People study abroad with different expectations, and working at Temple’s Education Abroad Office, I’ve heard many different reasons for why students want to go. One that I hear often is that they want to travel and be a tourist. This is understandable, but it’s not what studying abroad is really about. So, I thought I’d give you a glimpse into what a week in Paris at the American Business School looked like for me!
The American Business School doesn’t have class on Mondays, so I have today free. I normally do some homework, explore Paris, or come back from a weekend trip. I also try to go grocery shopping! Grocery stores close much earlier than they do in Philadelphia, and they usually aren’t open on Sundays, so I have to make sure to plan my trips out better than I do back home. For dinner, I usually try to make something with my friends or roommate!
Morning: I often spend the morning at a Hubsy Coworking Cafe with friends. At a coworking cafe, you pay a per hour rate to be there, and get snacks and drinks like coffee and tea.
Early Afternoon: I head home and get something to eat before class.
17:00: It takes me 20 to 30 minutes to commute to class depending on the time of day, so I leave by 17:00 and get home around 21:00.
17:30-20:30: Business Finance with Professor Baker
21:00: I often stop by the bakery near my apartment for a sweet treat on the way home. Actually, I’d do this almost every day. Wow, I miss la boulangerie.
Wednesdays were my class-heavy day.
9:30: Wake up, make breakfast.
11:00: Leave my apartment.
11:30-14:30: International Relations with Professor Krys
14:30-15:30: Grab lunch with friends! I usually go to either the cafe in the school’s lobby or the Lebanese restaurant across the street.
15:30-18:30: International Economics with Professor Krys
18:30: Head home to make dinner.
Morning: Meet with my International Relations group or my Business Finance group. My courses abroad involved a lot of group work and presentations. The course structure and grading methods were much different than what I was used to, which made my time abroad even more interesting.
Afternoon: I’d try to visit a different place in Paris every Thursday and often ended up at a museum. My favorite is the Musée d’Orsay, a french art museum in an old train station!
Evening: My roommate and I make dinner with bread from the bakery on the corner and cheese from the farmer’s market or head out with some friends. A few times, we went to l’Arc de Triomphe for sunset, which was free with our student visas!
11:30-14:30: Operations Management with Professor Deutou
14:30: Every Friday afternoon, if it was warm enough, a group of us would get together in the lobby. Our first stop was the grocery store next door to get cheese, champagne, olives, and strawberries. Next, we’d hit the bakery on the corner to pick up a bunch of baguettes. We’d hop on the metro and ride it to Champs de Mars for a picnic under the Eiffel Tower! This is one of my favorite memories from my time in Paris.
Looking back on my time in Paris, I realize I wasn’t just visiting. I spent my time abroad learning, working, eating, commuting, and assimilating into Parisian life. When I first arrived, I felt like a tourist because everything was new and I wanted to see the sights; however, I quickly got a feel for the rhythm of the city and fell into it. Tourist activities and travel became secondary to my life in Paris, and the city truly became my home.