kind of a big sister to me. How ironic, but I would say: lesson learned.
In my opinion, you should find someone who you can connect with if you go abroad. Luckily, I found beside Nhi, another girl from the Netherlands. We did a lot of things together such as sightseeing, shopping, Disneyland, partying and going out for brunch, lunch and dinner. Especially for brunch. Sadly, but the truth was that we all spent the most of our money on food, but I really miss these brunch dates with the girls.
These are the Brunch and Dinner places you can’t miss in Paris!
When I lived in London, I just had friends who went abroad like me. Don’t get me wrong; I genuinely love them, and I had the time of my life with them in London, but somehow I think it was such a pity that I didn’t connect with British people.
My Paris experience was completely different. I wasn’t searching for French friends, but it turned out now that I found incredible and charming French friends. Thanks to my university in Paris because they mixed us exchange students with the native ones. Due to that, it was easier to connect with them. If you now think that they will come to you and want to be friends with you, then you’re wrong. Of course, they are friendly and helpful, but I think in an age like us, you actually don’t make friends so fast and so easy like when you were younger.
In the beginning, the French students just stayed with themselves, but there was a guy in my main core class, who was looking for a member for his group work. Thanks to that, we got in touch with each other, and I am pleased about this because that moment was the beginning of a beautiful and crazy friendship. My other French friends were studying finance with me.
Why do I tell you all of this? My stay in Paris would have been entirely different without my French friends. Native students will show you their way of living in the city you come to. It’s a kind of style you would never know if you don’t have people showing you.
At my university in Paris, they organised a lot of parties. What fascinated me the most was that all the local students have a community feeling. They identify themselves as a student from that university, and they almost all attend the events. We had events such as private parties, a gala night with beautiful gowns and suits but the highlight was the university presidential election during the day at uni. I’ve never seen something impressive like that before, and I am glad that I could have been part of all that.
Unfortunately, I studied there just for one semester, but it was a blast!
I WANNA STAY HERE FOREVER…
here in London. Here in Munich.
I left my heart in so many places so I actually never considered Paris as another maybe place to live. And then… when I was standing on the terrace of Printemps while watching the sunset over Paris, I discovered the Eiffel Tower. Standing there with such an elegance and coated by the warm shafts of the sunlight… Exactly, at that moment I knew I wanna stay in Paris forever, and a piece of my heart will always stay here, and precisely at that moment, I fell in love with Paris even a little bit more.
Yes, I love London, and I also love Munich, but you know what? Just because everything is perfect in the place you are at the moment, why shouldn’t it be better somewhere else as well?
I gained so many new experiences through the four months in Paris, and I made such wonderful memories with incredible people. Experiences which made me more open-minded. A time when I could improve myself a little bit more and another beautiful city where I fell in love with.
“Fall in love with as many things as possible and spread the love!”
Now two years later, my friends and I are still keeping in touch, and that’s what I love so much about moving abroad. Because in the end, you will win international friends and the experience is priceless!
Thanks to everyone who went along with me on this journey. Thanks for four months in Paris…