A Guide to Studying Abroad in France
Updated: Mar 18
So you’ve finally scraped together (or scooped out of granddaddy’s pockets) the cash to study abroad in Paris. Fortunately for you, the best case scenario of your decision is that you spend twelve weeks being disrespected by strangers and the rest of your life over-pronouncing words in restaurants.
But what should you do while you’re there? Don’t get ahead of yourself. France can be full of surprises, especially for an unsuspecting bourgeois like yourself. Before you know it, your study abroad experience might have you seeing from a new perspective.
Food and Drink
France is famous for its cuisine (pronounced: qwiz-ine). Be sure to head to a cafe, made famous as the staging grounds of France’s numerous revolutions. While French coffee isn’t much different from anywhere else in the world, neither is any of the other food. When you head to a restaurant in France, carefully disguise your elite accent from the locals as you attempt to order using the French you learned from a pirated dictionary on the plane ride. Inevitably, you will fail and be tried as a bourgeois tyrant. Your ensuing execution by guillotine ensures you won’t have to pay the tab for that bottle of Chateau Lafite.
Sites to See
During your stay in Paris, be sure to see the sites. The famously hideous Eiffel tower is certainly worth a visit. Its architect hated it so much he ate lunch in it every day to be certain he didn’t have to look at it. As its ghastly visage overtakes your vision, take as many pictures as possible to preserve the memory of the most hideous building on planet Earth. Your obvious interest in the local architecture will mark you as a dirty bourgeois tourist. Attempt to outrun the French police as best you can (recognizable by their red berets). They will catch you within minutes. Your immediate execution by guillotine will conveniently save you the cab fare back to the hostel.
Art and Culture
Every foreign scum that passes through Paris should be sure to visit the Louvre, home to the world’s most underwhelming painting. After ignoring all the other works in the museum to wait hours in line to see the only painting you’ve ever heard of, the Mona Lisa, you will be immediately struck by the fact that it sucks. It’s tiny, and doesn’t even look like a person that much. Consumed by your hubris, be sure to go into a furious rage that attracts the attention of security. Not to worry; the Louvre keeps a guillotine on hand for just this purpose, so it won’t be much of a walk.
The Crucial Moment
Leading up to your visit to France being cut short by a massive sheet of sharpened steel, think of how much you’ve learned from the experience. Truly, to encounter another culture is a brilliant thing that expands the horizons of your mind. That is, before you lose it entirely.
Written by Jason Eizenga; Illustrated by K. AMI