25 Quintessential Study Abroad Moments You’ll Experience in Paris


Ahhh, a semester in Paris – as cliché as it gets for the American studying abroad, but also cliché for a good reason. Look up any Best Places to Study Abroad list on Google and you’re bound to find Paris in the top 5. Scratch that – top 3. Here are the 25 quintessential study abroad moments you’ll experience in Paris – if you didn’t, you didn’t do it right.

It’s Thursday night and you’ve ended up at Café Oz, Mixclub, Rue de la Roquette, or at Concorde Atlantique for an Erasmus night


You think you’re cute for going to a museum on the first Sunday of the month cuz it’s free, when you can actually go any day since you’re not only a student, but also under 26

All your paper will look like this


Your diet consists of jambon beurres and Orangina from CROUS

You’ll go to the American Church and/or scour the FUSAC classifieds for English babysitting gigs only to see everyone and their mom doing the same thing

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You made your Photomaton picture your Facebook profile photo


You never have class because every week there is some sort of holiday you’ve never heard of

You spend your free time at Cité Universitaire because you have a friend living there

You mumble “attention à la marche en descendant du train” in your sleep


You’re pissed because you’re already four months in and still haven’t made one good French friend

You’re both admired and despised after saying you’re American

Every day of your time abroad looks like this

paris tops

Your American university doesn’t understand the concept of ECTS

You’re a Sophomore of Junior and don’t know if you should be taking L2 or L3 classes

You start to crave ¢0,40 mochaccinos from your university vending machine


You’ve left a note on the bulletin board on the second floor of Shakespeare & Company

You buy the cheapest bottom shelf wine from Leader Price and it’s still better than wine back homecheapwine

You start studying by the Seine, people-watching by the Seine, drinking by the Seine, going to meet ups by the Seine, doing everything by the SeineIMG_4772 copyYou’ve gotten drunk on Rue Mouffetard

You’re the only one in the club knowing all the lyrics to the songs and you’re that American to make sure everyone knows you know

You live in a 100 square foot apartment in a seven floor walkup without a bathroom or shower…and somehow you’re okay with it because you’re “in Paris”


You buy €0,20 books from Gibert Jeune because they’re €0,20 just to find out your French isn’t that good yet

You’ve gone to a Babyspeaking recruitment event for the wine and cheese, but never actually accept the position

Your friends are jealous because your Instagram look like this…

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or this…


or this…


…but little do they know you’re really stepping in dog poop and breathing second-hand smoke all day

Even after your semester is over, you’ll still be amazed


 Comment below! Have you ever studied abroad in Paris? What moments were just so Paris that it hurt?

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  • Robin Le Bourhis

    I love it! I never had the chance to study in Paris yet but being french i’ve been a few time to the city and I totally get what you were saying, especially the part about “stepping in dog poop and breathing second-hand smoke all day”. I hate France for that, I miss the US and the no smoker people.

  • Erik Puga

    Way to bring back the memories! Thank you!

  • Alan Pereira

    #Goals hahaha I’m saving up for next year in Paris and I intend to do every single one of these things… specially the “on a budget” parts haha

  • Gabriel Boff

    Sério! Tenho 15 anos, e “quando crescer” quero ser igual vocês, meu sonho é viajar o mundo!! haahha, a amizade de vocês é incrível, vocês são incríveis. Sincere warm hugs from Brazil. 😛

  • Lyasmin Boukich

    Ahh, now I start to miss Paris again! I did a semester as an intern last autumn and I was living in Cite Universitaire <3

  • Jill Torres

    you forgot that “you never have class because someone is always on strike.” my year studying here i had classes cancelled for 10weeks! it was kind of awesome and i just got to enjoy paris.

  • Audrey Hickey

    You start getting too picky about baguettes and cheese (especially comte), eating pain au chocolat weekly becomes acceptable

  • Brenda Palhares

    Oi, Damon! O que você acha de aprender vários idiomas ao mesmo tempo? Todos os que você sabe até agora foram aprendidos individualmente, né? :**

  • Elena Taber

    Wow you guys hit the nail on the head with this! I just got back from spending moving to Paris by myself for a semester and this is making me already feel so nostalgic.

  • madisson

    taking the métro in paris and being enchanted by the accordionist on board until he accosts you for money :’)

  • Rachel Holliday

    It’s my number one dream to study abroad in Paris (in junior year of high school). I want to go to college to teach English to people who don’t natively speak it.

  • dorisnicolebrown

    I am doing a academic year in France and I don’t know whether to study in Paris or the French Alps. This article definitely helped me :))