The following post is by guest blogger, Kia Guarino
There is an unfortunate amount of snow on the ground in New Jersey today and I am hoping my flight takes off on time tonight! I am off to Paris this evening to immerse myself in French language and culture in an effort to quickly learn this useful and beautiful language. I will be in a position of discomfort for at least the first week as I struggle to become proficient enough to hold a conversation, but I think the challenge is worth it.
Since graduating, I have had a strong desire to continue learning. I was not as burnt out as I would have expected when I finished school, and I am really looking forward to the day I return to graduate studies. In the meantime, though, there is still a great deal of studying I have to do to improve my application. Since I hope to pursue a career in international development work, I decided that I should challenge myself to learn French to the best of my ability in a short amount of time. I have a background in Spanish and Italian, but I decided to try something different, to really challenge myself.
When I was handed an amazing opportunity and very graciously offered a place to stay in Paris, I realized this was something that could and should happen. Of course I am nervous and worried that my sprinkling of French will make the transition difficult, but accomplishing such a biggoal is rarely easy!
I am going to be staying in the heart of the city of lights and studying at Alliance Française a few days a week. I am looking forward to the superb people-watching that Paris sidewalk cafes offer and I even purchased a sketchbook in order to document it.
I will be writing updates about the challenges and beauty of the city, and my two months immersed in another, wonderful culture. I will also be eating crepes, baguettes and fromage, not to mention visiting my favorite source for patisseries in the world, Dalloyau. You can download their mouthwatering, beautifully photographed catalogue here.