Week of 8/17-8/27

**DISCLAIMER** (Sept 3,2017)
I have just finished my study abroad about 4 days ago so now i have time to catch up and write my blog and adventures!!

August 17th, We visited the Hotel Des Invalides, which Louis XIV had built to serve as a home and hospital for aged and unwell soldiers. It is also the resting place of Napoleon Bonaparte! It is such a big place, and contained many different museums. My favorite exhibit they had was the World Wars visit. History of the world wars, and history in general, is extremely important to me because I feel that we’re to learn from history and our mistakes and grow from them in order to not repeat the wars and the mistakes of our past. After the visit some of the group went to a cafe near Père Lachaise, one of the biggest cemetery’s in Paris, and had some snacks before going back to our housing for the night.

August 18th, Friday was just a day of class and then we were free for the rest of the weekend!! After class, my friends and i went to go see Dunkirk (Dunkerque en Français) at the movie theater. The movie theater itself was very different and also very small, the movie played in English but had french subtitles so it was easy to understand and correlate the words i didn’t understand in french to the words i heard in English. Afterwards we just headed back to get some rest because the whole week before was super busy, and the week ahead would be even busier!

August 19th, some friends and i took a stroll through the Luxembourg Gardens again, and we found a small version of the Statue of Liberty that France had gifted to the US back in 1886.
After being in Europe for a couple weeks, we finally decided to try the french version of Chipotle! Usually i don’t eat meat in the US because it makes me sick but i have had a lot more luck in Europe, with other food that aren’t meat too. Fast food is fast food where ever you go, but personally i think that the fast food in Europe doesn’t taste like the fast food in America. We then walked around after being full of food, and shopped a little! We tried to go to the catacombs the line was too long and they were closing soon so we just got some food at home and played card games for the night!



August 20th, a couple of us got up early for a post-mass performance to hear the organist play the Organ. It was really something spectacular. I have played music for over 7 years and i just love hearing music being played so to me it was a really great experience. After listening to the organist, we went and got crepes at one of the little cafes and myself and my friend, Sarah, went to the Cemetery Montparnasse, and the Père Lachaise Cemetery because for once of our classes we needed to research a famous French person buried in one of the two cemeteries. The cemeteries here are very different than in the US too. They are very crowded and have very extravagant or elaborate tombs. Just walking around the cemeteries took a couple hours, and after wards we headed home and worked on our projects, and went to sleep so we could rest for the week ahead.

August 22st, probably one of my favorite days on the trip was this day. We went to the Hôtel de Ville, which is the city hall of Paris, and it was really extravagant on the inside and outside, we had a guided tour around and i still am in awe of all the beauty in Parisian buildings. After the class visit, my other friend , Xiyi, and i went to Le Mur des Je t’aime and Sacré Cœur. We climbed way too many steps that day, but it was worth it to see the view of paris. And the wall of i love you, is a wall that has the words ‘I love you’ written on it in every language. It was really an amazing sight to see. And i was able to get little souvenirs for my friends, because at the bottom of the hill from the Sacré Cœur, were a ton of little shops for souvenirs. It was a very eventful day.

August 23nd, EARLY EARLY MORNING!! We got up for our group trip outside of Paris to visit Fontainebleau and Vaux-le-Vicomte! We took a charter bus about an hour out of the city to look and have the hands on experience of our history lesson. Both the castles were beautiful but were simple compared to the upcoming visit to Versailles. There’s not a lot to say but more to show for the two castles. *side note; i did get attacked by a swan though because it didn’t like my white shoes, i think maybe it thought i was another swan, but who knows*

August 24th, another early morning with the first stop being the Louvre! I got to see so many amazing works of art that I’ve always wanted to see. We only had a couple hours in the Louvre, and let me say as a word of advice, if you go to the Louvre and want to see it all, plan on that taking a couple days! The place is huge!! After wards we had class, until around 5pm, and i was so tired i just took a nap after wards and then did some homework.

August 25th, the day we went to Versailles!! Versailles, was probably one of my favorite group outings. The inside is so beautiful and the outside gardens are HUGE, you would need a whole day or two just to see all of both. The weather wasn’t happy that day so we had to wait under some arches until the storm passed before we could walk around the gardens. But it was so beautiful and after the storm cleared it was really nice!

August 27th, we had a optional cooking lesson with our professor Hélène! She taught us couple of french meals that we then prepared for the class for the next day for lunch and dinner. Our professor contributed to much to the program from her knowledge to her cooking to her help in general everyday things! She really made the program great and is another reason study abroad was so amazing

Busy in Paris! (Week of 8/9-8/16)

Wow, its been super busy this last week! We already had our first midterm and i got an A! For the beginning of the week, we just had class in an actual class setting. Then Wednesday we went to Saint Chapelle and the Conciergerie. I remember in the beginning of the orientations our director told us we would have a to walk a lot, which i understood, but i never actually imagined it would be as much as it has been! Thursday we went to some old Gallo Roman arenas and to Cluny museum. Then Friday we had our midterm, and afterwards went to the Pantheon. It was really magnificent but also I kinda creepy because it was all tombs, but there were some pretty significant people buried there. Afterwards, i took my own mini trip down the street to Palais De Luxembourg, which was simply amazing, the palais and jardin were breathtakingly beautiful. That night some friends and I also went out for the night and had some good food! The next day we went to the museums again because the program got us a 4 day museum pass to use for the one full day off!  This last Monday we went to the Basilica of St Denis, another amazing yet kind of creepy sight because of all the tombs. Then yesterday we visited the outside part of the Louvre and i got some medicine because i was starting to get sick, but i definitely feel better today. And today we got up bright an early at 6;30am to get on a train and got to Chartres to see the church and the country side. Ive tried to condense my writing today because I’ve been really busy and tired, and its easier to read and follow! So thanks for reading, and ill write again sooner (hopefully) than this last time!

Confused and slightly overwhelmed on the way to Paris

August 7th, Blog by Cassie Kays, Pre-Major, French/Comparative Literature France: Paris in the Summer

Wow, I’ve already been in Paris for a week!! Time seems to have flown by between class and touring the city, and I already have my first midterm on Friday!! I arrived in Europe on July 24th, a week before my programs start date, at 8 am at the Charles De Gualle airport, after being awake well around 24 hours. Confused and slightly overwhelmed, I began to search for my next terminal and hopped on another plane (with the help of a very friendly and helpful french couple) to visit one of my former exchange sisters, Louisa, in Hannover, Germany. The language barrier in Germany was slightly difficult, because I’m a strong believe of speaking the countries native language to be polite, but it was pretty easy to get around and get what I needed. So week one of my first time outside the states was the week of fun! After getting over the initial jet lag and waking up at weird hours of the night, my body had finally realized it was on European time.

The first week in Paris (7/31-8/6)

July 31st 2017
​After having my plane delayed about 2 hours in Amsterdam, I had rode the train down from Charles De Gualle (north of Paris) to the southern end of Paris to arrive at the Cite Internationale Universitarie de Paris. This will be my home base for the next month. I will admit it was only slightly nerve racking because of the lack of cellular data, and never having rode a train on my own, but I used my French to help navigate the way. I arrived at the student housing around 4pm ( approximately 7am Seattle time) tired and hungry. The first night I walked down to a Italian restaurant where I ordered a pizza in not-so-amazing French. I apologized to the owner of the restaurant for my poor French where he apologized for his poor English in return and said to not worry because my French will get better. I went back to housing after ordering my pizza and got inside just before a down pour, and called it a night.
​Tuesday August 1st, the other 27 students arrived, either really tired, or also used to European time as well. I had found a group of fellow hungry students and we went to another cafe down the streets from the university. After having a well deserved meal, a couple of us headed to the super market and picked up baguettes to munch on and got to know each other on the front terrace, and tell stories about our trips to Europe and trips of where we’ve been.
​Wednesday August 2nd, was when we started classes. Now this is the first time I had been back on an early schedule since summer break had begun, and our professor also noticed that as we all tired to stay awake with glossy eyes, which fortunately she had allowed us to end at noon. After class, a couple of us had seen it as a prime opportunity to head to the Eiffel Tower!! We sat in the Parc du Champs De Mars and munched on some more baguettes, and watch the Tower light up and shimmer at the 10pm. It was truly a spectacular sight, that i never even imagined I’d actually be seeing. Still being tired and groggy we then headed back and got back to the university around 11pm.
​Thursday August 3rd, we met in the lobby at a bright and early 7:30am and headed to breakfast next to Notre- Dame cathedral and then proceeded to climb over 700 steps to reach the top of the towers that over looked the Seine and the city of Paris. Then around 2pm we headed back to he university for 2 hours of French 210 (history of Paris class) and 2 more hours of French 390 (pronunciation and speaking class).
​Friday the 4th, we had the two classes again, but only until 2pm! Which meant the beginning of the weekend! We had done the touristy thing, and went on a boat ride on the Seine, and walked around the 1st arrondissement some more. One of the cutest sights that I saw there was the bridge and gates with the locks for lovers. There was sooo many, it’s really insane to see it in real life as well. We then continued our walk and we got to see the outside of the Louvre. And went back for some dinner around 7pm.
​Saturday the 5th, a few of my friends and I went to the mall, because I didn’t pack enough clothes and it was prime time for some cool french clothing and gifts for my family and friends. After shopping we walked around some more and found another cathedral to enter and admire. We returned around 4pm and I stayed in that night to do the load of homework that was due for Monday.
​Sunday the 6th was free musée day because it was the first Sunday of the month and it was definitely something to take advantage of. First, we went to the Pompidou, which was a modern art museum. Then we had some lunch a small Italian restaurant, and took the metro to the next stop. My favourtie musée of the two was Musée de l’Orangerie, where i was fortunate enough to see Claude Monet’s famous work of Water Lilies! Such beauty and detail within the art. We continued through the museum and saw other works by Monet, as well as Picasso, and Matisse. I ended the day by coming back to the housing and going to sleep in prep for the next morning! Now I continue to adventure and learn and hope to write more often so my entries aren’t as long! Wish me luck on my schooling and I’ll keep you all in the loop! Until next time!

(P.S. In case any of you were wondering, I’ve walked an average of 4.5 miles per day. So far these past two weeks I’ve walked 56.59 miles.)