"Be Yourself and you'll feel at home anywhere"

The holiday season is coming to a close. This means for me that the endless preparation for studying abroad in Paris and questions from re...


The holiday season is coming to a close. This means for me that the endless preparation for studying abroad in Paris and questions from relatives on how excited I am to leave are coming an end. I have mixed emotions about leaving the US for France. Just thinking about leaving is making my hands on the keyboard jitter (I’ve literally had to auto-correct this paragraph three times already because my hands are so jittery from both being nervous and excited for my study-abroad trip to Paris).

Here’s my not-so-simple- typical-white-girl- explanation as to why I am studying abroad in Paris for spring 2015. If you’ve noticed from my name, you might have guessed why I’m studying abroad in Paris. My name is Sabrina, and naturally I am vainly obsessed with both of the “Sabrina” movies (the Audrey Hepburn version is my favorite for the record). I’ve visited France before. The first time I went with my family when I was in junior high, and the second time I visited with my high school (my best friends went with me). Each time I go to Paris I make a promise to myself. The first time I went to Paris I promised myself that when I came back, I would visit with my best friends. Three years later, I was back in Paris with several of my class mates roaming about the streets of Paris.  During my last visit in Paris, I promised myself that I would go back one day and live in the city of lights. Obviously, by the fact that I’m writing this blog post on IES’s site means that I’m big on promises, because I’m doing just that: living AND studying abroad in Paris for 4 months.
My friends and I in Paris, 2011

My mentality for traveling is a bit odd compared to others. I’m not in denial that I’m going to study abroad, it’s more so that I’m in shock that it’s actually happening. I’ve prepared myself for living in Paris. I have my clothes picked out, I’ve created a packing list, a to-do list before studying abroad, printed out maps, and have even started to plan adventures around the city. I’m in a state of utter disbelief that I’m getting the chance to go to Paris again. From past experiences, I know that the excitement won’t roll in until I land in France. My fear of flying probably plays a factor in my level of excitement. This will be the first time that I have flown by myself. Fortunately, I won’t have to face my fear totally alone. IES emailed me the roster several days ago of who else will be partaking in the program. Of course I had to scroll the list and see if I recognized any names and if someone else was from Minnesota. A total of five other IES students will be departing on the same plane as me from Minneapolis to Paris. I was thrilled when I connected with the other students from my program to hear that we would be facing this adventure and obstacle together. What makes matters even better is that some of these students that are going to study abroad with myself are some of my colleagues and mutual friends. My stress about traveling alone has now diminished to some degree knowing that on my plane I will be traveling with some of my classmates from IES Paris French Studies.
Some of my books and journals I received over the holidays

In the meantime before departure, I am catching up on saying my final goodbyes and doing some reading. It seems as if my friends and family have come in unison together and have decided that I should read some books on Paris before my departure and write about my experiences while traveling abroad. Apparently journals with the Eiffel tower aren’t hard to find because I’ve now started to create a collection of them. Regardless of the number of journals I have, I think it’s an indication that this experience will be life changing (as cheesy as it sounds).  For me, writing is both something that is therapeutic as well as something that I do as a profession. I am excited to see how my journey abroad in Paris will be, and I cannot wait to write them all down in my journals.

I’ll leave you with a picture from my first page I put in my journal. I went out to eat last night to a Vietnamese restaurant and received a fortune cookie. My fortune is the following “Be yourself and you’ll feel at home anywhere”. Maybe this is the sign that I’ll be the next version of the movie “Sabrina” and discover myself while studying abroad in Paris. Only time and the pages of my journals will be able to tell.

Until next time,


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