Attending a two week course in Paris to study global conflict and diplomacy was definitely not how I envisaged my winter break at the beginning of the year. Yet halfway through the semester, the opportunity arose through BUiLD to spend two weeks immersed in culture, history, long summer days and crepes!
My pre-departure into Paris was frantic, I had the trip to organise, people to see and final exams to prep for. Yet, departure came swiftly and before I knew it I was on a plane bound for Paris!
All my apprehensions regarding Paris were dissipated within arrival. I spent my first weekend before school started soaking in the rich history of Paris, as well as consuming my body weight in food!
My experience at the Paris School of Business was unlike one I’ve ever had before. The staff are always kind and willing to help, the friendships and connections you make with people from all around the world are priceless and the content of the course itself is something that can only be understood if experienced firsthand. The courses were intensive, as they were conducted in 4-hour blocks, and were taught by world renowned professors in their field of international relations. Professors included directors of the NGO Doctors Without Borders, a director in the French foreign ministry, a director at UNESCO and many more! However, the French system was unique in that despite the intensive theoretical filled mornings and debates, all afternoons comprised of field trips around Paris that complemented the theory learnt. Over the two weeks, we had guided tours of UNESCO, visited the Opera Garnier, went on a day trip to Reims, visited the Notre Dame cathedral, the Louvre Museum, the Palace of Versailles and the French military museum where Napoleon Bonaparte’s museum is located, to name a few!
The decision to go to France was one that is unregrettable, as not only did I leave my comfort zone, but my enrolment in the Paris School of Business allowed me to meet so many new and amazing people that I made instantaneous friendships with. The friends I made at the school not only aided me in class, but we also all genuinely enjoyed each other’s company and chose to spend the rest of the day after school together exploring the city as well as during weekends!