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Before I leave for Paris, France

Amy Glazier-Torgerson, Sciences Po Exchange, Fall 2013

I am excited, and anxious, to say that this fall I will be studying abroad in Paris, France in the Sciences Po direct exchange program. At Northwestern, I am studying Social Policy with a minor in Psychology, and want to go into educational policy, nonprofit management, or some form of legal work. On any given day, you can find me out running on the lakefill or in my red Jumpstart t-shirt working at a Rogers Park preschool with wonderful 3-5 year olds. I’m from Seattle, Washington and am prone to telling people how much I love my city!

It’s exciting and a little scary to believe that I will be spending the next four months in Paris. I have wanted to study abroad for as long as I can remember, so part of my excitement comes from realizing that it is finally time for me to go abroad. I decided to study abroad in Paris because I have always had a fascination with the city. I visited for a week with my family when I was 12 and found myself captivated by everything, even the mundane aspects like where Parisians went grocery shopping. Just like Seattle and Chicago, Paris is a city that thrives on unique neighborhoods, which excites me to explore as many as I can. There are so many nooks and crannies of Paris that I am excited to spend my time in – one of my personal goals for this fall is to really acquaint myself with the city on a personal level. I am also thrilled to be studying at Sciences Po: a dynamic, international university in the heart of Paris for people interested in politics, policy, and law. If I could, I would enroll in almost all of the courses, but of course I want time to pursue all of my adventures!

Although I have been taking French since middle school, I am very nervous about the language aspect of studying abroad in Paris. I am pursuing full immersion and fluency, but taking difficult courses in French will be challenging and overwhelming. In Paris, most people speak English as well, so I do not want to fall back on English as a crutch when I’m there. I hope to get over my fear of having bold conversations in French and I would like to make friends through French, rather than just by speaking English. A bientot, tout le monde!

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