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Living in Paris
김수연 불어불문학과 3학년  |  tribune1968@cnumedia.com
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승인 2018.05.11  16:39:56
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn

▲ Kim Su-youn with her friends

    Last semester, I studied at Paris Diderot University, also known as Paris 7, in France, as an exchange student from CNU. Before going to Paris through the exchange student program, I had visited France to take a French language training program for a semester so as to enhance my French language skills. At that time, I stayed in a small city, Angers, located about two hours away by train from Paris. When I was in Angers, I had a homestay with an extended French family. I learned how the real French people live including their table manners. On the other hand, in Paris, I stayed in a dormitory in Paris’s 15th arrondissement (district in French) for six months alone.

Off-campus Dormitories
    Even though the name, ‘Dormitory’ is not different, the ‘system’ of the dormitory has a lot of differences. First, the student dormitories are not located inside the campus. In France, the colleges of the universities are not clustered, unlike Korea or the United States. The campuses are usually scattered among the districts of the city. Fortunately, I was assigned to the dormitory in the 15th district where the rich people live and Korean commercial shops are concentrated. It is a very safe district even late at night. There was a metro station right next to the dormitory. In addition, the building of my dormitory was built recently so it was much more modern and cleaner than the other dormitories.
    Second, the French dormitory is an apartment consisted of lots of studios. Dormitories in Korea are composed by rooms for at least two people, a cafeteria, and sometimes a shared bathroom. However, a French dormitory room is a studio equipped with everything that we need to live our daily lives. It means a room contains a small kitchen, a bathroom, and a small terrace. I really liked my studio, but the thing I did not like was the laundry room. Likewise, laundry machines are public use but it was much more expensive than Korean ones. I had to pay four euros (almost 5,200 won) for just one use.

▲ Photos of students living in the domitory on the wall

Great Places to Make New Friends
    Last, between people in the same neighborhood, we greeted each other often. Usually, we do not say “Hello” to the neighbors in Korean dorms. However, in France, whenever I met someone anywhere in the dormitory, we greeted each other. For example, when I took the elevator and met a foreigner or a native student, we said “Bonjour!” with a smile. In addition, if we got close with someone whom we saw several times, we had a “soirée” which is a house party in someone’s room.
    The best advantage from my dormitory for foreign students was that there were many chances to meet new friends in the dormitory at the boardroom on the first floor. We had a greeting party at the beginning of the semester. We also had “Galettes des rois” which is the day we ate galettes and played some games.

By Kim Su-youn, Junior, Dept. of French Language and Literature

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