During my time in Paris, I took in a lifetime’s worth of art, and each piece was somehow better than the last. From the profound and complex modern art found in the Centre Georges Pompidou, to the endless pieces carefully organized in museums across the city, to the street art around every corner—there is no way one can visit Paris and not come home a little more cultured.
Because there was always so much to see, explore, do, and get lost in, there was never a dull day in Paris. Having the opportunity to travel as a student comes with its fair share of perks, as entrance to most museums I visited was free. Most times, even at other local attractions or historic sites, all I had to do was show my Sorbonne ID to gain entry. This not only was a convenient way to save money, but was a great way to be encouraged to attempt to see everything in the short time I had to study abroad. Of course, there was no way I could see it all, but I think more cities should adopt the Parisian model of making art accessible for all.
Before I left Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, for Paris, the city of lights, I did my research. Leading up to my departure, I spent major time not only brushing up on my French and politesse, but also browsing through travel forums and other student blogs on studying abroad in France. Notably, I saw much discussion of how Paris was picture perfect, except for the fact that it was ‘dirtied’ with street art and graffiti everywhere. I would go on to spend a significant amount of time reflecting on how someone could say such a thing when the street art, both the more structured versions and even the graffiti, made Paris all the more beautiful, and were one of my favorite parts of my experience.