By: Ronald Hobbs
Bonjour!!! My Name is Ronald Hobbs, and I am currently a senior at Purdue University Calumet where I study history. I am studying abroad in Paris, France for the fall semester at the Institut Catholique de Paris through ISA. While I am here in this amazing place I will be sharing with you my many adventures (taking the metro every day is a big adventure!!), some tips for being abroad, many of my personal experiences, and random musing from my day-to-day life while in Paris. I hope that you follow my journey and follow me with #RonAbroad! Au revoir!!
Traveling to France was a first for me. The reason I say this is because I have never been out of the continental United States (thats right, not even to Canada!). So getting prepared for this experience was rather hectic for me! I made lists upon lists and I still wasnt sure if I had enough on each list. I had a list for clothes, a list for things i wanted to bring with me that I could eat, a list for toiletries, a medication list, a list of my luggage, and a list for shoes!! In the end I stopped worrying so much about overage fees and packed all that I felt needed (this came back to bite me later with $400 in overage fees). Despite the fees I had incurred I made my way to my gate at O’hare Airport in Chicago and got on my flight. It was a 8+ hour flight but I did have someone next to me that was pretty awesome. She was a fellow student traveling to France and we both learned that we were part of the same Study abroad program through ISA!!! We talked for a bit until we received our dinner and both decided that sleep would be in our best interest to combat jet lag. The flight itself had no turbulence and even arrived a couple minutes early.
Next Up – Customs (which was the part I was most worried about)! I always thought that when you go to another country you had to take your bags through customs and answer a bunch of questions from some mean looking guards. Much to my surprise this was not the case at all – I got off the plane, got my very first stamp in my passport, and I headed to baggage claim where there was ISA staff waiting for us. We got some important packets from them that contained out metro card and some other things. The staff then sent us off to their shuttles and we were all dropped off at either our host family or apartment. I am staying with a wonderful french family. Our communication so far has been a little difficult because my as Monsieur Rennault said – My French is almost as bad as his English! This language barrier will hopefully be worked out as my French improves from my French courses!!
I look forward to telling you about more of my adventures to come! Stay tuned for my next post and follow #RonAbroad on GoEnnounce and Twitter!