It’s hard to believe that my classes start tomorrow morning and I have already been in Paris for 10 days! This week and a half has had its highs and lows, but I thought I’d share some of my favorite parts of my Sciences Po Welcome Program experience.
I have already had the opportunity to go to four different museums since I arrived: Musée d’Orsay, L’Orangerie, Musée d’Art Moderne, and Musée de la Musique. I’m not a huge art person, but it has been breathtaking to see paintings that I have studied for years. My favorites were Monet’s water lilies paintings in the Orangerie. With my student card, I can get into almost any museum in the city for free! I’m looking forward to seeing some history museums in the future, as well as spending more time with the water lilies and exploring rooms I didn’t get a change to see in the Musée d’Orsay.
Whether it’s wine, bread, and cheese by the Seine or a simple snack in the park, picnics have been a great way to have a large group together and enjoy the good weather. Pro tip: have a friend like Daniella who always carries a bluetooth speaker and wine bottle opener!
I spent one night at a few French bars, another at a boat party sponsored by the Sports Association at Sciences Po, and another at the exchange students party in a club. The exchange students party was probably my favorite because the music was great and there was lots of dancing! Going out in Paris is still something I am not super confident about, as I’m working on figuring out what clothing is appropriate and what the best way to get home at night is, but it’s been a great way to see friends in a more relaxed setting and de-stress a bit.
The Amazing Race event had to have been one of my favorite activities this week. Running around Paris for three hours embarrassing yourself in front of Parisians is a pretty great bonding experience. I was able to see a lot of the city at once and orient myself to my new home. Viva La Vie en Rosé!
Seeing the City
The bus tour was great for hearing stories and background info that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. The Bateau Mouche ride gave me a look at the city from a different perspective- actually being on the river. My group’s visit to Montmatre was my favorite; it’s such a fun, homey, artsy area… with so much good food! And, of course, just going on a walk is a perfect way to explore, like when Naomi and I found the Jardin des Tuileries, which is one of my favorite spots in the city at the moment.
Meeting New People
Wow. I have met so many people with so many different experiences and stories. I have loved meeting people my age from all over the world and all have our interests in politics and travel in common. It makes for a very social, international group! The other Educo/Sciences Po girls have helped me get accustomed to the city, and I am so impressed by how inclusive and outgoing my Welcome Program group is. And, of course, the best is when we all come together and I meet friends of friends. The culture of grabbing a drink or dinner after an event just to chat and get to know each other is so refreshing. I was worried originally about being isolated since everyone lives separately, but if things continue like this, there will be no need to stress over planning lots of get-togethers and being the one to take the initiative. It has also been cool to get to know other people who are living in the Cité. The other Educo people also arrived today, and I got to catch up with a few Tulane friends over brunch and some shopping. I’m so excited to share this experience with them while also maintaining the new relationships I have formed in the past 10 days.
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