But living in Paris provides so many more opportunities for cultural immersion than just sitting in a classroom. Museums (where I can now actually read the French informational plaques!) and shows, day trips to Normandy, Mont St Michel, and Giverny, and of course the FOOD – France makes for the perfect setting to learn and practice, even if it’s just reading all of the amazing things to order on a menu!!
How This Experience Will Help with My Job Search and/or Career
As anyone following current events (which should be all SSP’ers!) well knows, European security has become a very serious and pertinent issue of late. From the refugee crisis to Brexit, from the looming threat of Russia to our NATO allies in Eastern Europe to terrorism, Europe faces significant challenges. As a main language of the European Union and United Nations, and a language spoken by many refugees fleeing war, terrorism, and persecution in Africa and the Middle East, French is becoming more important for both communication and research. Furthermore, because I hope to attend law school after SSP to study international law, knowing French perfectly positions me to work at the intersection of international law and international security on topics such as the refugee crisis, the law of war, and many other issues.
How I Have Changed Because of This Experience
I have lived abroad in several countries for varying amounts of time, and I believe that each experience broadens your perspectives and gives you an appreciation and cultural understanding that no other experience can. Living in France in particular has changed my view of personal security around the world. Whenever I travel, I research the security situation of a country beforehand, and I try to maintain awareness and vigilance. However, France, and much of Europe, is suffering terrorist attacks without rhyme or reason, which has forced me to consider the possibility of being caught in an attack anywhere and at any moment. But more than that, talking to people in France has revealed the level of fear and determination in French society. While they are concerned for their future – with the rise of the extreme right in politics and the lack of desirable choices in the upcoming presidential election – they have remarkable fortitude and a spirit of defiance. It is very encouraging, especially in a country that has suffered much of late.
Two Interesting Things About France That the Average Person Does Not Know
It is hard to say what the “average person” does or does not know, so I guess I will stick to a few things that I did not know before coming to France that I found rather surprising. While France is a country steeped in human rights, les droits de l’Homme, it is also a country with deep and clear racial and religious divides. I found this dichotomy both surprising and instructive. Many French believe that radicalization and attacks occur more frequently in France because the immigrant, minority, and Muslim populations are in many ways marginalized, and some policies make it difficult for them to truly integrate and assimilate into French society. The rise of the extreme right, a party known as the National Front, exacerbates this problem with a nationalistic, anti-immigrant rhetoric that is gaining momentum and mirrors many of the sentiments of reactionary parties and politics around the world. I find this both troubling and fascinating, given my previously-described discussions with Parisians regarding the current state of affairs in France. On a less serious note, I discovered that designer éclairs are now the dessert du jour of Paris, instead of macarons, though I have yet to indulge in one. Travelers take note!