After a long journey all the way from the United States, I finally made it to the “City of Love.” From the second I stepped foot onto French soil, I was in complete awe. From the intricate architecture, to the fresh food markets on every street corner and the thousands of Parisians filtering through the streets, my eyes were wondering aimlessly. I knew from day one that I was going to love this place.
I have now been living in Paris for a week, and I can honestly say I’m on cloud 9. There is so much going on in this city it’s impossible to be bored. My favorite thing to do thus far is sitting outside at the street cafés for hours simply just people watching, enjoying the scenery, and of course trying all of the exquisite French foods! The constant aroma of fresh baguettes and croissants fills the air. Yes, the food smells amazing, but the tastes are even better. Naturally, my favorite meal of the day is dessert, and the Parisian bakeries, cafés, and restaurants certainly have an abundance to offer. Anytime I have an opportunity to order something incorporating Nutella, I will not pass up the opportunity. My favorite dessert I’ve tried so far is Nutella sushi! I know, it sounds strange, but the dish presenting tiny sushi shaped delights with rice pudding, Nutella, and strawberries, held together by a crepe was absolutely incredible.
Transitioning from my classic American ways, to a Parisian lifestyle was not too difficult. Of course it was vital to visit all of the main attractions of Paris, including la tour Eiffel, l’Arc de Triomphe, and Sacré-Coeur. I find it so amazing how one city could have so many fabulous monuments known globally. Now that I got the “touristy” excursions out of the way, my goal is to delve into the Parisian culture and live the way the locals do. Orientation for both SAI and AUP were extremely informative and helpful in relaying helpful tips to each of us students on how to easily adapt to the lifestyle in this city. I now feel extremely comfortable venturing off into Paris and taking the metro to different arrondissments on my own.
Although I prefer to be out and about in the city all day soaking in every bit of Paris, some down time is necessary because walking around all day is completely draining. SAI partnered up with Comforts of Homes and picked the most perfect apartment for my four housemates and I in the 16th arrondissment. Before moving into my apartment, I was expecting to be living in a tiny place with not much space with a “petit” bathroom, kitchen, etc. Boy was I wrong! Our apartment has a roomy living room, a large table to enjoy home cooked meals, and the bedrooms have plenty of space for both my roommate and I’s belongings. The best part about this place is how tastefully decorated the home is. Everything is brand new from Ikea, and arranged so that each of us could immediately feel right at home. There are still a few aspects of the apartment that will take time getting used to such as the three hour long washing machine cycles, being very quiet in order to keep the neighbors happy, and the continuous struggle of unlocking the door with keys that look more like car keys than an apartment key. That being said, I am thrilled with my living situation and could not ask for more! I’m so glad that SAI made the transition into this new country super comfortable and easy for me. Each morning I wake up and look outside thinking how lucky I am to have the opportunity to reside in Paris for four whole months. I have a feeling I’m never going to want to leave, but thankfully this is only the beginning!
Sina is a current student at University of Tampa studying at American University of Paris (AUP) Paris during the Fall 2014 term.