Five months ago, I flew to a country I’ve never been to before, and today, it has become one of my favorites. The first weeks were metros, school and sleep. Everything was tiring until I decided to put myself out there. I invested my time learning about European culture and ways they display it through art and architecture. I was able to personify its beauty and fell in love with the rich symbolism that makes its history immortal. This amazing experience taught me that Paris, besides the Eiffel Tower and its romantic Seine, is a source of inspiration, and most poets would agree.
French people's transparency was impressive and made me fit in. I appreciate how frank they are; they’re not scared to say what they think. Though, often they are quick to make unexpected comments, most of the time conversations are really entertaining and I was curious to listen to more. I felt honored exchanging with them. I even wish I knew nothing about France before I stepped foot on the land, because the less prepared the individual is, the more they learn. In other words, with very few assumptions I was able to absorb a lot more than I expected.
Overall, I have explored, struggled and overcame. In the end, everything comes along, suplementary to, I have lifetime stories to tell. I have no regrets but gratitude for taking advantage of the opportunity. This constructive experience was really needed. I made friends, shared genuinely meaningful moments with people from different backgrounds. I had fun. I grew up and matured. Most importantly, I want more. I believe that there is a greater version of me, and Paris was only an eye opening, the first step toward gathering the pieces I need for my journey, perhaps all around the world.
Yaye Kane is a French and Political Science major. Her trip to Paris was funded in part by The O’Leary International Travel Grants Program, which provides financial awards of up to $2,000 to help offset travel costs for students in Le Moyne’s College of Arts and Sciences participating in study abroad programs. This grant program is administered by the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences and funded by a gift from the estate of Dr. Harriet L. O’Leary, professor emerita of Foreign Languages and Literatures.