Bring on the bread! Bring on the cheese! Bring on the wine! Je suis prêt.

Paris at sunset with the Eiffel Tower
Paris at sunset

Since the moment that I signed up for my official middle school French class in Portland, Oregon I had no idea that my life would be forever changed. Now after taking 9 years of French classes I am barely able to imagine that I will be within the borders of a country that I have dreamed of for years.   In exactly 10 days, I will be flying to the epic Paris, France! As these last few months in the US have drawn to a close, I feel like I have been drowning in a sea of paperwork. Yet now that my checklist has been getting shorter and shorter, I can focus on packing and pinching myself … just in case this is all simply a marvelous dream!

I have been warned and advised about the wonders that Paris will have to offer – “Eat everything! All the time!” as well as “Ahh, Paris, make sure you get great walking shoes!”, and my personal favorite, “Beware of the French men, especially ones named Jean Claude! They tend to be a bit too suave!”   As the 17th of September gets closer, I am excited to…

  •  Live in a culture where wearing black is not only accepted, it’s FASHIONABLE!?
  •  Be forced to learn how to live like a Parisian – how to use the metro, how to refrain from spending ALL my American money on lovely French trinkets, and how to avoid sticking out like a sore Americanized thumb
  •  Sit on the Champ de Mars, and gaze lovingly at the Eiffel Tower…for hours
  •  Try every flavor and color of French Macarons!
A selection of French macaroons

Despite the overwhelming sense of excitement I have for this adventure, I will probably have my fair share of moments where I will want to break down and cry. Among many other things, I am going to miss feeling familiar with places and people I love, bargain shopping, and cooking! I can’t wait for the moment where I stop feeling like an American tourist, and start feeling like an ever so slight Parisian where I can comfortably navigate and talk my way through Paris. I hear that once someone starts dreaming in another language, that means that they are becoming fluent…that is going to be an exciting morning to wake up to!

With exactly 10 days left before leaving for France, I have never felt more confident in my decision to study abroad. This opportunity to embark on such an adventure is truly a blessing, and I can’t wait to see what Paris has in store for me. Bring on the bread! Bring on the cheese! Bring on the wine! Je suis prêt.

Emily Eastman is a student at Seattle Pacific University and an ISA Featured Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA in Paris, France.

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