When I opened my email last week to see a note from my Parisian hostess, subject line simply “Paris” I nearly jumped out of my chair with delight. It has been a long process to get to this week, counting down on one hand the days until I will be on a plane to Europe for the first time, and I can hardly believe it is happening. I’ve dreamt of Paris my entire life. I remember being five years old and dancing around my basement to “Paris Holds the Key to Your Heart” from the movie Anastasia. Now that I have for the first time my passport, my visa, my housing contract, and my summer reading read, I am so ready to step off of that plane in the Charles de Gaulle airport and see Paris.
Since coming to NU, I have found my focus to be very inward. As an American Studies major, I spend a lot of time on issues in the US. This fall I will be bursting out of that bubble, and be totally immersed in another culture.
That is not to say that I will be leaving NU behind. I am doing the European Union Studies Program, which is run by NU rather than direct-enrolling at the Sciences Po. The program will be taught by a combination of Sciences Po and NU professors, and there will be students from both universities in my classes. Another NU student will be living in the same home stay as I am, so we will both always have an NU study buddy (and travel buddy!) when needed. I will get to go on field trips to Strasbourg and Brussels and maybe Luxembourg as we dive into a rigorous course load designed to give us a “master’s level” understanding of the EU.
As someone who is very interested in policy, this program seems like a perfect fit. I will be able to study many of the things that intrigue me at home–the environment, race, defense, decision-making–in a new context. My years of French language study are going to finally pay off as I explore the city of my dreams after classes and on weekends.
So now, as I look at the empty suitcase on my floor and get ready to pack, I’m looking across the Atlantic with the world at my fingertips. Paris, here I come!