Today I just finished my last ever exam and class at the Sorbonne and so I decided to take this time to reflect on the time that I have had abroad. This experience for the whole year, as I mentioned in my first post, has been an experience that I will never forget. The BC professor who wrote my recommendation letter to come to the Sorbonne actually went to the Sorbonne many years before. I sent her an update email about my time at the Sorbonne and about the people that I met and she told me that even to this day she stays in contact with her Sorbonne friends and that their kids have even met, and hearing that from her made me happy to something to look forward to in the future, and knowing the friendships that I have made with my friends is a strong one.
During the BC information session where I talked to some of the students coming abroad in the fall, I wanted to make one thing very clear: being at the Sorbonne is a lot of work, but in the end, the work will pay off and you will still have a really great abroad experience. I am a student who always studies a little too much, but the times I spent in the Sorbonne library with my friends were actually memories that I made with them, like the one time we were in the library and it was impossible to find a free seat so we ended up sitting in the hallway and studying. I did take some amazing abroad trips, but it was also really nice just to stay in Paris and have relaxed days around the studying for classes. At the Sorbonne, there is not a lot of homework, just a lot of studying, but as I said before, the studying pays off and after finishing two semesters, I can attest that it feels rewarding.
Another reflection was when I was talking to my mom today about how far I had come since arriving in August. She said she remembers when I called after my first week of classes, crying, because I thought I could not do it and I thought that my French was not good enough for the Sorbonne. And I am glad that I did not give up and stayed, and my French immensely improved because of it. I learned that I actually had to be in an environment that was difficult, for me to learn and grow and get better. Another “pat-on-the-back” moment was when two of my professors that I was with for both semesters told me at the end of this semester that they saw a huge improvement in my French between the first and second semester, and those words were the validation that I had always doubted in myself.
I would also just recommend Paris in general because there is an infinite number of things to do, especially an infinite number of museums to go to. It is an easy city to walk around in, an easy city to take the metro around, and two airports that are easy to get to, to go to any abroad travels!