Hi!  My name is Meggie Kernahan and I’m a junior at UW majoring in Environmental Studies.  Ever since high school I have always planned on studying abroad, and my junior year in high school I visited Paris for the first time and fell in love with the city.  Ever since then I had my heart since on living in Paris and getting to know the culture and language.  I started taking French classes at the beginning of my sophomore year of college (I took Spanish through high school and am very proficient in it now).  Though my program through CIEE has nothing to do with my major, I can’t wait to immerse myself in the Parisian lifestyle.  I plan on taking many French language courses at the CIEE Center as well as a few political science or art history courses.

It is finally hitting me that I leave for Paris TOMORROW!  I’ve been preparing for this trip for a while now; I originally applied to a direct exchange program that seemed a bit too academically rigorous last spring, and then I learned about the CIEE Contemporary French Studies program.  I wanted to be able to travel and get to know Europe while I studied abroad, and I knew if I was too focused on school I wouldn’t be able to do that.  In order to learn French better, CIEE requires that we live with a host family and have a “language buddy”, a local Parisian who wants to learn English.  Though I know nothing about my host family or where I will be living, I can’t wait to move in!  I meet them on Friday night after living in a hotel for a three-day orientation.  Then we will have a week of French-intensive instruction, as well as a group day trip to Metz, France.  Classes don’t start until January 23!

Though it feels weird to be with my family in Colorado while my friends are starting classes at UW, I can’t wait to get to Paris!  Acquiring a visa for my trip was quite a process (I had to fly to the French consulate for the West Coast in San Francisco during finals week!), but totally worth it.  Next time you hear from me I’ll be moved in to my new home for the next few months!

Au revoir!