This week, we join ACCENT Community College Scholarship recipient Samantha Castillo as she embarks on her study abroad adventure in Paris. Samantha discusses the value of stopping to observe and enjoy the hustle and bustle of a new city.
Bonjour! I’m currently spending the first six weeks of my program in the famous “City of Lights,” one of the biggest capitals of fashion, architecture, and my favorite part: food.
Upon arriving in Paris, I couldn’t help but be in awe of everything around me. The streets are crowded with people from all corners of the world and opportunities to see centuries-old museums are calling your name.
As a film major in one of the original cities responsible for cinematic development and revolution, the creative juices never stop flowing. I’m constantly observing life around me and using that to draw inspiration for possible new story ideas. The city of Paris is a nonstop wonder, whether I’m having picnic dates underneath the Eiffel Tower, getting lost in the Louvre, or even spending the morning in a café with a good book and an open mind. Having the heart and mind to absorb the culture for everything that it is has truly taught me a deep appreciation toward the French people. Language is hardly a barrier when you open yourself up to learn from those around you. In return, you might hear some of the coolest stories never heard before!
Being a true, independent college student in Paris, it’s hard to not feel out of place sometimes. It’s a mental and emotional challenge, but reminding yourself that you have twenty other classmates facing those same struggles can help you feel less alone.
Your friends and family may be waiting for updates back at home, but life here in Paris moves fast and time will escape you before you know it! I only have two weeks left of the Paris portion of my trip and it’s definitely leaving me a little sore-hearted. Waking up to the beautiful sunrises from my bedroom window, smelling the fresh scent of coffee and crêpes, the sound of a million lives passing by… these are things that have made me fall in love with Paris and I know that Paris has also fallen in love with me.
There’s no guide or instructions or handbook to finding the perfect place that makes you feel that anything is possible. You just have to go out and find it. I sure did, and that’s Paris.
Until next time! Au revoir!
~Samantha Castillo, 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/.