On Wednesday, my cohort hopped on the train and made the short – yet beautiful – journey from Brussels to Paris. At this point, I hadn’t been to Paris (well…outside of a 4-hour stop on a cruise when I was 6). But needless to say, I was excited to spend some time in the city, especially after watching 2 seasons of Emily in Paris earlier this month.
Eager and ready to explore, my friends and I departed our hotel shortly after our arrival. We scootered around the city to find some lunch and go thrift shopping. Especially since I haven’t been there in a while, I enjoyed being able to scooter past famous monuments and Parisian architecture, and successfully navigate French traffic circles…However, I learned the hard way that it is very difficult to ride an electric scooter on cobblestones.
After thrift shopping, my friends and I went to a café and people-watched. We listened to a few street performers and discussed our plans for the remainder of the trip.
After taking a brief nap (because scootering and shopping are oh-so-exhausting), my friends and I grabbed a quick meal near the Eiffel Tower and ended the night by watching it sparkle.
On Thursday, my cohort visited the Organization for Economic Cooperative Development (OECD), where we got a brief tour of the building and listened to lectures from U.S. Diplomats and OECD staff. The OECD functions as an organization where states discuss different policies that seek to improve developing economies. At my internship in Washington D.C. this past Spring, I interned with an advocacy group that had some OECD-focused work. It was a really cool experience for me to visit the place that I had researched and written op-eds about!
After learning about the history of the OECD, and the United States’ role in the OECD, my classmates and I headed out to lunch. We grabbed food from a grocery store, and ate it along the Seine– it was a peaceful sight to watch the passing boats sail underneath a Parisian blue sky.
Next, we had class in a historic library, where we listened to French policymakers discuss Contemporary French Foreign Policy and US-Europe Relations. These classes were extremely helpful in digesting the state of US-European relations and understanding the values that comprise French foreign policy.
That night, my friends and I sat on the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower. From entertaining conversations to watching rats scurry in the darkness (pretty sure we saw Remy from Disney’s “Ratatouille”, but you didn’t hear that from me), to experiencing another awe at the sight of a sparkling Eiffel Tower, this evening was by far the most enjoyable!
Prior to embarking on this trip, my cohort was given the option to either leave or stay in Paris… of course, I had to stay and explore more of the city! Stay tuned for my next post, where I share some photos and discuss my free weekend in Paris.