MIS in France: Bonjour de Paris

Well it’s taken awhile to get over the jet lag, but I am finally awake enough to stay up and write my first blog post from Paris! I left the US Saturday morning and got to Paris at 2 am, US time. The company I am using for my study abroad program, ISA, arranged to have a taxi/bus pick us up from the airport, so that was definitely nice not having to figure out the metro and navigate it with all my luggage when first arriving! For those of you who have ever been on trips with me, yes I stuck to my tradition of having the most stuff out of anyone lol. The first day was spent unpacking my luggage (which I had to lug up 7 flights of stairs!) and taking a little nap, as I definitely didn’t get any sleep on the plane!

Monday morning we had a meeting at the school I am studying at, L’Institut Catholique de Paris. This meant the first time using the metro! I had never ridden public transportation in my life before, so I was definitely a little nervous! Thankfully I managed to get to the right stop where I was supposed to be and from there found some other girls from my program and figured out where the school was with them. The orientation at the school lasted all day, which was definitely a little bit of a bummer being stuck in a classroom instead of out exploring Paris my first real day there. For lunch, some girls and I grabbed a sandwich from a Cafe and took it to the Jardin du Luxembourg.

It’s so cool that every where you turn in this city there is history! I mean yes I know there is some history at Bama, but this park, for example, has statues of all the past queens of France!

Today(Tuesday) I finally got to do a lot of the token touristy things! First, I met some girls at Notre Dame this morning. All I can say is WOW! It’s so amazing the attention to detail the architects put into this building! I’m starting to learn there really isn’t such a thing as a simple door or entry way in most older buildings.

As if the details on the outside weren’t enough, it was even more breath taking on the inside! It made me jealous of how much religious passion existed in society hundreds of years ago because I doubt enough people would be in support to build something like this today!

After Notre Dame we went wandering around. We found a great deal for a panini and crepe for lunch, and then accidentally found the Basilique Saint-Denis and the Pantheon.

After a meeting for the study abroad program, it was finally time to go see the Eiffle Tower! I was a little bit nervous, because if for some reason I didn’t like it, I would basically have to redecorate everything in my apartment when I get back to the States lol. I knew it was big, but wow it was REALLY big! We didn’t have time to go up inside it so I definitely intend to go back and do that as well as go at night so I can see it all lit up!

So that’s the trip so far! I definitely miss my family, friends, and boyfriend, but I am excited that I still have almost 3 months to discover all the rest of what Paris has to offer!

-Callie Smith

You can read her full blog accompanied with pictures at http://calliersmith.blogspot.com/

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