The Secrets of being a French

“A walk in Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and the point of life” – Thomas Jefferson

Salut les lecteurs et bienvenue, je m’appelle Joélla. Let me just start by saying Philadelphia you’re great and I love you but I think I’m falling for Paris; And it’s not you, it’s me…friends? 🙃. If you haven’t guessed by now, I am currently in the beautiful city of Paris studying French Language and Culture at ESCE International Business School as part of the Drexel in Paris + London: Duel City Summer. The Paris + London program officially started this Monday (July 3rd), but I made the choice to come to Paris a week earlier to embark on one of the greatest adventures of my life, do some site seeing, try some crêpes and get adjusted to the time 6-hour time difference…actually, I’m still getting used to that.

As Thomas Jefferson said, a walk in Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and the point of life and he was right. There is so much life, history, and beauty around every corner of every arrondissement of Paris. So far, I have visited the Eiffel Tower, Palais de Chaillot at Trocadéro and Centre Pompidou and with each of these places I have learned more about the history of Paris, seen the levels of beauty the world outside American can reach and believed that dreams really do come true. For so long, I wished upon stars that one day I would come to Europe and see everything that the world has to offer and now that dream is coming true in the city of lights.

The Paris + London program has a cultures and language curriculum which is not related to my intended field of study, major or minor which are medicine, Biology and Chemistry, respectively. Although, I could give you a long list of the benefits of studying language and culture as an aspiring doctor, I’ll keep it short and say that having knowledge of different cultures is important because culture is a strong part of people’s lives. As a doctor (god willing), understanding one’s culture and language would help me provide quality care to every patient. But as a human being, having knowledge different aspects of life gives me a dynamic perspective on the world and is a gateway to several different amazing opportunities.

I am on the French Language and Culture track and as part of this track I am taking a language class, Boost your French, and a culture class, The Secrets of Being a French. I am pumped for this cultures class because I am extremely intrigued by the secrets behind what makes French people French, besides the fact that they habituate in France.

Before coming to Paris, I had to take a placement test, naturally, which would place me in either the beginner or intermediate level French courses. Having previous knowledge of the language, I took the test excepting to be placed in the intermediate level. Now you can imagine my surprise when I arrived at the orientation session on Monday and discovered that I was placed in the advanced level. And to continue my surprise, that the courses are taught completely in French 😬😲 *gulp*. I was nervous and I could feel my heart having premature ventricular contractions but when I thought about it having classes taught only in French is a great way to immerse myself in the language and culture #keepcalm. About halfway through the culture class I lowkey forgot that the professor wasn’t speaking English… my brain was like a neural google translate, it was pretty cool.

To end this journal and all future journals, I will share a couple secrets to being French, specifically Parisian as well as a French word to boost your language skills. The first secret to being French, is to be proud. The French are extremely proud of who they are and they love their country and language. Second, know how to use the metro and RER; The traffic in Paris is unbelievable (there is traffic literally everyday) so being able to metro and RER is crucial, you’ll get to your destination quicker in times of traffic. And now for the French word of the day: heureux which means happy.

The week has only just begun and there will be more stories to tell. Until then xoxo. Joella.



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