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Departure and Arrival

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind. I remember realizing two weeks ago that the summer was over, my summer job was done, and it was time to head off to Paris. The initial excitement that had filled the time leading up to departure had given way to anxiousness, nervousness, and even almost panic. As the departure date quickly approached, I frantically checked off every item on my to-do list before I left the country for 3 months.

My summer was full of working, studying, volunteering, and everything else that you’d expect a high-strung college student to commit to. Because of this, I had little time to mentally and physically prepare myself to leave the country for 3 months. In fact, I didn’t begin packing until the morning of my flight to Paris.

After a long day of traveling, which included 1 layover, I arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport on August 26th. During the first four days, all of the Northwestern students stayed at a hostel to meet one another and participate in orientation activities. Imagine a shortened version of Wildcat Welcome except placed in an even more foreign setting. These days were filled with meeting new people, exploring a new city, and participating in ice-breakers and group activities.

Now that I have been in Paris for 2 weeks, I can safely say that much of my initial nervousness has subsided. Although I am still finding my groove in this foreign city, I am beginning to piece together a daily routine, develop a core group of friends, and become more accustomed with the city. 2 weeks down, 12 more to go.

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