Je T’aime Paris: A Localized Experience in the City of Love

Erin Smith enjoyed her first time abroad in a multitude of different countries, however, this article portrays one of her favorite experiences from her program that took place in Paris.

To say that the London, Paris, Rome Program for MACC students was life changing would be an understatement. In the past two weeks, my eyes have been opened to three different cultures and business practices. Never would I have imagined one trip to a foreign country would change my perspective and worldview in such a short period of time. There are so many good things I could say about the program and the cities, but to save you from the pages I could write about my experience, I’ll focus on my experience in Paris.


Paris captured my heart from the moment I stepped onto the train platform and into the city. Luckily, my friend Henri, who lives in Paris but attends college in the States, happened to be home for the summer and was in the city at the same time as me! Along with my friend Sabrina, we spent the afternoon and night exploring the city, avoiding the main tourist locations you would first expect to visit in Paris. Henri took us to the local spots that only true Parisians would know about. We went to Sacre-Cour, which, yes, is a tourist spot, but rather than just view the Church and leave, we spent a good hour or two hanging out with the locals on the lawn.


Sabrina, Erin, and Henri on the lawn of the Sacre-Cour and Montmarte

The locals congregate after long days on the lawns of Sacre-Cour and Montmarte to socialize and relax with beautiful views of the city. Hearing about the French locals day-to-day lives was a cultural experience unlike any other. Since this trip was my first time being outside of the States, I never realized that different countries practiced different routines and placed values on different aspects of life. Talking to the locals was very eye-opening for me personally because it taught me there is more to life than work, technology, and money. Life is about the simple pleasures, the little moments that bring a smile to your face. There is so much more out there in the world if you’re open to see it, and those two hours on the lawn of Sacre-Cour gave me valuable life lessons that I will not be able to forget anytime soon.



Foie Gras (Duck liver)



After time well spent in Montmarte, Henri took us to a local café where none of the workers spoke English, so thankfully he was there to translate! We tried typical French dishes, such as Escargot and Foie Gras (duck liver). To be honest, I did not think I was going to try either of them, until I was in the moment. They were actually really tasty! My first day in Paris was one for the books, and I feel so blessed to have seen a local snapshot of life, rather than going to the tourist locations right away. I already felt connected to the city in numerous ways, and it was saddening to have to leave after only 4 days. Paris was truly an enigmatic city and a place where I was able to experience little moments that I will carry within my heart forever.

To check out more student experiences, visit our Study Abroad blog page.

Information on international opportunities can also be found on our website.


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