Chaque jour en France // Every day in France

I just wanted to share this video with about what happens in France each day. Find out how many cigarettes are smoked, how many baguettes are eaten, how much Nutella is consumed, and how many tourists got to the Eiffel Tower in a typical day in France. This is a good video for those of you learning French and want some practice listening to numbers in French.

Hope you enjoy the video! // J'espère que cette video vous fera plaisir ! :)

Welcome Orlando!

Hello everyone,
My name is Orlando. As a new contributor to De San Diego à Paris I will be providing a new perspective of the times and experiences of a California kid living in Paris as a study abroad student. Like Laura, I chose to spend a year studying the french language and culture in Paris. You may already recognize me from a few of Laura's Vlogs, photos or mentions in a post, but I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself in a little more detail.

French film festival in San Diego

SDSU's 9th annual French Film festival have been announced! The film festival will be taking place at SDSU's Little Theater (located in SDSU's iconic Hepner Hall) on November 15th, 16th, and 17th. All movies have English subtitles and most importantly they are FREE! Feel free to come to the festival even if you're not an SDSU student and invite friends and loved ones. The following movies will be shown in this year's festival:

Thursday, November 15th
Un Prophète at 7:30pm

Friday, November 16th
Les Hommes Libres at 6:00pm
Impardonnables at 8:00pm

Saturday, November 17th
Le Hérisson at 4:00pm
Tomboy at 6:00pm
Le Gamin au Vélo at 8:00pm

You can RSVP to the film festival here and click here to like the film festival's Facebook fan page.

Come support SDSU's French Club and the European Studies department and watch some great French films.

Post-Study Abroad Update

I met Annie Clark (St. Vincent) again and she remembered me from Paris. 
Last thing you heard about my life was back when I wrote about experiencing reverse culture shock so I think it's time for an update. Since coming back I think my life changed quite a bit. I began to work and that took a while to transition and once school started I literally had no time for myself because school and work took over my life. I now can understand why many Europeans think American college students are crazy when they work and handle being a full time student. It personally drove me nuts! 17 units plus a part time job 5 days a week is a good recipe for something bad happening and something eventually did. Other than being a zombie for the first two months of school, things started to turn around in my classes. I still find that GEs are kind of hard to take seriously especially since I don't see how they pertain to majoring in French but I'm starting to enjoy my Italian class a lot. I just had to accept that American professors have a different style of teaching and once I did I started enjoying the class. On the other hand, my European Cinema class has been consistently great. We've watched really great movies so far with my favorites being La sconosciuta (The Unknown Woman- Italy) and Ničija zemlja (No Man's Land- Bosnia-Herzegovina). 

New URL!

French display at the Blick Art Supply store in Little Italy.
The URL is no longer, after a year of having the blog I decided to make the URL just to make things a lot easier for everyone to remember.

Just wanted to let you know just in case you click the FB fan page links and they're not working. All the blog posts are still there, it's just the URL that's different.

Bonne soirée tout le monde. New blog post tomorrow!

Belated 1 year anniversary!

It's been over a year since I started this blog and I completely forgot about the 1 year anniversary. I know, that's such a huge failure but I was first busy with friends, family, and then came work and school. My first blog post was written on July 11th and the first post was just your standard introduction so my future blog readers could find out who I am. You guys basically were basically there for my whole study abroad journey. After I got home from my visa appointment, I made a blog post letting you know how it went and then I posted another blog post when I received it in the mail. You saw all the goodbyes before finally getting on that plane and arriving to Paris. After settling in my French apartment I managed to open a bank account, get beds delivered, buy a French cellphone, and even make new friends.

French Skin Care

It's no secret that France has some of the world's best skin care products. Everyone from fashion magazines to beauty bloggers rave about French skin care and before I even set a foot in Paris I knew I had to try as many products as I could during my year abroad.  Before I share my recommendations I would like to make it clear that I am not a dermatologist. The products I will be talking about worked for me, but they may not work on you. Another disclaimer, I have oily/acne prone skin so if you have dry skin then these things are probably not going to work on your skin because they will most likely make your skin dryer. Now that you've heard the disclaimers let's get to the skin care products!

American vs. French Universities round 2!

It is back to school week here at SDSU and the transition back to the American university has been easy but incredibly frustrating. I know in my initial post I said that I preferred the American system because it was all I knew prior to experiencing the French university system, but now that I'm back I have to admit I miss the French system a lot.

I have found here that...
  1. Students don't take school seriously.
  2. Professors joke around and/or distracted and don't get right to the point.
  3. Professors revolve the class around the textbook instead of the subject.

Study Abroad Identity Crisis Update

It's been 13 days since I first wrote about going through the identity crisis and I'm happy to report that I'm not going through this anymore. I no longer feel lost and I'm beginning to enjoy my summer. Of course I still miss Paris but it is no longer holding me back from enjoying my life.

Reverse Culture Shock and Study Abroad Identity Crisis

It has now been exactly a month since I left Paris and first I would like to apologize about my absence here at my blog. I've spent the last month seeing my friends and family and making what was my home feel like home once again. Now this blog post will not be a typically happy blog post; this blog post will not share with you the joys of coming back home because frankly most stories I've heard from people who come back from studying abroad have been happy ones. Reconnecting with family and friends, being happy to be back in a familiar place, and well just resuming life as normal. Yeah, that's not my story.

Blog will be coming back soon!

I'm extremely sorry for how the last month of my stay turned out. My computer died, I got food poisoning, injured a tendon in my knee, and survived a 4 hour in class final essay. All I can say is expect some good blog posts when I come back to San Diego.

Tomorrow I'll be leaving to Barcelona before going back home. I hope everyone is doing great and thank you for being patient with me.

See you all very soon!

Where are the daily vlogs?

If you follow me on Twitter or like my blog on Facebook you may know that I got really sick on Thursday and was unable to edit the Disneyland vlog. On Friday once I was feeling better I tried to edit it but my computer has fallen victim to another French virus right before finals. Just my luck... But don't worry, I'm still recording my vlogs just in case Orlando is able to fix my computer or in the worst case scenario, I will have to wait until I get back to San Diego.

I'm extremely sorry for this and I'm working hard to see if anything can be done. There will be text posts coming up soon though, now that I CAN do. 

Wish me luck so everything can be fixed and I can resume my vlogs!

Daily vlogs! Day 8 Happy birthday Beatriz!

Since I'll be at Disneyland all day today, I decided to post the vlog at 3h22. Yesterday was my friend, Beatriz's, birthday and we went to celebrate it at the French restaurant, Au Père Louis which I highly recommend. The food was so good! I swear I died and went to heaven when I tried their gratinée à l'oignon, and the confit de canard was just perfect. Once we were done with dinner we headed back to the apartment to have cake! And not just regular cake but cake with Speculoos filling! YUMMY!

Watch Beatriz's 22nd birthday dinner and wish her a happy birthday!
Le 8 mai 2012

Off to Disneyland in the morning! Expect some updates on Twitter and on my Facebook fan page. 

Daily vlogs! Day 7 Romeo and Juliet at the Opéra Bastille

Almost 9 months after arriving to Paris, we FINALLY got the to experience a show at the Opéra. My friend, Beatriz, and I decided to go see Roméo et Juliette at the Opéra Bastille yesterday night and it was spectacular! The two main reasons why we chose to go see Romeo and Juliet was because...
  1. We were familiar with the play.
  2. They were the cheapest tickets we found.
The show was a opera/ballet, which I wasn't expecting since when we bought the tickets it said it was only a ballet. The lighting was perfect, I really enjoyed how they played around with shadows to create more drama. The choreography was very interesting, there was obviously ballet but there were times that there was modern dance which added some youthfulness to the show. Despite what dance it was it was always full of energy and passion which made the show even more memorable. The costumes, were nothing out of the ordinary in my opinion but I did particularly enjoy the tutus especially during the masquerade scene which was my favorite scene of the show. 

I highly recommend to check out at least one show at the Opéra during your study abroad year or semester, it's a great experience plus it makes for a great story to share when you go back home. The prices may be a little high but if you want cheaper tickets you must schedule it MONTHS in advance but it'll be worth every Euro, I swear.

Check out our night at the Opéra here!
Le 7 mai 2012

Daily vlogs! Day 6

Yesterday we had a very lazy Sunday, and when I say lazy you better believe we were LAZY! Watch the video if you want a recap of what's coming up this week! I promise it'll be a lot more exciting than me cooking breakfast burritos.
Le 6 mai 2012

Daily Vlogs! Day 5

Cinco de Mayo in Paris! Find out how we celebrated Mexico's victory over the French with some duck? Yeah, duck- the best duck in Paris as a matter of fact.
Le 5 mai 2012

Daily Vlogs! Day 4

Here's day four! Meet Orlando, he's been in a couple of my vlogs before but you'll be seeing a lot more of him in this series. Watch as we go to get some pho and try my best not to make a huge mess.

Will I succeed? There's only one way to find out!
Le 4 mai 2012

Daily Vlogs! Day 3

Here's the third day of the series! I think I've started to get a hang of editing my vlogs which makes me even more motivated to keep it up.

Check out how my school day went and the mystery ingredient in my sandwiches.

 Le 3 mai 2012

Daily Vlogs! Day 2

After the horrible video from May 1st, yesterday I made sure to make May 2nd a lot better. I downloaded Sony Vegas Pro 11 and started teaching myself how to edit videos on it. I'm still in the process of learning how to work with the program so this vlog will showcase split screen which I'm currently playing around with. If you own the program and have any pointers, any help will be greatly appreciated.

Hope you enjoy the video and there will be regular blog posts coming up real soon.
le 2 mai 2012

Daily Vlogs! Day 1

So first of all I have to apologize because there was a huge glitch on this video and it freezes for like half of the video. I didn't notice this glitch until I was modifying the lighting which was pretty late. I won't be recording on my webcam any longer because the quality is just horrible so expect better quality vlogs starting tomorrow! I can assure you that tomorrow's vlog will be a lot better than this one.

I hope everyone enjoys this series and gets a better insight on the life of a study abroad student. I'll see you all tomorrow with another vlog!

Le 1er mai 2012

Travel tips for study abroad students: Budapest

I have to be completely honest the #1 reason why I chose to travel to Budapest was because the plane ticket on Ryan Air was ridiculously cheap. I had zero knowledge about the city prior to going to Budapest but once I had the chance to explore the city I was extremely glad I had the opportunity to visit this Eastern European city.

Disquaire Day (Record Store Day) 2012

Arcade Fire and St. Vincent RDS exclusives.
I've usually bought Record Store Day exclusive records every year I've gone to Coachella but since I'm studying abroad and didn't go to Coachella, this became my first year actually going to record stores on Record Store Day or Disquaire Day in France. For those who don't know about RSD, it is "the one day that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music."

Marseille and Aix-en-Provence

Vieux-Port de Marseille
These past couple of days I got the opportunity to explore the South of France and finally get to see some sunshine (although I have to admit I'm not a fan of it). My friends and I went to Marseille not knowing much other than it has a lot of Tunisian immigrants and that you could see the whole city from the top of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde but we were pleasantly surprised at how much we ended up loving this city. Aix-en-Provence is the other city in France that you can study through CSU-IP. Its a quiet and small city-commune in the South. We met up with my boyfriend's friend who's also in the CSU-IP program and we got a lot of information about the program, so expect an upcoming post about it. I'll make a more detailed travel post this before I go off to Rouen and Rennes but first I have to share some of my pictures.


Food Recommendations

I'm definitely a fan of food recommendations and sharing what I've eaten so if you're a member of any of these following websites feel free to follow me or look at the places I recommend.

By the way, Marseille is beautiful. I'm loving it so far.

About the CSU-IP program and MICEFA

I'm sorry about the lack of updates this month but I have been busy with school and my laptop has been experiencing problems but I'm back! I'm here to inform you about my exchange program. The exchange program which I chose to come to Paris with was CSU-IP (California State University International Programs) which unfortunately is only available for CSU's hence the name. The program offers the opportunity to study abroad in various countries in Europe, Asia, and even Africa but the program which I will be telling you about is their Paris program. 

7 month update!

Sorry for the delay but as promised here's the latest update!

Can you guys believe we're getting close to the end?


For more information about Record Store Day (Disquaire Day) in France CLICK HERE.

Tips for studying abroad in Paris

Sorry for the lack of posts but I've been busy with school and planning my spring break trip so I haven't had much time nor the energy to update my blog but I'm back with a helpful post. I've been in Paris for the past 7 months and I can honestly say that this year has been the best of my life despite it being the most expensive year in my life. If you're thinking about studying abroad in Paris I just want to let you know people aren't joking when they tell you that Paris is EXPENSIVE. Rent is especially expensive if you want to live in Paris intra-muros which consists of the 20 arrondissements and everything from tooth paste to cereal is more expensive than in the United States. Here are my tips and advice that will hopefully help you save some money and avoid stress during your time here.

Colette Carnaval

This past weekend there was a free event at the Jardin des Tuileries called Colette Carnaval and let me tell you after living her for almost 7 months it felt really good to get things for free. Free samples, masks, Polaroids- it was just amazing! It was a fun event filled with art, music, fashion, and food booths. The booths I was looking forward to were the Impossible Project, Lomography, Ed Banger, and Kitsune but as soon as we walked in we realized there was more to see. It was great to see Parisians loosen up and have fun while they were trying to win things, that a side of them I don't see too often but when you do its absolutely amazing.

Here are a couple pictures for the Coletter Carnaval, vlog coming up soon!

Ask me anything

If you guys have any questions about studying abroad, living abroad, or just want to know where I bought a sweater you can go ahead and ask me on Tumblr. I've enabled the anonymous feature for those of you that don't have a Tumblr but you can also feel free to email me and I'll try to reply as quickly as I can.

I hope everyone is having a great week so far.

To ask questions CLICK HERE.

Disneyland Paris

Welcome to Disneyland Paris.
Last Tuesday I finally got to visit Disneyland Paris with my boyfriend (who's not really into Disneyland). One of the biggest difference between Disneyland Paris and Disneyland in Anaheim or the Magic Kingdom in Orlando is not obviously the language but also the rides! For the most part you have your classic Disneyland rides like Pirates of the Caribbean, It's a Small World, and the Mad Hatter's Tea Cups but in Paris you have some stronger roller coasters which will satisfy any older Disney fan like me. The strong rides will even please those who don't like Disneyland that much  *cough cough*. My top rides were by far Space Mountain Mission 2, Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril, and Big Thunder Mountain. And if you're a Star Wars fan you'll be able to find the original Star Tours here! While I may still like Disneyland in Anaheim a lot better, Disneyland Paris is definitely worth checking out and especially if you're a resident because its only 30€ on Billet Francilien until the end of March.

Enjoy the vlog and pictures I took at Disneyland Paris!


I had the great pleasure to visit Budapest this past weekend during my winter break with my friends and let me tell you I was far from disappointed. I'd like to share a couple of the many pictures I took during my trip, to see the rest of the pictures can be found check out my Flickr. I will write a blog post about my trip in the coming week!


Yes, it's been 6 months since I left San Diego to go study in Paris and let me tell you time here has gone by FAST! I can still remember making my appointment with the French Consulate in the summer and packing my bags as if it was only yesterday. Nothing much has changed since the last update but I still decided to record a short video to let you know what's happened since the last update.

One thing I forgot to mention about my upcoming trip is the location! I'll be visiting Budapest which I'm extremely excited about. I'm looking forward to all the fun activities and events that I have in store this upcoming week so be on the look out for new videos and posts.

Thanks for watching and have a great day.

Keep in touch with people back home

As you all may know I am extremely close with my family and friends back home and I still am! I find myself talking to them almost everyday so I keep them updated about what's going on. By talking to them often I also know how everything is back home. It's more than possible to talk to your loved ones almost as much as you do back home and for FREE! Watch the video below to learn the many ways you can talk to your loved ones while you're studying abroad.

Websites/Apps mentioned:
More apps:
  • Voxer
  • WhatsApp
  • Email
  • Instagram

Studying abroad according to...

Sorry for jumping on the bandwagon but when I saw this I knew I had to post it on my blog. I have to say that for the most part it is accurate. Not the relatives part though, I have no idea why that's even in there but whatever.

American vs. French Universities

So after studying in Paris for a semester I've compiled a list of things that I like and dislike about the French university system. Just as you'd expect there's a lot of differences between the two systems but you'd be surprised what things I'm complaining about or maybe not if you're French.

Blog of the Week!

This past week has been a very good week for me, from falling in love with Chairlift's second album Something to eating the best duck I've had in Paris so far at Mirama- my last week before second semester has been nothing but warm and kind to me despite the fact that it is freezing outside. And now I have very exciting news to share!

Not only did my blog reach 10,000 page views this week but it also got named's Blog of the Week! I'm looking forward to help even more students and their parents, informing them about everything they need to know about studying abroad and living abroad. I have a lot of informative posts on the way including a post about registering for classes, thrift shopping in Paris, and a post describing my study abroad program. I also have lots of videos planned out for the next coming months.

Thank you for all your support and thank you once again,

Bon week-end à tous!

Travel tips for study abroad students: Copenhagen

The last city in my little travel series is Copenhagen which is by far my favorite city I got to travel to during this Christmas holiday. The city was clean, trendy, and extremely welcoming. This is a place that I've been recommending a lot to my friends since I have nothing but great things to say about it.

Travel tips for study abroad students: Malmö

We're going to continue this travel tip series with Malmö, Sweden. I know many haven't heard about Malmö but it's Sweden's 3rd biggest city and home to the Turning Torso! Its also a 20 minute train ride across the Øresund Bridge from the Copenhagen Airport. Malmö is also extremely diverse so if you're expecting to see just blonde people you'll be surprised by seeing so many immigrants coming from Turkey, Iraq, and Lebanon.

Travel tips for study abroad students: London

To be completely honest, I didn't like London much. I don't know whether it was because of the lack of time we had to explore the city or the fact that I found it overwhelming to explore. I would highly suggest to anyone to travel to London to spend more than 2 days like I did.

Travel tips for study abroad students: Manchester

As you all may know I definitely took advantage of traveling during my Christmas holidays because unlike many study abroad students, going to class is my #1 priority. I'd rather take a week long trip instead of flying to a new city for the weekend and rushing to do everything. A couple of French people warned me that the places I had chosen to travel to were expensive places, they even claimed to be even more expensive than Paris which kind of scared me a bit. Thankfully I discovered that there are cheap options but you just have to look for them and be flexible. I'm going to share my tips for all the cities I went to this past break and even share the hotel/hostel.

4 AND 5 month update!

Since I was extremely busy with school, holiday shopping, and traveling I've decided to talk about what's been going on these past two months in one video.

As I said in the video, I'm thinking of vlogging everyday for a month! I still don't know which month I will document but comments will be much appreciated. So should it be February, March, or April?

Q&A #1

Last semester tumblr user aminataaa (who's French) asked me a couple of questions regarding how I felt about attending a French university and the French. I thought they were really good questions so instead of answering them on Tumblr I've decided to dedicate entirely to her questions. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to email me or send me questions on Tumblr, I'm looking forward doing more of these posts in order to help current and future study abroad students.

Malmö and Copenhagen

When my brother, my boyfriend, and I booked our trip to Malmö and Copenhagen we got asked "Why Copenhagen?" "What is there to do in Sweden?" over and over by family members and friends. I've been interested in traveling to Sweden since my childhood when I became obsessed with the A-Teens and ABBA so when my brother told me he wanted to go visit Malmö and Copenhagen it only took a second for me to say "YES."