Esther Are

Esther Are in Paris

Esther Are is a psychology major at SDSU, and is required to study abroad. After careful consideration she decided to go to France because since high school, she has been studying French. “I wanted to immerse myself into francophone culture by going to the place where it all started, France,” says Are.

Having no reservations or fears, she embarked on her journey with an open mind. Are adds, “My first impression was that everyone rode a Vespa and any second there would be a car accident because of how rushed they were.” Are is adventurous so she explored Paris and ate at a different restaurant every other day. Study abroad students talk about the friendships they make and continue after their study is complete. Are is not different, she is still in touch with some of the other students who went on the program and adds, “Two of them go to SDSU and we’re meeting up this weekend to eat.”

Most if not all study abroad students experience a life-changing takeaway after living in another country. For Are she says “Being able to visit the old buildings, the cafés on every corner, and most of all Versailles and the carefully trimmed gardens. Versailles was definitely my favorite part. I would definitely recommend this to other students, whether they know a little or a lot of French, it was amazing and one day I will go back.”

Are recognizes after her study that the U.S. “is really only a fraction of the world.” Regarding other cultural aspects she says, “There’s so much more freedom in France, no taxes on food and not tipping waiters are a couple of examples. Their public transportation is excellent, so you don’t necessarily need a car and their food is amazing. Things are just completely different there and I love it.”

Gaining life and world skills is something Are appreciates. She believes that her experience can make her more attractive to an employer. “Who knows, my future employer could be French and we can connect just because I’ve been to their country of origin,” adds Are.