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Why I Chose Paris

posted by LIM College

by Jessica Tapiculin

paris14_031215Like any normal day in the city, I woke up to the playful screams of kids outside alongside the sweet sound of taxis beeping, was elbowed in the face on the jam-packed subway and headed up to class after a 10 minute wait for the Townhouse elevator. However, that day was about to change for the better. March 27, 2014 I checked my inbox and the subject read, "Jessica Tapiculin, you’re going to Paris!" Realizing it wasn't spam, it felt surreal…and I immediately posted it on Instagram post, of course. It seems so far away when you're at freshman orientation hearing about the study abroad program and then boom—you're a junior, booking your plane ticket and actually going abroad!

Backtracking to my essay and interview during the application process, I really didn't having a legitimate reason of choosing Paris. "Well, why not Paris?” I thought. Since I wanted to make a good impression, I turned to none other than... Google. I typed in "quotes about Paris" in the search and after about 25 corny love and romance lines, I landed upon one I knew and it has since stuck with me.

paris14_031215_2"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris..., then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." This quote is from one of my favorite books, A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, about his life in Paris in the 1920's. When I visited France after being accepted, I randomly met a woman from Poland who left home where she had felt lost and unsure of who she was and what she wanted to be. She then told me, "I came here by chance and only go back home by choice. You may leave Paris, but Paris never leaves you. When you leave, the city won't stay the same...and neither will you. Paris is the place to go to find yourself." After hearing this and its relevance to Hemmingway's quote, I felt like it was a sign that I had made the right decision. 

I've never been out of the tri-state area for an extended period of time so my nerves and homesickness kicked in even before I left the country. However, I slowly realized as I've been living here, separation from the "norm" and the comfort of home has helped me understand who I am and what I want. It may be hard to understand how a place can make you feel all this if you haven't experienced it for yourself. Granted, some of you reading this blog came from all over the country and the world just to go to LIM, so you may know the feeling! While I'm not always so keen to change, I have a bigger fear of being "stuck"…stuck in my hometown, stuck with the same people, and stuck in the same routine. I see so many occurrences of this because sometimes it's hard leaving what you know and what you're used to. While this isn't always a bad thing, staying in one place isn't my thing. So if you do get the chance to study abroad, which I'm hoping you do—take it! Whether it's in France, Italy, Australia, Spain, etc., make the choice and find the place that serves as your own moveable feast.

Topics: study abroad, Paris