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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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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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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