By: Erin Cornell
Bonjour! My name is Erin Cornell and I am a junior majoring in fashion merchandising studying abroad in Paris. I’ve been a major Francophile for as long as I can remember, so when I knew I wanted to study abroad, Paris was the only choice for me. LIM’s study abroad program was actually the deciding factor when I was looking at colleges to attend. I’ve been on smaller trips with the school before, such as the French Fashion Analysis session last summer and I was lucky enough to be selected for the Japan trip the year before. I’ve been to Paris twice already, and I’m so glad to have the opportunity to be here for a couple of months.
Though Paris is the fashion capital of the world, I’m actually taking my business courses over here. LIM has an exchange program with Groupe ESG, which oversees several different colleges in Paris. I go to the Paris School of Business, or PSB. All of the schools that are a part of Groupe ESG have classes in the same building, which just moved to a brand new campus. It feels strange to have all of my classes in the same building—sometimes in the same room— after being used to traveling between buildings at LIM. What surprised me the most about PSB though was meeting all of the other exchange students. I was expecting to meet French students, but the majority of students I’ve met have been German. It’s really interesting to learn about the differences between countries, even if we’re all speaking English. For example, one friend from Australia told me that Australians call bell peppers “capsicums,” and she found it funny that in America the word “biscuits” does not refer to cookies. (Food is a constant conversation topic for us, since everyone misses their native cuisine). I’m also amazed by how well everyone speaks English. Some students speak multiple languages depending on where they’re from, while my French is barely passable. I’d like to think I’ve improved my French since arriving, but I’m nowhere near fluent. I have picked up some German words, though.
Overall, I’ve really been enjoying my time here, and I can’t wait to share more about my experiences. Until then – à bientôt!