• 68°

Postcard No. 11 from Paris

Things I’ve learned
during Paris semester

From staff reports

PARIS — I can’t believe we’re already in Week 11 of Asbury University’s Paris Semester. This semester has provided a wealth of opportunities for learning, both in and out of the classroom, and as we’re nearing the end I’ve been reflecting a lot on what it’s taught me.
Lesson One: Remain Present.
During a semester abroad, it can be easy to get distracted by things like registering for future classes, planning out schedules or even just wondering what things will be like when we go back home.
Recently, I have really been trying to focus on living in the present. For me, this includes things like going to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower with friends. A place I find peaceful in Paris is my favorite coffee shop Coutume Institut; it is a great environment to study, read, work on group projects or do daily devotions.
Going there, I feel as though I am able to remain focused without any distractions around me. I am learning it is OK to slow down and enjoy the little moments I have left in Paris. Even though final projects and homework can seem stressful, it’s essential to find a coffee shop, park or a chapel to just be still.
I encourage future Paris semester students and others studying abroad this semester to find that one place in Paris you can go to for rest, adventure or inspiration. For me that one place has been the Coutume coffee shop.
Lesson two: Adventure is good for the soul.
I’ve also learned that adventure is good for the soul and, exploring the city on my own has been a huge inspiration for me as a creative.
On a rainy Friday afternoon after art class, I decided to venture off on my own to see the Yves Saint Laurent Museum. I was feeling a need for adventure, and I wanted to go somewhere I had not been before.
Once I got to the museum, I was able to view Yves Saint Laurent’s original sketches, collection and office space. Most of his work is inspired by his use of old patterns, the shapes around his office and the space he designs his clothes in.
As I was taking the metro back to campus, these questions crossed my mind: Can the space we use to create something inspire our work? Is it important to establish a studio or a space to create in? What role does space fulfill?
While visiting the museum, I was able to visualize his exhibits, office and past collections. All of his work was part of the big shift of abstract fashion during the 1960s.
I’ve really learned to visit new museums when I can because there is plenty to see.
Currently, this adventure is helping me come up with new projects, ideas and inspiration for my classes.
As we enter into the final few weeks of Asbury’s Paris semester, I’m looking forward to continuing to learn and grow.