When you go on a one year exchange you get to live two different semesters. The first one you are on the same boat as everyone else. You have just arrived from your home country. You have travel plans to visit all the European countries in just one year. You are making new friends and exploring the city with them. However, in second semester, you have been living in the city for almost six months and you have to say goodbye to your first semester friends who are leaving. Luckily, you get to make friends with the new exchange students!
Meeting the new students
Second semester has started and because you have done the intensive French language seminar first semester, you do not repeat it second semester. When you get to your first class you realize that you only know one or two people who are also staying for the year and have to start making new friends. At first, it feels like you are cheating on your old friends because they were here first and you’ve created a great relationship with them. It is also a little weird that most of the new students already know each other because they did the intensive seminar together. You also happen to know the city and have so much travelling advice that it’s easy to make small talk when talking to the new kids. You feel so excited because now you know what to do and not do when travelling and have a lot of advice to give. And your new friends love to know more and more!
The friendship starts because they are new and you have experience living in Paris. You know where to go, talk about trips and, soon enough, you’ve become good friends. You call you first semester friends and tell them all about it, and they are so happy you’ve made new friends.
It is amazing. I love meeting new people and the school really encourages that. There is an association called DEE (Dauphine Erasmus Exchange) that organizes events every week. The first week of second semester we all met at Montmartre to explore a bit of the city, and it was amazing to meet all the new students and see the first semester friends who had just come back from their Christmas vacation. That day I also saw part of the city I had never been before, and it was really cool to see it on a beautiful sunny day while making new friends. 🙂
One thing I have noticed about friendships is that language seems to be the “ticket” to whom you hang out with the most. That doesn’t mean you don’t hang out with anyone else, but it is interesting to see that those who speak English usually hang out together, the Spanish-speaking students have their groups, the Portuguese-speaking sit together in class and the Mandarin and Japanese-speaking students tend to go out together as well. All of the exchange students are very friendly, but when it comes to trips and small get togethers, our native languages definitely come into play. I have caught myself hanging out mostly with Canadians, Australians, Americans, English, Scottish, and Irish (or english-speaking) students. It is not a choice; it just happened to work out that way. Isn’t that interesting?
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