Officially Not a Tourist

Last Friday I officially, (according to me) surpassed the label of “tourist” and I am now living in Paris rather than just visiting.


Of course, that means I forget to take pictures of the major monument that I happen to be living by…

Oh hey there neighbor
Oh hey there neighbor!

Because it also happens that I’m living directly off of the Champs-Élysées, which is horrendously full of tourists all the time. They’re all there to see (and a very few make purchases in) all the designer stores. Louis Vuitton anyone? Yeah, not me. I usually walk pretty fast along that street because it’s always so crowded and uncomfortable.

Speaking of where I’m living… I’m in a tiny little apartment that has been supposedly handed down through my host mom’s family for generations. The floors creak when you move the tiniest bit and every room has the grand classic windows of your typical Parisian home. I love it!

My host mom’s vivacious personality has taken a little bit of getting used to. I was definitely overwhelmed the first few days because she likes to know everything that is going on with me. I’m not used to explaining every detail of my schedule! It’s also her first time hosting a student with the Sweet Briar program so she’s not quite sure how things work. Besides that she’s been really great to me, getting me to talk and correcting my grammar and pronunciation when necessary, making sure that I have everything I need, and that I like what we’re eating for dinner.

Regarding classes, we’ve been left to explore the city for the most part by Sweet Briar, since classes at the Sorbonne don’t start for over another week! Which means exploring the city and mapping out where all the free restrooms are… If you’ve ever been to Europe you know that a free restroom is like a holy grail. Most of the time they cost about 0.50 cents!

My expression when I found the first FREE bathroom.
My expression when I found the first FREE bathroom.
And my apprehension. They're free for a reason?
And my apprehension. They’re free for a reason? Gotta love those candid pictures.

We’ve had a few small classes, such as a class on current French politics (Interesting if you haven’t already taken a few classes on the subject!) and a very general, vague course on methodology for the courses we will take. For example, how to write a “dissertation” or a “commentaire-composé” for our classes at the Sorbonne. Thankfully we will have weekly tutorials at Sweet Briar since most of this “hypothetical” subject matter went right over my head.

Tomorrow, I think I’m finally going to visit a museum! But I’m definitely not a tourist anymore, I’m a student of French history, art, and literature according to my Student ID card. (Next time you see a cute French boy, tell him you study French literature -you might get a free drink**)

Technically not a tourist, but not by much
Technically not a tourist, but not by much

**Don’t actually do this.

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