A year abroad in a nutshell

So.  I’m in the last couple of weeks of my year abroad in Paris, and I can’t believe it’s nearly finished already.   Some of it has gone achingly slowly – the odd lecture, a paper that I couldn’t write – but most of it has flown by.

My time at Sciences Po began with the so-called ‘Welcome Week’ back in August, which would have been more aptly named had it been known as the ‘Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid Week’, where the concept of the problematique was introduced to us and we were given daily practice assignments.  The stress was remedied, though, with the bar-a-night events, which were a great way to meet people.

I settled in pretty quickly and the first semester went by.  We went to see the Christmas lights being turned on on the Champs-Elysées , and laughed at the patriotic but not really seasonal colour scheme, and completely failed to catch a glimpse of Audrey Tautou, who was switching the decorations on.  Christmas shopping in Paris was not as easy as you’d think, due to my not happening to be a millionaire.

It was nice not having exams to revise for in January.  I came back for semester two in the second half of the month, and for the first few weeks had not a lot to do.  My courses were easier.  Some of my friends had also left, after staying for just one semester.  But the work soon picked up, and now the teaching’s finished, although it’s only April.  I have one exam on May 9th and then I leave for good a couple of days later.

I’m trying to make the most of the last couple of weeks here.  In the past few days I’ve visited Chartres (and loved it), the Musée D’Orsay, and La Defense.  I have a host of other museums to visit, and day trips to take, whilst trying to squeeze in a bit of (much needed) revision.  It’s so nice having free time, even if my last class at Sciences Po was sad.  Now I just have a checklist of things I can’t possibly leave Paris without doing!

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