Pop culture, social media, and celebrities are on most of the minds of college students in the U.S. The lucky circumstance of being abroad in Paris is a disconnect from all this. Sorry Kimye :-
Several our our students mentioned wanting to stay in Paris for good. Curious about their early conclusion, (we still have a week-and-a-half here), I asked why?
They love the lifestyle, and more specifically love that no one is on their phones constantly. Parisians are present with their partners, friends, family, or by themselves. Our students like their confidence to sit alone in a cafe with a newspaper or magazine, or just to people watch. They are savoring the opportunity to participate in this culture.
I like the fact that they are seeing the world from a different lens, an obvious goal of study abroad. They watch the BBC and international CNN and are tuning into our world, not just a small local piece of it.
Don't get me wrong. Our students are intelligent and I have no doubt that they are aware of our world while at home, but here it's larger and less ethnocentric. A sense of what is, and what isn't important has become more clear.
PS: The above photo is from the Picasso Museum in Paris. Picasso was famous for often changing the lens with which he viewed the world throughout his lifetime.