Well, I have officially completed my first week of class!
It’s a rather nice schedule; I have fifteen hours of class each week just like I usually do at Grove City, but they are three hours. They are long, but all have a break in the middle, which helps. I also don’t have any on Wednesdays or Fridays, which is definitely a plus; and although I have six hours of class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but if you think about it, for each long day I have, there is a day right after it with nothing!
For nine of my credit hours, I am taking a French language class with the typical work attached (no troublesome online homework, which is super wonderful), and the other two are electives. I am taking a Discovering Paris class, which I am excited about because we are going to get to leave the classroom and do just that! On the agenda for the semester are a lot of historical places and museums of Paris, which will be so interesting. Nothing like actually getting to know the place you’re living. The other is a Parisian cinema class, in which we will get to watch a lot of French movies (no subtitles unfortunately, suppose I’ll have to make do).
A few other things I was up to this week:
On Wednesday, my program had a cooking class at the API Center, which was such a good time! There were fifteen of us (all girls signed up, is that surprising) and we made a delicious meal to share. We started with a pumpkin soup, followed with two kinds of bread, one with goat cheese and zucchini and the other with salmon (sounds strange, but it was really good) and then finished with a flourless chocolate cake (Grove City’s version had nothing on this). It was a great opportunity to get to know other girls in my program too; living in a homestay means that I need to make a lot of effort to get out and do things with friends. It’s very different than living on campus, but I am very much enjoying my commute and melting into a city where everyone has something to do and someplace to be.
But to go back to the food bit, one thing that is very different here is that all meals shared are made up of courses. In the US, buffet style seems to be pretty popular, but here it’s all about what’s coming next. A safe bet for me is that when I think I’m done, there are at least two more courses! When I eat dinner with my host Mom, I try to be hungry because I know I’m about to eat a full (and delicious) meal.
I also started running this week, after telling myself for several days that I would do it. There is a park right near where I am living called le Parc des Buttes Chaumont and it is so beautiful! It occupies 24 acres and is quite picturesque. The times I have gone there have been many other runners (hooray for the camaraderie of it!), moms with strollers, and older people sitting on the benches reading newspapesr. It’s a terrific place to watch people and I feel very Parisian when I am there. Maybe it’s the fresh air. I’m so glad that I lucked out living so close to such a pretty place and I look forward to doing a lot more running there.
Friday night was probably one of my favorites since I’ve been here, I decided to go out and wander. I think I am bad at wandering. I can be a fast walker, and I like to feel like I’m going somewhere when I am walking, but this time I wanted it to be different and walk without a purpose. I got off the Metro in the center of Paris right by the river and decided to walk along it. There are lots of places to walk; paths above the river, paths right near it, lots of runners, and lots of people. It took me about an hour to walk all the way down to the Eiffel Tower, but I was so glad that I did because I got to see it sparkle like it does the first five minutes of every hour. It was so magical!
There are also many nice views and pedestrian bridges to walk on, such as the Pont des Arts. Whether or not this name is familiar to you, you have probably heard of it because it is commonly referred to as the Love Lock Bridge, where many lovers have put a lock symbolizing their love before throwing the key into the Seine. But (sadly), about a year ago the bridge was threatening to collapse because of the weight of the padlocks,so they were all taken away and the side of the bridge is now glass-covered. Sad day. There are many famous buildings right on the Seine too, which were cool to see at night.
The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful besides going grocery shopping (I’ll spare you the exciting details) and going to a huge open air market with my host mom to buy fish (it smelled great, let me tell you). The rest of this week is looking somewhat calm, but an adventure is coming up this weekend, which you will have to stay tuned and find out about next week!
Thanks for reading–