One week. That’s all that separates me from the streets of France for my summer study abroad program. It feels strange and unimaginable right now. I’m brushing up on French films (Amelie, Tell No One, Paris je t’aime) and American films set in Paris (Midnight in Paris, Hugo, Ratatouille — shamefully) to get myself excited, though I imagine I won’t accurately learn about French culture through films.
I have high expectations that the buildings will be beautiful and the food divine, but I hope I will be able to soak up the history of Paris through my classes. For now, I have been gathering up items I will need for my almost-month abroad. Mini umbrella, sneakers with the perfect balance of cuteness and practicality, external battery charger for my phone, outlet adapters, dark clothing, and bucket lists I hope to accomplish in my short time.
When I first got home after my finals at UCLA, I felt a little regret and wanted to remain home for the summer to enjoy the rare moments with family that I’ve missed this year. Now I’m beginning to get excited about my study abroad trip to Paris, and I hope I can make the most of journey despite my lack of travel experience and extract every wonderful drop that Paris has to offer.
I’m looking at pictures of canals and side streets and cafes, and I can’t wrap my head around the idea that this will soon be the perspective from my own eyes. The nerves are here, the stress is on when it comes to packing, but I hope my international naivety will not hinder this trip of a lifetime.