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Category: Paris, France

Noah Purdy | Paris, France | Post 5

Noah Purdy | Paris, France | Post 5

Featured image: A dramatic landscape during a visit to Chantilly with my host parents. I’ve never been great at good-byes. I often leave events early, I’m quick on the phone and I avoid the long, drawn-out farewells that some family members and friends seem to adore. So, as I face my impending departure from Paris (I write this on my penultimate day in France, a rainy Saturday), I’ve been struggling to wrap my head around leaving a city that has…

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Noah Purdy | Paris, France | Post 4

Noah Purdy | Paris, France | Post 4

Featured image: A lovely day trip to Lyon, land of silk and rich cuisine, included a visit to two Roman amphitheaters dating from the 1st century BCE. Recently, while walking back to their apartment from the metro after a dinner out with my host parents, my host mom asked me if I remembered walking home with them my very first night in Paris after they took me on the metro route I’d need to get to school the next day….

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Noah Purdy | Paris, France | Post 3

Noah Purdy | Paris, France | Post 3

Featured image: A winter wonderland—in March—in Strasbourg, a beautiful fairytale city on France’s border with Germany. Ah, French. The language of poets, the mots justes of Flaubert and Camus, evocative of ballet, theatre, cuisine, art—and, it often feels, the construction of a madman. Though grammar, syntax and conjugation are by this point full-on hobbies of mine (I take Ancient Greek back at Vassar, if that’s any indication), French’s contradictory rules and endless exceptions are a world unto themselves. Getting a…

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Laila Volpe | Paris, France | Post 3

Laila Volpe | Paris, France | Post 3

Featured Image: A very bready brunch France, and especially Paris, is known for its food. However, foreigners generally don’t realize just how much meaning they put behind it until it comes time to order in a boulangerie (a cafe-style store that sells primarily bread). The first time I tried to order I was taking my time looking at the menu while I was in line, choosing between different sandwiches. Little did I know, that this was unacceptable. The line moved so…

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Noah Purdy | Paris, France | Post 2

Noah Purdy | Paris, France | Post 2

Featured image: Beautiful gray Paris days—here, in the jardin des Tuileries—have been slowly showing signs of the spring to come. The notion of being abroad comes with a lot of expectations. What essentially describes a physical distance morphs into this romantic notion of difference, of monumental personal change, of an irreversible growth and expansion in understanding. Frankly, that’s a lot of pressure. I’m often reminded that I’m not that much farther away from Vassar here in Paris than I am…

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Laila Volpe | Paris, France | Post 2

Laila Volpe | Paris, France | Post 2

Featured Image: Me in Normandy, looking very American and not giving a shit I never really thought about the influence Americans, or more accurately English speakers, have on the rest of the world. Of course I know that our culture has seeped in practically everywhere, from talks about Trump to watching Game of Thrones; however, I never realized just how large a role it plays. For example, in France people tend to say “stop” in English with a French accent…

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Laila Volpe | Paris, France | Post 1

Laila Volpe | Paris, France | Post 1

Featured Image: The Louvre at night When I first decided to go to Paris for my study abroad experience, I already knew all the stereotypes of French people: that they hated Americans, were rude, and carried around baguettes with them all the time. Surprisingly, the third stereotype turned out to be more true in my experience than the other two. I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve seen someone casually carrying four full and uncovered baguettes under his arm on the…

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Noah Purdy | Paris, France | Post 1

Noah Purdy | Paris, France | Post 1

Featured image: Integrating seamlessly into French society by posing for tourist pictures. You’d be hard-pressed to find a French class in the U.S. that doesn’t mention terroir, the French culinary principle that says that food and wine from different places absorb unique qualities of the land, the terre, in which their ingredients grow. This concept seemed particularly relevant to the study abroad experience, a grand experiment in déracinage, uprooting—in leaving one land, gaining another and trying to make a fruitful…

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Elena Schultz | Paris, France | Post 3

Elena Schultz | Paris, France | Post 3

Featured Image: The Grandines Estate in Cheffes, France—my temporary home for the past weekend, as well as a site of local lore. This weekend, I found myself locking eyes with a curly-haired cow, our breath crystallizing as one across the feebly-constructed barbed wire fence that separated us. Nose and ears burning bright red from the brisk wind of a new winter, I wrapped myself tighter in my layers of down and watched as she studied me passively, then flipped her tail…

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Elena Schultz | Paris, France | Post 2

Elena Schultz | Paris, France | Post 2

Enshrouded in the quintessentially Parisian mélange of heavy post-rain air and cigarette smoke, I made my daily walk to the Jourdain metro station this morning to catch the train to my last class of the week. My route to school, whether at the Columbia-run international program at Reid Hall or the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, has become a daily variation on a theme. During the 10-minute walk (or six-minute run, depending on how late I am) from my home in a…

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