It has officially been two days since I landed in Paris and I am already in love. My flight through Chicago was painless with great weather and plenty of time for a connection. I managed to sleep on the plane- a huge feat for me and easily found my AUP advisors in the airport (phew). I attempted to order a coffee, which immediately showed me how out of practice I was at speaking French, but over the last day and with the help of some wine, I’ve started to tap into my memory bank from SAAS.
Once we all arrived, we immediately went into the orientation, talking to everyone from the sports department to housing, getting our photos taken (cute) then into temporary rooms in the FIAP, a hybrid convention center-cum-hostel thats kind of like a spaceship prison of sorts. The food here is, kindly put, disgusting. Anyways, we went through meetings and lectures about safety, opportunities, how to get help etc, etc and I can confidently say that this school is more organized than any other institution I’ve ever been a part of. We had dinner with our student advisors, mine is Sven, a freshman from the Netherlands and met a lot of the other students. So far I couldn’t be happier and am meeting so many amazing people from all over, including Norway and Spain, and plenty of American cities.
The second night we had a tour of the campus which is right next to the Eiffel Tower, learned about the metro, listened to a really welcoming and concise speech from the President of the school, and had a reception with wine before heading off to dinner with our advisors again. Sven took us to a restaurant for backpackers near Notre Dame. It was alright but I’m already irritated with the sloooooow service here. Apparently I have to get used to it though. Then we bar hopped a bit, and at one place they gave all seven of us (6 American girls and Sven) a round on the house because we turned the bar from dead to full. We had no trouble attracting attention from weirdo men on the street, a good reminder to always be on point. We didn’t get home until late and then they made us get up at 9 to swap rooms in the FIAP (le sigh) but today I have a housing appointment and will hopefully find a homestay to move into tomorrow. I also get to meet with the Dean who was my Dean at Lang in NYC to get the best schedule since I’m a senior and will only be taking one class aside from French. Happy to have that connection! Then I’m off to see my roommate Victoria who lived with us this summer in NYC! Very, very excited 🙂