By Stephanie Curreri
For some students, traveling on their own for the first time can be frightening.
However, junior accounting and international business major Nicole Alvarico had the time of her life during her study-abroad trip to Paris.
During her five-month-long trip, she was able to rent a flat with her roommate. Living only 35 minutes from Notre Dame Cathedral, her location was perfect for taking the metro to wherever she wanted to go.
Among Paris’ many beautiful landmarks and noteworthy locations, Alvarico had one particular favorite.
“One specific thing [I loved] was going to the Louvre almost every other week,” she said. “I really love museums, so finding out that the Louvre was only a short metro ride away was fantastic. It really was the best, spending a nice, quiet day in the beautiful halls of the Louvre and being able to end my day drinking tea at Mariage Frères, or drinking Angelina’s famously rich hot chocolate.”
According to Assistant Director of the Center for International Education Kimberly Algeo, studying abroad in Paris is an experience that many students don’t want to end.
“We send students to Paris every semester and summer,” she said. “Students that study in Paris absolutely love it and usually have a hard time coming home as they miss the Parisian lifestyle.”
During Alvarico’s trip, she was able to attend the American Business School in Paris, which is designed to incorperate a variety of teaching styles for students who come to Paris.
“The American Business School wishes to take the best learning strategies of France and America to create diverse classes from students all over the world,” Alvarico said. “I found that there was more of a cooperative environment in my classes where group work was prioritized rather than individual work.”
One major cultural difference stood out for Alvarico. Dining in France is very important, and restaurants focus on the customer to make sure the mood is set and that diners are more than comfortable.
“I noticed that when eating out, servers expect you to sit down and talk for hours at a time,” said Alvarico. “It’s not like here in America where there is a push for speedy service.
Having a mentor alongside her in France, Alvarico would often hear remarks about the cultural differences.
“My mentor who aided me in France would joke that when you meet with someone for lunch in France, you’re also agreeing to have dinner with them,” she said.
Despite her Paris adventure coming to an end, Alvarico is positive that her study-abroad experience is one that she won’t soon forget.
“Although we weren’t living right in the center of the city, I loved my experience as I got to meet some locals who don’t typically meet tourists,” she said.
Printed in the 11/11/15 edition