Over the summer, I worked as an intern on my local PBS station in Miami. I worked every day of the week and focused on doing a good job. Going to Paris seemed like a distant event for most of summer and I rarely thought about what it meant for me to be going there. The fact that I was going to study abroad only hit me at the end of the summer after my internship ended.
When I finally did start reflecting on my future trip. I quickly realized that there is a lot of uncertainty in going to Paris. I have never been to the country and never learned French. I worried that I would be lost in a new place with no hope of adapting. I also feared that I would miss out on what was going on with my friends back at Northwestern, who would be separated from me by an ocean and a few time zones.
Whenever I had these doubts, I remembered the praise that previous students lavished on the European Union Studies program. They promised that I would fall for Paris and that the classes would give me a new understanding of European politics. These words reminded me that going on this program is such a rare opportunity that I need to make the most of it.
I’m not sure if a quarter is enough time to absorb Paris or if I can make long-lasting friends during my time in the program. But, I must try to make the most of it.