It’s funny how it’s called “study abroad”, but you never really think about the whole studying part. Until you have class of course. On Mondays we have class from 2 pm to 5 pm, so after a lazy morning finishing some of the reading and lounging in the dorm, we decided to walk to the classroom and grab lunch on the way.
So this is our walk to class. Paris is amazing and gorgeous and the beautiful day and scenery cannot be captured by these pictures.
We were running a little late. My phone (which tends to overestimate) said that the walk took an hour, but it wound up being more like an hour and 15 minutes or so. So instead of having a leisurely lunch in a cafe, we ducked into a boulangerie a block away from our classroom and grabbed sandwiches. Which ended up being a lovely decision! 2.90 euros for a baguette full of butter, swiss cheese and ham. I could live off these. Those and crepes.
Our classroom is in Marist church. This is the view from one of the two big windows in it. Pretty, huh? The other has a huge beech tree.
Class was very nice! We talked about Weber’s Science as a Vocation, Kafka’s In the Penal Colony and Yeat’s The Second Coming. Our discussion was lively and insightful, even though it was only the first day and none of us were really used to the class dynamic yet. So it should be a fantastic month in the classroom as well as out!
At the end of class, our contact in Paris who arranged our housing and so on came to talk to us about safety in Paris. After a rather terrifying lecture about people on motorcycles who snatch your purse as they zoom by and being warned that staring at strangers can be misinterpreted, I think we all left clutching our valuables a little tighter. For any of you planning to come here though, no worries! She was really just trying to give us tips not to be careless.
She then took us to a phone store to get phones that work in Paris. This process was confusing and the vendors didn’t speak much english, so it was good she was there! I now have a little Nokia type phone with 10 euros on it – a text is .50 and calls are a euro a minute. It’s really just for emergencies and texting to meet up with people. It’s nice to feel a little bit connected to the world when wandering around now!
We got back to the dorm late, so we searched our guidebooks for a dinner spot. My Free and Dirt Cheap Paris book recommended Chez Prosper, which is about four blocks away from our dorm and on the Place de la Nation, which is square where many people were guillotined in the French Revolution. Four of us went to eat a thoroughly delicious and reasonably priced meal! I had grilled duck with mashed potates and a salad – a huge plate for only 14 euros. And it was fantastic! I would definitely go back!
Then back to the dorm to finish up some reading for tomorrow and update all of you! Bonne nuit!