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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bonjour! Je m’appelle Lilly.

Lillian (Lilly) Baik, GSE Fall 2011 Paris, France Blogger highlights the humor in experiencing the very common  feelings of being both nervous and excited for her study abroad program in her first Beyond Your Borders blog post.

Lilly is studying in Paris, France for fall semester 2011 at the University of Paris Sorbonne.

Bonjour tout le monde,

Me in front of the Eiffel Tower
Bienvenue to my GSE Paris Fall 2011 blog! This fall, I will be living in one of the most gorgeous cities on this entire planet, Paris, France. There simply could not be a more perfect place for me to study abroad. This city is Lilly to the max. Fashion, lights, art, macaroons, gorgeous architecture, French people… what more could one need?

A couple of years ago, I went to Paris for about a week with my mom. This time, however, will be a bit different. I’ll be there for about three and a half months, ALL ALONE (sort of, I’ll actually be living with my friend, Molly!), and I’ll be attending school at the Sorbonne. It will be my first time traveling by myself, let alone living on my own. I was plagued by terrifying thoughts these past few months, such as “customs officials are scary,” “how am I supposed to live without my iPhone?” and “I’m supposed to find a taxi all by myself from the airport to my apartment? Wow I am going to die.”

I'm going to miss these faces...
Whenever anyone would ask me if I was excited for my trip, I would reply with, “Yeah, but I’m really nervous… and I don’t want to leave my cats.” Then they would look at me like I’m crazy. 

Luckily though, these negative feelings were almost entirely assuaged once my Student Orientation Handbook was e-mailed to me by GSE. Once I saw that it was official that Molly and I were going to be living in our own apartment in an adorable brick and off-white stone building above a café, and read about excursions such as trips to Brussels, Bordeaux, the Loire Valley full of castles, and the Moet & Chandon Winery, I forgot all about my nerves and couldn’t wait to leave immediately.

Parisian Chic
I was at work that day and I kept the webpage with the Google Maps street view of my future apartment open in a tab all day so I could keep looking at it. Now, I have less than a day until departure, a whole suitcase left to pack, and unsurprisingly, a lot of mixed feelings. I simultaneously can’t wait to leave and also don’t really believe that I’m going yet.

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow at this time I’ll be on a plane on my way towards la ville lumière. On such a long flight I’ll have plenty of time for reading, and I’ll definitely be taking my copy of Parisian Chic by Ines de la Fressange. It’s the perfect book to take, written by a French model and full of all of the must-go places to see, eat, and shop at in Paris! C’est parfait. See you soon!

Au revoir,



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