“A mind that is stretched new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Hello, hello everyone…it’s time to get in my feeling about how amazing this experience has been. But before I do so let’s talk a little about the Drexel in Paris + London program from a student point of view. This program was geared towards teaching students about the culture in the cities of Paris and London. In Paris, there were 3 different tracks offered and I chose the French Culture and Langauge track. The classes in this track were definitely easier than those in London and provide me with a good understanding of the culture in France. The classes in Paris also included more activities both within and outside of the classroom which I really enjoyed because it wasn’t all lecture based. In London, the classes were very different in that they demanded the student to be independent. We had a lot of work that we had to complete outside of the classroom while during class we would have lectures. If I’m being completely honest, in Paris I was chilling; I had homework and classwork and exams to complete but my stress level was a 2/10 whereas in London it was an 11/10 due to all the readings, essays and padlets that I had to complete. All in all, academically, I would give the Paris + London program a solid 8.8/10 though, nonacademically, this programs gets a 10/10.
Dear Paris and London,
Where do I even begin? The two of you were the best part of my year. You have changed my life in the most wonderful ways and for that, I say thank you. This isn’t a goodbye letter, this is a see you later letter because someday (very) soon, I will be back. But before we part ways I have some things to get off my chest. Paris, let’s start with you. Ma chérie, I think I now understand why you are called the city of love because, during my stay with you, I fell in love. I fell in love with life, adventure, history, art, culture, language, myself and with you. I am honestly not the same girl who walked off that American Airlines plane and into the Charles de Gaulle Airport that windy July morning. I’ve grown as a person, as a student, and as an explorer. From casting my eyes upon the magnificence of the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame to experiencing the unique French culture at Passage Couverts and various city tours, I have seen that there is so much of the world that needs to be experienced and so much that I have yet to learn. Of all the gifts you have given me, the one that is invaluable is my improved French oral and comprehensive skills. From taking classes taught in French to hearing French spoken in the streets and television I have developed a new appreciation and love for the language and the fact that my communications skills have improved is the cherry on top. Les mots sont trops simples pour décrire votre magnificence. Je n’oublierai jamais tout ce que vous m’avez appris et je promets de revenir… après tout, comment puis-je laisser l’amour de ma vie. Beaucoup de bisous. *sheds several tears*
Pause. I need a minute *five minutes later* alright, I’m back. London, my love, you were litty. I won’t even lie, I had a lot more school work to complete when you and I were together and there were many L’s taken but they weren’t L’s as in losses, rather, L’s as in laughter, late nights, bright lights, and just living life. In the midst of all the art history and British food culture you still managed to show me a good time, a great time, the best time. Not to mention Manson Place and South Kensington were great places to live. Fun fact: during my first weekend in London, the FIE tour guide told us that the flats in our neighbor started at half a million dollars A MONTH as rent…I was rattled and so thankful that Drexel didn’t make us pay that much money because I would’ve just stayed in Philly for the summer quarter. I learned so much about history and food from my classes and from experiencing the British culture that I didn’t know before. London, you have shown me that everything and everyone has a story and before I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to them but now, I’m all ears.
You both have taught me to appreciate the little things in life but also to dwell on the big things when I have the opportunity to do so. I believe that because of this experience I have become a better version of myself (though there is always room for improvement), a happier version of myself. I mentioned in earlier blogs that my life was lowkey (highkey) in shambles before I left…thanks for bringing me peace and proving that dreams really do come true.