The Travel Breakdown: Study Abroad in Paris: School, Le Louvre, Champs Elysees, Les Jardins

Sunday, March 23, 2014

When the program initially started, our program had all the students go through a quick two day orientation. This orientation was helpful because they taught us the essentials of living in Paris. They taught us about pick-pocketers, the pubic transportation system, people in Paris, etc. I personally found this really helpful because I felt like it prepared me for immersing myself in the city.

They also explained the class schedule. We all had different class schedules. For me, I had class Monday through Friday (everyone had Monday through Friday classes) from 8 am-12 pm. I actually didn't mind this schedule because it got me up and going in the morning, but I still got enough free time to experience what Paris has to offer. Some other students didn't get out of class till 1 pm or 2 pm in the afternoon! That's valuable time! I also like having a schedule because it allowed me to have a routine, which really made me feel like I was actually living in Paris. My friends and I found this great bakery we went to every morning before class for breakfast called Aux Castelblangeois. You can find it if you get off the metro at Bastille and walk along Rue du Faubourg. Right next to the bakery, there's also this great park you can sit in and enjoy your morning pastry and coffee. It's also nice and cheap there :) I believe there's about 3 locations throughout Paris, this is just the one I visited every morning!

For the first couple days (1-4), Michael (my boyfriend who also came on the trip with me), just explored the city for ourselves. We walked from Le Louvre to Les Jardin Des Tuileries to Les Champs Elysees. (Some of our FAVORITE places to go. The "street" food at Les Jardin Des Tuileries is great! We love the gyros and ham and cheese crepes. They also had really good paninis!)

After class on day 5, our group went to Le Louvre. This is truly one of my FAVORITE places in Paris. I could wander around the halls forever. I also loved that there was a mix of artifacts here. You could find everything from beautiful pieces from French palaces to Egyptian sarcophaguses. It crazy to think about all the history the walls of Le Louvre hold.

The beauty breakdown le louvre
A view from the window inside the museum. Look at how massive this place is!
On day 6, we visited Le Jardin du Luxembourg. An absolutely beautiful park (if you'd call it that) that offers nice scenery and colorful paths to walk along.

the  beauty breakdown le jardin du luxembourg
Michael and I towards the front entrance of Le Jardin du Luxembourg

the beauty breakdown le jardin du luxembourg
One of the nice places to sit. Lots of people would just lay out in the chairs and tan or read books! haha

the beauty breakdown le jardin du luxembourg

Day 7 was a Sunday. This meant a whole free day! Again, we explored and went on a boat tour along the Seine River. Going on one of these while visiting Paris is a MUST. It's also cheap... I think it was anywhere from 8-12 euros a person. We took the Vedettes du Pont Neuf tour. I also liked this boat tour company because they had the two-level boats.

the beauty breakdown vedettes du pont neuf
On the top level of the boat tour

On day 8, Michael and I finally made it all the way down the Champs Elysees (the first time, we got too tired and took the metro back about half way down the street). Of course, we were greeted by the L'arc de Triomphe. So neat to see up close :) There's also great shopping along the Champs Elysees! I didn't buy anything because it's a little over-priced and a lot of if I can get in the United States for cheaper anyways (there's even a huge 4 or 5 floor Abercrombie and Fitch on this street!) On our way back, we also had a run in with a pick-pocketer. He tried to distract Michael with a ring he "found on the street" and reach into his pocket. However, we shoo'ed him away since we recognized what he was doing. Good thing we had that orientation lesson!

What's one of your favorite places to visit in Paris or where would you like to visit? :)

Read the next post! I talk about our trip to the PALACE OF VERSAILLES!

xoxo, Morgan