Jessie – Paris International Core Program, ACU Winter Break 2016.
Well where do I begin.
The trip of a lifetime began, 12 hours after my semester finished, Julia and I flew out at 10pm the night of our final exam. It was a whirlwind of emotions (exhaustion being the main one) having just completed our final exam of our nursing degree, we rushed home finished packing and we were off.
We were due to arrive in Paris 2 days prior to when we were required to be at St. Johns University, which would become our home for the next 2 weeks. After a short stop in Abu Dhabi we arrived in hot, sunny, beautiful Paris and decided to battle the metro straight up, to get to our hotel. Word of advice for you future trvellers…the metro is awesome, especially for those little adventures.
For those first two days Julz and I laid low, lived off one or two ingredients bought from a local supermarket, tried to recover from our jetlag and not spend too much money. It was a really nice way to ease our selves into the trip. We stayed in the 19th Arr and were able to wander and explore the beautiful surrounds of Parc De la villette, a must see if your up that way.
Then on Saturday June 25th the fun began, what an awesome group we had, I couldn’t believe how well we gelled together. We were truly like on big happy family by the time Monday came around and the hard work began. We were introduced to the lovely staff and surrounds of Institut Catholique de Paros, all hidden behind these great big mezzanine doors. It’s almost like a different world.
Each morning we walked the short distance from St. Johns to ICP, where we undertook French lessons; whilst incredibly informative and fun, these classes became quite comical for ourselves and our beautiful teacher Axelle who persevered, despite some of us struggling to grasp the French accent.
UNCC300 was a really interesting subject to study abroad; it gave me different links within society to human dignity that you simply don’t get back in Australia. However it taught me more than just the content of the subject, some of my favourite days we those where I set out for a location in the morning and simply got lost walking the streets of Paris (although with the metro you can never really be lost). That’s when you find all the amazing hidden architecture and cute little cafes. Travelling in large groups can be overwhelming for some people, but learning how to be comfortable in your own space is a really valuable skill to have, Paris gave me the ability to further develop and discover this.
Following UNCC I flew to Scotland where I was able to visit my grandparents. Having not seen them in close to 6 years I was truly grateful for the opportunity to not only undertake this subject abroad, and learn and discover more about myself, but also the to visit family I may never have had the opportunity to see.
To anyone contemplating studying UNCC300 abroad, don’t contemplate, just do it. The experience is truly invaluable and the life long memories and friends will stay with me forever.