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Primary and Secondary Focuses

In just a few weeks, I will be nestled between my best gal pals in the world overjoyed to be back in their presences. Between summer internships and study abroad I haven’t see half of them for nearly six months. The others I have seen over infrequent visits. But oh boy is it hard to keep up with them in the mean time. I guess I am not a very good texter or caller. If they read this, they would agree and so would my mother. I really don’t think it has anything to do with my feelings about my closest friends or family, although maybe people would tell me otherwise, but I think it has a lot more to do with short term focus. 

My Paris life is full of people, places and happenings that are unexplainable to the others in our lives. I can talk about Chez Georges and the inside jokes that unfold their until my friends go deaf. But does that mean they will know how excellent Picon tastes? or the little basement that keeps secrets, will they be able to see it? I don’t think so. I should try, however, as these small places are extremely integral to my experiences. They are my routine. I spent the last couple of months trying to manage it. When I could catch friends, we managed to sort through what was on our minds, but the actual specs of our lives apart are still a little bit blurry. As hard as I might try, the placement of our table at Chez Georges is in the forefront of my existence in a way that is uncommunicatable to others for the time being.

This is a kind of scary part of study abroad. What if I am so bad at communicating that when our lives go back to “normal” I won’t be able to communicate my perspective to the same people who I didn’t used to have to explain myself to at all? What am I going to do when I graduate and many of my friendships get spread across the country? I got a sneak peek to my answer this week when I was reunited with a close friend I had not seen since school let out last June. We gabbed and gabbed in our hotel room in Zurich the first night with nary an awkward pause. This whole week made for a trial run, and I could honestly not be more excited to hear about everyone’s adventures. How thrilling it is that we have all been on different continents. I need to be caught up on summers, relationships, and trips to mountains and beaches. Although, I should be better about calling periodically, I think that the moments of cathartic recounting that occur when we are all together again is going to beat any text message I could send. Ultimately, I have not really discovered the solution to this dilemma, but I can see that communicating across distances will be something we will all have to get better at throughout our lives.  


Posted by Abbey A on

Hello Izzy,
Did you or any of your friends do a paid international internship while at Northwestern? I was just accepted as a Freshman : 2020 and was wondering if Northwestern has any paid internship opportunities in France. I’ve been all over the website and found only 1 internship but it appears unpaid. Also, how did it work? Did you have to pay your Northwestern tuition plus all the cost of living in France? How much did the study abroad cost in total?
How helpful is Northwestern in the process of finding an international program that’s a good fit for your major?

Abbey A.

Posted by Global Learning Office on

Hi Abbey,

Congratulations on your acceptance to Northwestern! Feel free to contact with specific questions related to your internship abroad goals.

Global Learning Office

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