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Victoria Badia - History of Science in France

Published: Wednesday, 29 Nov 2017
Author: Cheryl Ann Benner
Department: Office for Education Abroad

Name: Victoria Badia

Status: Senior

Major: Neuroscience and Psychology Major

Hometown: Chesterfield, MI

Program: History of Science in Europe, Paris, France, Summer 2017

On one of my first days in Paris, I stepped into a boulangerie and was immediately overwhelmed by the smell of fresh baked baguettes. The woman behind the counter wearing bright red lipstick asked what I wanted, and I made my best attempt at politely requesting some macaroons in French. She smiled at me and was able to serve me, despite my lack of knowledge of her native language. This was one of many instances during my time abroad that I was accepted by the French, despite our apparent differences.

I had dreamt my whole life about going to Paris, and I imagined it to be some otherworldly place. However, after spending a month there, I became familiar with this place that seemed so different at first. I believe this is a very valuable life lesson that I am able to take away from my experience abroad. Just like I thought the US and France would be incredibly different, we often feel that way upon first meeting a person. However, once we get to know them, we often find that we have many similarities. This program has opened my mind and influenced me to withhold judgment of people and situations. I believe I now have more patience, more independence and a greater understanding of the world as a whole since returning from my program.

To students who are planning on studying abroad: Enjoy every second of it. I often reminded myself to take it all in. Take lots of pictures, but make sure to look at things with your own two eyes. See the famous sites, but explore the life of a local as well. Even if your program does not require you to keep a journal, I highly recommend that you do so. Make it detailed. Write down the good and the bad and everything in between. You will not be able to remember every day of your program 20 years from now; so documenting it while you're there will preserve these memories. Most of all, have fun! This is a once in a lifetime experience.