Hello! My name is Hannah Perez. I’m a junior Theatre and Legal Studies double major who is studying abroad in the Art, Literature, and Contemporary European Thought program through IPD.
Those are a lot of words that may or may not mean anything to you, so feel free to just ignore them. All you need to know about me is that I’m a Northwestern student spending the upcoming semester in Paris. And that I’m going to be blogging about it on here, of course.
Right now as I’m writing this, I’m sitting in JFK airport. I’m only hours away from boarding a plane that will take me across the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in my life. I’ve only ever left the country once before (with another IPD program where I also got a chance to blog about my experiences). I can honestly say I’m just as terrified as I was then, but for different reasons. Last time I went abroad, I visited a country I was already familiar with. Being a Cuban-American in Cuba meant that although there were a lot of things to learn, I was already familiar with the culture and language. In comparison to that experience, I’m pretty much walking into this experience blind. But that’s the reason I chose this program. I wanted to live in a place that was completely unfamiliar to me. Having regular access to wifi while doing it is just a bonus.
As I sit in JFK, enjoying my last few moments in the United States, I find myself wondering what living abroad will be like. What will be different over there? What will be the same? Will having studied abroad in Cuba be helpful? Is it actually possible for me to learn any of the language? What will I miss about the United States? And most importantly, what will the food be like over there?
I guess I’m about to find out.