My name is Sarah Jane & I am currently fulfilling my sojourn experience in the country best known for its gastronomy, fine wine, and fashion –Paris, France. I attend Université Paris-Dauphine in the International Business program (BIB), concentration in International Marketing and Trade. After fulfilling the requirement of taking an intensive language course for two years, my flight was booked and the only thing that awaited for me was my official “move-in” to my new studio apartment!
To start, I won’t sugarcoat things and describe to you how easy moving to a country is halfway across the world…5,645 km away from your family, friends, and boyfriend (or significant other) is hard. It is probably going to be one of the biggest stepping stones of your life that aids in creating and developing your innate being and cultural identity. So, you can summarize this as the ‘best of both worlds’.
My mom came down with me for a week to help me settle in. One regret is that I didn’t do enough research regarding the blatant things that one often takes for granted in Canada. I did an adequate amount of research about the culture, residence, university course selection (along with finding printers and my classes), and grocery stores before moving to Paris, but my mind completely disregarded the other aspects – phone plan, metro pass, and bank account.
In order to get a phone plan and metro pass in France, you need a French bank account. Of course, I didn’t receive my bank card until 2 weeks after my application was processed. During this time, I was able to ask around about the most affordable phone company for students and the locals said ‘Orange’. Through Orange, I was able to get a two week pre-paid plan until I could officially register.
Fast-forward after a solid two and a half days of settling in and purchasing household items, my mom and I finally had the opportunity to sightsee the City of Love. As my mom’s time was limited, we went to a few of the prominent places she was dying to visit: Palace of Versailles, Wall of Love, Av. des Champs-Élysées, and Arc de Triomphe.
To add, the food is unreal. The only “downside” is that carbs are everywhere! A typical dining day in the life of a Parisian is as follows: breakfast (croissant and coffee), lunch (baguette sandwich), dinner (chicken/fish, rice, and bread).
Aside from your diverse range of carb options, street food is available as well! If I am ever running late to class or an appointment and need to grab something quick, there is a creperie stand on every corner. Not only do I favour the crepes, but also charcoaled corn on the cob (1 euro each). I highly recommend you try these two street foods!
In summary, my September has so far consisted of eating, going to class, sightseeing, shopping, and studying.
A few things to remember until the next post…
- Utilize group chats with a theme where you can. (residence friends, classes, exchange group events and parties).
- Start researching EVERYTHING throughout the entire summer.
- Give at least 1-1.5 months of wait time for you Visa to be returned to you from VFS Global
Sarah Jane is a third-year Bachelor of International Business student who is studying abroad in France.
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