Tout le Meilleur, BV!

Student plans to study abroad in Paris


While the majority of incoming college students prefer to stay close to home and don’t have the desire to study abroad for a couple of years, this is not the case for senior Tess Vanberg. Vanberg plans to major in international relations and minoring in international law or politics and will attend George Washington University in Washington, D.C. 

Vanberg will not be rushing to George Washington University immediately — first she will be attending The American University of Paris her first year in college due to the various opportunities the American University has to offer. 

Vanberg believes living in France will help expand her knowledge regarding international policies and aid in widening her world view. 

“It’s home to a lot of the embassies, and they have a lot of internships for their students,” Vanberg said. “It’s such a cultural hotspot.” 

As well, Vanberg is eager to experience all the unique classes the American University has to offer and engage in once-in-a-lifetime adventures. 

“[Where I’ll live has] like a 10-minute walk to the Louvre, and they do cultural expeditions on the weekends,” Vanberg said. “There are a lot of classes I’m interested in [because they] are at the Louvre or at other museums around the city.”

Although Vanberg is ecstatic to begin this new chapter in her life, it’s undeniable that the anxiety and unsettling nervousness of staying in another country are starting to set in. 

“It’s going to be a really big adjustment because the university in Paris is completely different than going to college in the United States,” Vanberg said. “I’ll be living in a French apartment. They don’t have meal plans — I’m going to have to do all my grocery shopping [and] cook for myself.”

While all of these are major concerns for Vanberg, what she is struggling with the most is attempting to learn the language before going to live in the country for a year. 

“The language shift is going to be an adjustment,” she said. “I’m trying to learn French as fast as I can.”

But Vanberg is willing to take on the stress right now because she knows her experience in Paris will be worth it in the long run due to her desire to work in international relations. 

“Already having that French background as a foundation for that and will open more doors [because] a lot of international politics are done through French as a language,” Vanberg said. “Having that knowledge is going to be super helpful.” 

Even though living in France her first year of college is going to be a big change, Vanberg is eager about this new journey she is embarking on. 

“It’s going to be a big adjustment, but I think it’s going to be totally worth it,” Vanberg said. “It’s going to be a very valuable experience.”