About a year ago now, I made a big decision to move to San Francisco from the comfort of my sunny, laidback life in Los Angeles to attend San Francisco State University for the next two years. A hop, skip, and a jump later, and my first year at SFSU has come to an end and I found myself with an even greater opportunity coming.
The greatest, most significant decision I’ve made in the past year was to go out on a limb and apply to study abroad. I submitted my application, closed my eyes, and the next thing I know, I’m applying for a French student visa, booking my flight (only my third time flying in my whole life), and reading everything I can about Paris before I arrive. I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship to study abroad by the Office of International Programs and the IEEC (thanks guys, it will be used wisely!). It was then that I realized that this could and will happen for me.
The Office of International Programs held a workshop for all the students chosen to study abroad for the coming semester, and during the workshop, we were asked to take a postcard and write to our future selves post-study-abroad. I remember saying to myself that I had hoped to accomplish a few important things while I spent my time abroad:
- First, I want to become a better student and learn how to become a better professional from a foreign perspective. I have chosen to study at SKEMA Business School to challenge myself around other academically driven students. I have to constantly remind myself that it’s called study abroad.
- Second, I want to immerse myself in the French culture learning everything from the language to the way they conduct their lives and view the world. Even beyond that, I want to travel to different countries all over Europe and experience new ways of living, speaking, learning, and most importantly… eating.
- Finally, I want to step outside of my usual introverted self. I want to learn to let go and allow myself to change and grow with anything that this new experience has for me. No more being the quiet thinker; it’s time I learned to interact with everything around me, especially while my time is limited.
There are many things I’m leaving behind. I’ve really grown to love San Francisco and the rest of the bay. I’ve been fortunate to live in three of the most incredible cities in the world at some point in my life: Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York.
But it’s time I leave the United States behind for a little while, and begin my experience in the most beautiful city in the world – Paris, France. I look forward to documenting my experience in small cafes I stumble upon while exploring the city or sitting at the park on sunny days inches away from the Eiffel Tower.
It’s all happening now. It’s really happening. In just over a month, I’m gonna parlez the français. 😉