Spring Break in Paris


Spring in Paris means picnics under the Eiffel Tower on the Champs de Mars and in the park behind my university. Everyone sprawls out with their baguettes and lunch goodies they bought from the grocery store down the street and soak in the sun in between classes (or even during class).

And our spirits are lifted just a bit, since finals are just around the corner and Spring Break is even closer. We’re all planning last-minute trips and talking about visiting each other in our respective countries and laughing at jokes while drinking too much wine in the bright Spring sun.

Last week, we spent hours doing just that after our morning Culture class, a group of us sharing some baguettes, cheese and chips while chatting about whatever. And the conversation was in French, but as I looked around the group, I realized how many different kinds of people I’ve met this semester. Eight of us from seven countries sitting in the same circle: U.S., France, Poland, Italy, Spain, Brazil and Germany. We’re all finding countless things in common, all taking pictures together and talking about what the equivalent to “Cheese!” is in other countries (which is always different but typically has something to do with getting the attention of little children). We find common ground as we talk about school, relationships, customs and food.

Sitting in the beautiful spring sun in Paris, surrounded by some of the most interesting people I know, I feel like I’ve found true happiness. Not only have I learned a new language being here, I have made lifelong friends who live in every corner of the world. I have learned more than I ever could have imagined, and I couldn’t be more fulfilled.

Needless to say, I will certainly be making friends with the international students at Georgia State when I return. There’s something so satisfying in learning about someone from a completely different world than you—and finding more things in common than you could have ever expected.