My school has the opportunity to go to Paris for an international Media Seminar. It’s a class that is open to all majors, but benefits communication students more. Because it was a class, we made all our reservations together and scheduled through some influential media moguls in Paris, which cut costs significantly. I went with 12 other students, my professor and his family, and we were there with a college from Kansas with around the same number of students. I came back with a lot of new friends and a best friend.
I signed up for the seminar course in winter term 2017 and was told it would be at least $3,000 to go. I decided as soon as I heard about the opportunity, that I would start saving and hoarding cash. I actually got a lot of help from friends and family (they all got thank-you letters and tangible photographs with notes on the back). I went during spring break 2017.
While there, we did the regular touristy things on our own time like the Louvre, The Rodin Museum, wandered around Montmartre, went to Disney Paris and Versailles, the D’orsay (which was much better than the Louvre IMHO) some other art museums scattered in there, the Père Lachaise Cemetery, Notre Dame, the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore, and of course the Eiffel tower. I also went clubbing, tried a Karaoke Bar, and ate a bunch of new food with smaller groups into the nights. Escargot is awesome if you love shellfish, I think they taste and texture is very similar.
We also went to media seminars with international media moguls. I had a tour of international CNN office over the Champs-Elysées and it was so tiny! There were four or five people there and I met Jim Bittermann. We toured UNESCO and had a personal tour of the D’orsay.
I decided after one poignant seminar, that I would change my major from communication to professional writing. The entire trip counted towards my communication degree focus of digital media and even though I am now a professional writing major, my focus is still digital media and the credits still count!
I will break down the approximate cost of the trip.
A lot of the prices were lower because of how we made reservations, when we made them, and who was involved. My plane tickets were significantly lower than expected. I also shared a hotel room with two other people, which altered the price of 10 days in a hotel on Rue Cler with a view of the Eiffel Tower.
Round trip plane tickets= $464
Hotel room shared between three people for 10 days= $575
Seminar fee= $500
tourism+souvenirs= about $400 (I think it was less, but I rounded up)
total= about 2,500 (rounded up on the higher end)
The total cost for the trip was around $2,500, but if I add the tuition I paid for the course, the cost is around $3,002. This is slightly inaccurate because I am sure I spent less that $400 on tourism and souvenirs. I can confidently say I actually spent less than $3,000.
The entire experience was phenomenal and I am so glad I didn’t talk myself out of it because of the potential cost. I talked myself out of going to Germany in High School because I was afraid there was no way my family could afford it. I regret that and I think I made some of the regret up with my trip to Paris.
I appreciate this trip tremendously. I recently learned the professor that created this opportunity is leaving the university. The 2018 trip may be the last one offered at my school. I am so happy I decided to take the risk and go for it when I first heard about it. Take the opportunities that mean something to you. I didn’t need to go to Paris, but I wanted to and travel is important to me.
Check with your school to see what kinds of abroad options they have. Sometimes they aren’t advertised as well as they could be. Abroad doesn’t always mean a full year or a semester. It was 10 days for me. My school also has other options that are for longer periods in a variety of countries. If you are interested in studying abroad, or going for a short period of time, ask around and do some research.
On this trip, I also met my best friend who loves taking selfies so much and encouraged me to learn how to ask for selfies, as I address in this post.