Life, Paris
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Two weeks today


So it’s two weeks today that I leave England and venture off on my gap year adventure in Paris. Even though it is so soon, for some reason my head still hasn’t got around to the reality of it all. It almost feels as if I am in a dream. I guess it will be once I am physically leaving and on a plane when the reality of it will hit me. Over the last year I have become quite well acquainted with Paris, having been there on my first holiday to Paris with my family to two different Art History trips with the University. Each time was different and unique, offering new views and experiences of the city. However, this time I won’t be going as a guest, but as a resident.

As an Au Pair for the year, I will be fully submerged in the French/Parisian culture. Not only will I become a member of my host family for the year, but I will be attending a language school every week to improve my French (which is currently much needed!). I’m super excited about going, but at the same time I am extremely nervous. What if I’m lonely? I’ll no doubt miss my family, boyfriend and friends. What happens if I don’t enjoy myself? All the worries that I have been experiencing are totally normal, and I guess that’s the excitement of this adventure – that you just don’t know what will happen. I guess my main excitement is that this is the first time that I am having a break from Academia, and get to ‘find’ myself. Such a cliché, but it will nice to have some down time to learn new skills and meet new people. One of my main worries is also that I will end up becoming emotionally (and perhaps, figuratively speaking, physically) attached to a quaint patisserie near me and end up turning into a Croissant or Macaroon from my endless consumption of all things sweet! Hopefully that won’t happen though… Whilst I am over there I hope to join a tennis club, and begin to take my yoga and running more seriously.

Another reason why the reality has delayed hitting me yet is because I have so much to do before hand! Because I am applying for Masters whilst in Paris, I need to make sure I have all the required forms, photocopied documents etc. And then there’s the packing! Don’t get me started on that… a whole different can of worms.

What I can say with certainty that this is my truly only option to do something for me, to have a break, both mentally and physically before entering into the big wide world. Just the thought of this time next year being fluent in French, and hopefully making new friends for life, delights me. But for now, I must get organised, focus on the present and get prepared!


This entry was posted in: Life, Paris


Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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