Chelsea. 21. Los Angeles native. After two years abroad (in Paris in college and Corrèze, France in highschool), I'm returning to Paris for my master's degree in Linguistics!

5 MORE DAYS

'TIL I LEAVE.

I’ve kind of tried to start thinking about packing because I have too many things and I’m trying to make them all fit into my suitcase and carry-on….

(clearly I’m not making too many strides on the whole packing-neatly-organized thing).

To sum it up, I’m both really excited and terrified. This is a bigger/longer/more permanent move to France, and that’s why it’s exciting and wonderful (not to mention, getting to see Vincent in 5 days). I’m a little terrified about classes (though they look like they’ll be interesting, and I’ve got the french teaching style down), and the whole, living competently in France thing (getting a carte de sejour on my own, getting a bank account, getting a cell phone plan, paying for my carte navigo…though the whole no-rent thing will be nice). But mostly excited about everything! So…

PARIS ALLONS-Y!

chelseainfranceagain:

L’université Paris IV —La Sorbonne!

(this is where I’ll be studying!!!)

And this is where I’ll be studying… (again)

Preparing Again…

I’ve made the final decision to do a Master recherche de Linguistique at l’Université Paris-Sorbonne this fall! I’ve just finalized the CampusFrance process today (which may require a post of its own…glad that’s over), and got my letter of acceptance—now for visa!

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(there it is again, la vieille sorbonne ^)

I officially leave July 31st (and arrive August 1st!). I only have a month and a half left and I am so unbelievably excited. It’s a big step to do a master’s program in France, but I think I am ready for it…not to mention, I’ve been yearning to go back since my year abroad—and this seemed like the best way to do it. I’ll be able to study with an expert on French dialects (in Canada and Switzerland), while living in a place I love, and hopefully be able to figure out what exactly I’d like to be employed in after I graduate (whether that be continuing on to a doctorate, finding a job in France, or in the US). Plus, I have a support system already: friends, boyfriend (Vincent and I are still going strong on the long distance thing!), teachers, and knowledge of how it all works.

The first month or so (still on vacation), I’ll be staying with Vincent (who I really can’t wait to see), then I’ll be living with a family as a demi-au-pair of sorts (50 hours per month of babysitting two lovely girls in exchange for housing!), in the 13eme (entre Parc de Choisy et la Buttes aux Cailles).

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(for reference ^ I’ll be living in the 13th, and I go to school in the 6th arrondissement)

Even though summer has just started, I’m already ready to start packing to leave again! (I need to relax, is what I need to do…). I’ve been cleaning through my room, working to save up some extra money…and waiting for the next big move (back).

actual goodbye, 2 weeks since home

actual goodbye, 2 weeks since home

Home home home homehomehomehome

Hi everybody. I guess I’m home.

I got back to Los Angeles on Sunday, and mostly it’s pretty surreal. I think I have trouble noticing when things change drastically in my life (or understanding the significance of these changes when they happen). It feels good to be home, and I’m excited to start my internship at an independent press on Monday, and to hang out with my good friends/family here, and to spend time in the sunshine.

Today, it kind of hit me that I came home. I spent my last couple days in Paris hanging out with my exchange group and other friends that I made in Paris, spending the days doing “last things” (going to bars with Nikki and other british friends, going to the best hidden hot chocolate cafe in the Marais, talking with Audrey over pastries, last parties in my chambre de bonne, taking walks and going out to dinner for Vincent’s birthday). Everyone in my exchange group left on Saturday (which feels crazy—I said goodbye to everyone, and off we all go, back to normal lives). Then I spent my last Saturday afternoon/evening with Vincent in Parc de Bercy (literally, the first sunny day in Paris since November…we sat under a tree that was dropping pollen everywhere, it looked like it was snowing in the sunshine!), and he brought me to Charles de Gaulle airport the next morning. I was perfectly-sane Chelsea until I said goodbye to Vince and went into the line for security…then I started crying.

Paris was good to me, and I had one of the most amazing years—not because I made the most friends, or went en boite every night or went to the Louvre oh so many times (none of these things really happened). But I think I grew again (always again), as a person, because of the genuinely wonderful people I’ve met and the experiences I’ve had (living as a real person in French and in Paris, traveling to England, Switzerland, Italy and Spain). And I have to remember to not forget what I’ve learned—my ability to be easygoing, to make big decisions about my life, and to be genuine (show my true emotions, communicate, feel strongly about things that matter to me). Memories are most important in that weird phase after they happen and before you forget them—and I’m doing my best to not forget anything (and to not end up feeling like none of it ever happened).

So ends my year in Paris! (Second year in France, junior year of college). I feel more like a grown-up person than ever before…and I think I have the confidence and general good-feelings about the world to help me this summer, in my final year of undergraduate, etc. I’ll have lots of stories to tell (making galettes in kitchens at midnight, cracking eggs one in each hand, meeting interesting people on bar couches after sanity is a little slurred, having tea with 60 year old linguists in Catherine Deneuve’s old apartment, talking to metro drivers about vintage american cars, and walking at night, listening to voices drifting from open windows). And I’ll have lots of french to keep speaking.

And so, à bientôt, Paris—je reviendrai au plus tôt possible!

Chateau de Fontainebleau!!

Chateau de Fontainebleau!!

Also, pretty sure Paris is crying because I’m leaving?

Also, pretty sure Paris is crying because I’m leaving?

Things that are representative of my time in France: eating an early dinner consisting mostly of radishes (with bread and cheese!).

Things that are representative of my time in France: eating an early dinner consisting mostly of radishes (with bread and cheese!).

Last week in Paris…

I don’t understand at all how it came so quickly!!

It’s frightening to think about, mostly! Close to a year in Paris, and it’s all ending next Sunday. I’m kind of scared to go home, because I feel really good/at home here, and I keep reminding myself of all the wonderful things that await me in LA! (family, friends, good weather, etc.). Mostly…I wish I could stay forever (I’ve started to look at Masters programs in France, and it’s actually pretty feasible…anyways…). I feel more at home here than everyone else in my exchange program—I really love it here, and I don’t think I’m in the honeymoon stage anymore. And I’ve made so many friends here—leaving is changing again, leaving is returning to a reality that is no longer my reality, leaving is trying to again fit into a mold that I’ve slightly grown out of.

Last week things: going to the marché tomorrow morning, monday night au Chat Noir (the last time ever, with all my friends!), Vincent’s birthday on thursday, last dinner party with exchanger friends on friday/sunrise watching, then everyone leaves on Saturday. Then I leave on Sunday.

Somewhere in between everything that’s going on I need to pack. And do intense room clean-up. Take some more photos, say some goodbyes. And try not to sob all of the time.

lapetitekaya:

Place des Vosges, Paris

Walk this morning in Montmartre, to the Musee de la Vie Romantique, then over to the Marais to go the best (hidden) hot chocolate place!

lapetitekaya:

Place des Vosges, Paris

Walk this morning in Montmartre, to the Musee de la Vie Romantique, then over to the Marais to go the best (hidden) hot chocolate place!

cause-andaffection:

Amiens Cathedral. This is where I unrealistically want to get married.

Visited Amiens and this cathedral (the largest in volume in France!), the other day!

cause-andaffection:

Amiens Cathedral. This is where I unrealistically want to get married.

Visited Amiens and this cathedral (the largest in volume in France!), the other day!

Things I miss/I will miss

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dailytoulouse:

C’est une Garonne. Le pont St Pierre, le Dome de La Grave, La Garonne. TOULOUSE

dailytoulouse:

C’est une Garonne.
Le pont St Pierre, le Dome de La Grave, La Garonne. TOULOUSE

Long weekend Toulouse/Adventure

So I had a really fun time with Vincent and friends in Toulouse (a big group of his engineer friends that he went to school with). We spent the first day in Toulouse, then drove down to the Pyrenées (mountain range in southern France), to Bagnères-de-Luchon, where his friend Charles’ grandparents have a house. It was BEAUTIFUL—mountainous, flowers everywhere, trees everywhere. We spent two days there, hanging out and cooking and faire-ing la fête (on one of which we drove down to SPAIN, yes Spain, to go hiking just over the border. The hike was lovely and it was sunny out and we got swarmed by a huge flock of sheep halfway through). Then final day, back up to Toulouse, and we went to an outdoor concert at the modern art museum at night! And…back to Paris!

I really liked Toulouse—it felt a little bit like LA (maybe, mostly because it was warm?). It was funny to hang out with so many people I didn’t know (aka french people that I am, in reality, trying to impress)—but besides doing more listening than speaking sometimes, I think I did alright! My camera had battery troubles right before leaving, so I don’t have pictures of the adventure (seriously regretting this)…but then, I guess, you have to live things sometimes, not photograph them? In any case, saw lots of new things, had a very French-filled weekend (not to mention, ate lots of saucisson, bread, cheese, and wine this weekend, along with some other home-made southern french specialties), and I am now very cozy in my bed, recovering.

And…off to Toulouse!!

MJ