Bonjour! In case you couldn’t tell from my greeting, I’m now in
Paris for the second part of the Discover the World program. It’s
been a blast so far, and I’m really enjoying life in France.
It’s been a bit more difficult to adjust to Paris than it was to
Rome, since I’m less familiar with the French language. Though it’s
been a learning process for me, it’s been totally worth it because
the atmosphere here is nothing short of amazing. Paris is a
sprawling city filled with really hip fashion trends, art and
super-gifted street performers! There’s nothing like it. I’ve been
to the Eifel Tower and other must-see French landmarks, and I’ve
been going to museums as often as I can. St. John’s gave out yellow
cards that allow students to access any museum in Paris, which has
been really helpful! I’m making sure that I cherish every moment
while I’m abroad and enjoy my time living in such a historic
To help us adjust to life overseas, St. John’s brought in Andy Steves – the
son of TV personality Rick Steves – to come speak with us. For
those who don’t know, Rick Steves owns a popular European travel
agency and his son, Andy, has a ton of French experience under his
belt. Andy delivered a really helpful lecture, suggesting that we
try not to judge or hate other cultures just because they’re
different from our own, but to instead embrace them. He also
recommended that we befriend some of the local Parisians, so we
could gain a true understanding of the French lifestyle. It was
really great advice that we students appreciated hearing.
When I’m not in class or visiting famous sites, I’ve been making
sure to strengthen my spirituality by serving those less fortunate
here in Paris. A bunch of students and I have been participating in
midnight runs to help feed the hungry, which my friends in Campus
Ministry back in Queens can tell you is a very rewarding
activity. We also met two nuns that work over here with St.
John’s, and they’ve been giving us tours of famous French churches
every Sunday. Just last week we visited the Chapel of our Lady of
the Miraculous Medal, which serves as the mother house for the
Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. It was beautiful and
proved to be a really great place to visit.
Check out my videos as I continue to blog during my European
adventure! In the next week, I’m making it my mission to taste a
French crepe, among other delicacies, and to visit more amazing
landmarks. Of course, I’ll be capturing it all on video for you to
see at home.