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16 Things You Learn While Studying Abroad In Paris

No, every day is not like Mary Kate and Ashley's "Passport to Paris". Yes, you will want to stay forever.

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1. You have to search for good music.


During your first few weeks in Paris, you may suffer severe withdrawal from what I like to call "booty jams". Where's Rihanna? Usher? Bey?! Why does all the music sound like extended ringtones, and why do all les jeunes de Paris seem to like it so freaking much?

When you finally do find a sweaty underground cave (seriously) that's playing "Uptown Funk" on repeat, you will be on the receiving end of a lot of glares once you start, how you say, shaking your junk. Contrary to what you may have seen in that SNL sketch, excessive movement is frowned upon when it comes to dancing in France. You can either conform to timidly shifting your weight back and forth between both feet like everyone around you—or you can get on a table, drop it low, and own your foreignness. USA! USA!

2. You can eat well without making your wallet cry.


A panini and a soda for 3 euro? Yes please. Nutella crepes for 2 euro? S'IL VOUS PLAIT. Also, most boulangeries sell fresh baguettes for under 1 euro. What more do you need, really?

4. Most museums are free for students and it's glorious.


Have an hour to kill? Why not stop by the Louvre for a leisurely 60 minute stroll? Or the Musée d'Orsay for a quick tour around the Impressionist gallery? Being able to come and go completely gratuit feels amazing. You don't have to stress if you didn't make it to the Mona Lisa this time, or if the crowds around Monet's Nympheas at L'Orangerie were way too overwhelming and you had to bail. You can come back again and again, and they'll still be there. I promise. (You also get to waltz past all the suckers in line buying tickets, which never gets old).

6. Coffee is always overpriced.

Justine Goode

You just gotta deal with it. Prices for a latte or cappuccino generally range from 3 to 5 euro, which is not the worst, but also not the best, especially if your girl is just tryna connect to wifi.

7. All the monuments are deserted at night.

The Pantheon, Louvre, Arc du Carrousel, Notre Dame, even the Eiffel Tower are completely quiet and calm after a certain hour. It's the perfect time for you and your friends to blast "Partition" on your phone and dance like no one is watching. Because no one is.

Are you happy to be in Paris?

8. Babies and scooters and dogs, oh my!

Paris is home to the cutest babies and dogs in the world. And all the babies ride on scooters, and all the dogs wear sweaters. It's so adorable, you might just die.

9. You really can see celebrities. / Via

If you find yourself in the right place at the right time (probably during Fashion Week), DREAMS CAN COME TRUE. #angel #blessed #paris #love

11. There are massive sales for all of January and February.


Hold up. These are not your grandma's President's Day Weekend sales at the Nordstrom Rack. Les Soldes d'Hiver last for almost two full months, so you don't have to worry about waking up at a ridiculous hour, or getting trampled by crowds. Leave the tent at home, and shop at your leisure.

13. You'll learn to love your Metro line and will hold it above all others.


Is your stop on the on the new, sleek 1 line (yellow)? The janky, slightly sketchy 12 (green)? Or something in between, like the worn but warm 7 (a cheerful pink)? Whichever line you're on, you'll come to love it and regard it as the best in the city. You'll have all the stops memorized and love them too. Except for Chatelet. F**k Chatelet.

14. The Eiffel Tower is REALLY far.


Don't be fooled. The famed twinkly emblem of Paris is nowhere near the centre of the city, where you can find most of the other landmarks, like the Louvre, Jardin des Tuileries, or the Place de la Concorde. Your friend from out of town is going to want to drag you there and that's cool! It's super beautiful and worth the trek. Just know that if you do choose walk all the way to Champ de Mars, by the time you arrive, your feet will feel like they're burning in a fiery inferno and will probably cease to function completely (and there's no metro that's super direct).

I know it looks close. I know you think you're almost there. You're wrong.

16. You will never, ever be bored.

Justine Goode

FOR REAL, there's always something to do or see. Paris a pretty small, dense city, which means you can pack an insane number of amazing sights into just a few hours. It also means that even if you don't manage to get your butt out of the house before 4pm, you'll still be able to see something beautiful, historic or weird that day, just by walking down a new street, or getting off at a different Metro stop. Vas-y!

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