10 Things That Happen When You Study Abroad in Paris

Bonjour mes amis!

It’s surreal that this is going to be my last blog post about Paris. I still vividly remember my first day here, and that strange feeling I had inside my chest from not knowing what was going to unfold in the upcoming months mingled with my heart racing with anticipation.

Before coming here, everyone I knew told me that these months were going to be ephemeral, almost like a fleeting dream. But I didn’t really believe them. I thought I possessed special super powers that would somehow let me slow down time in my mind and make the moment last eternally. But alas, there I was, just a few papers and finals away from the end of the chapter.

I don’t think it’s really possible to express how much I have fallen in love with the city of love itself or gotten my derriere kicked (eventually forced to grow). But most importantly, I’ve realized how much I want to come back here...for good.

When you study abroad in Paris...

1. Bread will be ruined for you.

The cliché is real, my friends. Nothing, I repeat, nothing compares to french bread. You will know how to identify a good baguette (1. if both of the ends are as soft as the rest of it and 2. if it triggers something in you to eat the whole dang thing in one sitting. Oopsies). You will find yourself intentionally getting off the métro one stop early just so you can walk to Eric Kayser and buy a baguette (and a pastry...or make that five) to nibble on (devour) on your walk home.  

P.C.: @lanajoos

2. You will gain weight.

Don’t be surprised if your butt or thighs are a little fuller even a few weeks into it. But it’s all wonderful weight because you know it was for a good cause. And I mean, back in the day being a little plump was a sign of prosperity and opulence so.... #fatandhappy!

3. You’ll begin to accidentally say things en francais.

You’re either too used to saying them, or they just express things much better than english does (“oh, merde” “tu fais, quoi, là?” “oh, arrête” “oui, ça marche”). You and your friends will now have a secret code to speak in back in NYC.

4. You will fall in love with art.

Even if you weren’t interested at all before. You will most definitely want to spend your free time visiting a new museum. The moment you walk into the Musée d’Orsay and stumble upon the Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec room I guarantee that you’ll find yourself in complete awe in front of his Au Moulin Rouge. Or you’ll walk to the Musée de l’Orangerie and one thing will lead to another and next thing you know you’re sobbing before Claude Monet’s panoramic Nymphéas. Your heart will feel so blissful and full. Oh my gosh, I guess there’s nothing you can do besides, well, treat yourself to another baguette.

5. People-watching will become a mastered skill.

Might as well put it on your resume. You will be completely unphased when the old bougie lady (whose outfit is on point, by the way) sitting opposite stares you up and down...because you will do it right back. And you will find yourself fearlessly and shamelessly checking out every beautiful male (and female) specimen that steps onto that car (which is very, very often). Not to mention, there’s actually an Instagram account solely dedicated to the cute mecs on the Paris métro (@mecsmetroparis - you will not be disappointed).

6. You will find yourself inhaling a nutella-banane crêpe at 2am.

Take notes: 2am Parisian crêpes are the equivalent to 2am NYC pizzas.

7. You will spontaneously discover many random, sometimes eccentric, sometimes intriguing, but always mesmerizing, hidden things and places.

8. Your sense of style will be refined.

There is no way in hell you are going to that boulangerie downstairs in your hot pink sweatpants. You will start putting things together that you never imagined you would. You’ll also have a classy and posh collection of scarves that would make the old you proud.

9. You may start having some unreasonable life goals.

Just to list a few of mine: ride a motorcycle, have a beautiful apartment in the 5ième arrondissement, shop exclusively in boutiques and vintage stores in the Marais, splurge on lots of art from chic galleries, stuff my face in expensive steak, travel to my vacation home by the Côte d’Azur every few weeks with my gorgeous French photographer husband...)

10. You’ll take a promenade to the Eiffel Tower every once in awhile to see its warm glimmer, just to remind yourself how lucky you are to be here.

I love you paris. Thank you for changing my life.