A Parisian Game Night





When I interviewed for the student intern position at my exchange program provider, MICEFA, I wasn’t confident I’d get the job. So, when the interviewer asked me what kind of personal projects I’d like to work on if I got the job, I just went with something I already wanted to do anyway: board game night. I love board games, and I’ve been craving to have a group and place to play them. Lo and behold… the job was mine. Great! Now I could have my board game night, and it was up to me to set everything up.

The first task was actually getting people to go to board game night. Luckily, I already had a group I could pull from: other exchange students. I was given access to the contact details of not only my classmates who came to France from America, but also the French students who were selected to go to America next semester. So I whipped up this ad:


It has everything: A starry night, a lit up Eiffel Tower, and meeples on the Champ de Mars.

I sent it out in an e-mail to everyone in the program, along with a sign-up sheet. “Spots are limited!” I said. Game night was limited to just 8 people, besides me and the program coordinator, my boss Annika.

Within 12 hours, all 8 spots were taken. All but one of the spots went to French students. Great — they get to practice their English, and I get to practice my French, I guess? It wasn’t as equal a cultural exchange as I wanted, but it certainly would be a good opportunity to show some American hospitality to these future study abroad students.

The day of Game Night arrives. I was nervous that nobody would show up, because I’ve never really been much of a success in getting more than a couple of people together for an informal event. But I had nothing to worry about. Everyone started trickling in starting at 6 o’clock.

All in all, much fun was had. Annika (and her husband!) brought her games, which consisted of some classic strategy board games like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, and Carcassonne. I’ve played them all before, so I helped explain the rules–in English–to the French students, all of which were new to this genre of board game. The challenge was making sure I remembered the rules correctly, because the game instructions were all in French. I had to be careful because misinterpreting a rule with a slight translation error could make the name imbalanced.

Also, we had pizza, and it’s always a good time when pizza’s involved.

The event went so well that we’re planning another game night for March!

Here’s some photos from last week’s game night:


MICEFA Game Night
The group I worked with most at board game night: Waffa, Nathan, and Pierre and their adventures settling Catan.


MICEFA Game Night 2
The other side of the table was occupied with Ticket to Ride (Les Aventuriers du Rail) and Carcassone.


MICEFA Game Night 3
Everyone enjoyed some pizza and lighthearted conversation about what student life is like in America.