Sophomore Sarah Urdahl spent her summer studying the French language in Paris with the Duke in Paris program. During her time abroad, she stayed with a host family and was able to experience many parts of French culture. Check out her blog post about the trip below.
Hey Duke Field Hockey fans!
Who knew I could achieve two of my dreams in one year? The first: playing for the Duke field hockey team alongside some of the greatest athletes in the nation. The second: living in Paris and studying the French language. I’ve spent six weeks in Paris this past summer and I’m already plotting a way back to the City of Lights. Paris has this amazing beauty that is so enchanting that everything seems bigger and brighter while you’re there. Everywhere I turned I saw grand avenues leading to historical monuments. I learned the language from the people in the streets and from my host family for whom I couldn’t be more thankful. By the end of the trip, my host sister Blanche and I were recording songs together, singing and laughing all at the same time.
The two French classes I took with the Duke in Paris program taught me how to perceive French culture in a new way, especially now that I was immersed in it. I finally got the chance to walk the streets of Paris and feel like a true Parisian. The only people I couldn’t seem to fool were the British workers at Starbucks. Ordering a mocha with a French accent isn’t as easy as you’d think sadly.
Most athletes don’t get the chance to study abroad because of our year-in, year-out dedication to our sports. I got the chance of a lifetime and I’m going to count the days until I can watch the sunset again from the top of the Eiffel Tower.