ACCENT Community College Scholarship: A New Way of Life

This week, we check in with ACCENT Community College Scholarship recipient Katelon Egan, who has been studying in Paris and Rome. Despite some initial concerns, Katelon was surprised at how easily she managed to adjust to life abroad and the comparatively relaxed culture of Paris.

My trip to Paris has been amazing. The people, the food, the architecture; everything. This has been my first time living away from home which has been quite an adjustment for me. Sharing a small space with two other people definitely took some getting used to, but helped me learn a lot about myself. I was surprised by my own ability to cook and clean up after myself as well as my sense of direction. My first morning here, I was walking back to my apartment when my phone died. I had no map and knew only three words in French, but thanks to some friendly Parisians I found my way home. I learned how to take the metro on my own and only shop for the amount of groceries I could carry. I have loved being able to sit in a café for hours without being told, “Hi, here’s your check, but take your time” as the waiter keeps subtly encouraging you to leave. For such a big and busy city, Paris moves at a relaxed pace.

Although the streets are crowded with people who have places to go and things to do, no one seems to be in a hurry. It took a while for me to become accustomed to the fact that no one will smile at me on the street when we make eye contact, and that customer service people tend to seem aloof, but I realized that they aren’t being unfriendly and not to take it personally, they just have a different way of life.

Overall I’m so happy to be here and incredibly grateful to have this experience. I have already learned more than I thought was possible about myself, communication, and culture in such a short period of time. I will truly cherish this adventure for the rest of my life.

~Katelon Egan, Santa Barbara City College

ACCENT is proud to support the Community College Scholarship as part of our commitment pledge to IIE Generation Study Abroad, a nationwide effort to help more U.S. students gain international experience through study abroad programs.

Studying abroad is an amazing way to expand your horizons and experience growth. Use the ACCENT Program Finder to take your first step into a new and exciting journey: http://accentintl.com/find-a-program/.