Bienvenue à Paris

Oh Paris…. Where do I even begin?


Now that the third day of classes are over and the jet lag has finally worn off, I can collect my thoughts and reflect on the past few days.

After a seven hour flight, I exhaustively arrived in Paris on Thursday, June 5. Having never been to Europe before, I was nervous, anxious and excited. Surprisingly, there was no culture shock. Everything seemed natural and faintly familiar almost as if I’d been here before.


On Friday, June 6, I headed to the American University of Paris (AUP) where we had the longest orientation I’ve ever endured. From 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. I digested more information than I could keep up with.  I met people from all over the United States, France and many other countries abroad. Although orientation was long and jam-packed with information it was actually quite fun. We had lunch with the dean, dinner with our student advisers at the Eiffel Tower and ended the evening with a nice, peaceful boat ride along the Seine River.


Paris is split into 20 arrondissement (the equivalent of counties in the United States), and I live in the 16th along the beautiful water of the Seine. Having lived for a year by myself, I now have five roommates who are friendly and absolutely spectacular . Everyone gets along (so far) and although I’m used to being alone, I quite enjoy the company of my roommates.

The food here is to die for. Everything is natural and fresh and absolutely magnificent. From croissants and pastries to pasta and sushi, everything just tastes so much better than American food.


My weekend was rather boring, consisting of gathering needed materials for school, a monthly metro pass and groceries. Because of the jet lag I opted for a “lazy Saturday” (instead of Sunday), reading “Game of Thrones” and sleeping throughout the day. It was awesome.

On Sunday, I headed over to the Luxembourg Gardens in the sixth arrondissement of Paris. Filled with people, beauty and perplexity, the gardens have an enchanting atmosphere that literally, takes your breath away. Everywhere, people were reading books on park benches, playing chess under the pavilion, relaxing along the water, children playing with each other and riding the carousel. It was quite magical.


I also visited the Luxembourg Museum where they had an exhibit on Queen Josephine of Leuchtenberg. The exhibit was filled with paintings and artifacts but everything was in French. So, although I couldn’t read or understand anything I was looking at, I was still able to enjoy the exhibit and for the most part, figure things out for myself.

Queen Josephine

On Monday, classes began and I arrived for my first at 9 a.m. I’m taking elementary French and a world politics course. Classes take place Monday-Thursday and my teachers are amazing and extremely intelligent. I am very excited to see what the next six weeks have to offer.

Other than school, I haven’t had a chance to do much else. Rather than bore you with the logistics, I’ll end my post here. Check out the photos of Jardin du Luxembourg and stay tuned for more adventures!

Luxembourg Gardens


Luxembourg Gardens

Luxembourg Gardens Luxembourg Gardens

Luxembourg Gardens Luxembourg Gardens Luxembourg Gardens Luxembourg Gardens Luxembourg Gardens Luxembourg Gardens


  1. Hi Melissa,

    Your blog is so vivid. I can picture myself strolling down the grand boulevards, gazing intently at paintings, sculpture, and other art in numerous museums, and eating fresh, delicious food each day.

    Thank you for sharing this enticing snapshot of one of the most incredible cities in the world. I studied abroad in Paris many years ago and will enjoy reliving the experience through your blog.

    All the best,
    UM Study Abroad

  2. What’s the Statue of Liberty doing in Paris? I thought they gave it to us?? Glad to see you are enjoying your time in Paris!

  3. Reading your blog is a fabulous escape from reality! Thanks for letting us live vicariously through you! I can’t wait for the next installment! :)

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