My Year Abroad: Chesney Ovsiowitz in Paris

Undergraduate Chesney Ovsiowitz (French and English) takes us through his year abroad experience in Paris, France:

During my year abroad in Paris, I spent a semester studying at the Sorbonne and six months working as a PR and Marketing Intern for a boutique communications agency, though my most valuable experiences came from my four-month stint as a bartender in a tiny Vietnamese restaurant.

Spending five hours each morning washing mint and coriander was a world away from my year abroad expectations, but it was behind that bar that I met the most interesting people and gained the most unexpected skills of my time away.

Though the most obvious challenge of the year was to improve my French — and there’s nothing quite like having to argue on the phone with a graphic designer in a foreign language — the most important lessons I learned were about independence, self-sufficiency, and proactivity. 

Having made a life for myself somewhere new, I know now that I could do it again anywhere in the world.