Bonjour de Paris!

This semester I am living and working in the wonderful city of Paris. Even though the weather might be a little unpredictable, I am still enjoying the beautiful city and relishing the Parisian lifestyle.

During my first four weeks in Paris, I spent four hours each day in language class, learning everything from grammar and vocabulary to culture and politics. Since class was mostly in the morning, I was able to explore the many different "arrondissements", or neighborhoods, in Paris and enjoy some day trips to destinations a little further away such as Rouen, the chateaux in the Loire Valley, and Monet's famous gardens at Giverny. I have definitely taken advantage of the amazing food here in Paris, spending hours at little cafés, grabbing baguettes and cheese and indulging in nutella crepes.

After my language classes ended, I started an internship with the AmCham, which stands for the American Chamber of Commerce in France. The AmCham is a small non-profit organization that works to build the relations between French businesses with branches in the States and American businesses with branches in France. I work mostly with marketing and communications, but the skills that I have acquired have crossed many departments. Working for AmCham has really opened my eyes to the life of a non-profit organization and all the hours and effort that go into planning a conference or event. This experience has also taught me a lot about what it is like to have an international-only business and all the different processes that are required to take a company international. Right now, we are preparing for the annual Gala, which is to be held at the Hôtel des Invalides, and among the guests will be Charles Rivken, the U.S. Ambassador to France.

Apart from Paris, I have spent some time in other European cities as well. I visited Lindsey Allard and Kristen Giovanniello in London, where we climbed the Tower Bridge and visited St. Paul's Cathedral. Last weekend, Liz Calby and I traveled to Florence together, taking in the breathtaking Ponte Vecchio and climbing all 414 steps to the top of the Florence Cathedral campanile!

All in all, my experiences in Paris have taught me so many new lessons and have provided me with experiences that will last forever. I am looking forward to my last five weeks in Europe, but I am so excited to get back to Hanover and start the 2013 season with all my teammates!

A bientôt and Up Up Big Green!

- Bailey Johnson ’14