Hello! Ciao! Bonjour!

After a busy week, 10 of us packed up and flew over to Paris for the weekend. This was the first time I, and several others, had left Italy since arriving in January. When first arriving in Italy, many of us, including myself, went through a bit of culture shock. Simple tasks in the United States such as ordering food, getting to the store, or reading a sign, had suddenly become a huge inconvenience in Italy. Slowly but surely, over the past 4 weeks we have become relatively comfortable with the Italian culture.

Now in Paris, we were faced with an entirely different language and culture. While in Paris, we had an amazing time visiting the Palace of Versailles, the Eiffel tower, Notre Dame, and of course we ate the most amazing meals. We all developed an obsession with macaroons and lucky for us, we were staying in an apartment right across from the famous Laduree, the world-famous macaroon bakery.


Avery Thomas, me, and AJ Dessert in front of Laduree buying macaroons 

Although we may have messed up the tips at meals and our southern accents sometimes masked the little French we knew, we made it back to Italy and had the most amazing time. In the past four weeks, I have learned so much about the Italian culture, language, and history. However, this weekend in France it became apparent that the most important lessons I have learned while abroad are those that have pushed me out of my comfort zone. These lessons are something I never could have learned if I had remained in the perfect and familiar “Auburn bubble” this semester.


A group of us in front of the Palace of Versailles

Sunday night, I was sad to leave the beautiful city of Paris, but happy to realize that in April I would not only leave Europe with amazing memories, photos, and souvenirs, I will most importantly leave with a new understanding of others, myself, and the world around me.


A group of us in front of the Eiffel Tower

Abbie Slade