Back to SummaryChloe Bade - Student Advisor Profile
MINOR: Film and Media Studies
ACADEMIC INTERESTS : Social Psychology and Media Representation
Growing up in Texas, French seemed like such an impractical language. Having placed out of my language requirement at Stanford with Spanish, I had not thought much about any other programs. However, each quarter I was exposed to Parisian culture through a unique class and quickly became enamored. With only three quarters of French before I went abroad, I jumped into the French language anxious to discover a new world of which I would become a part.
When my time to leave for France finally came, the reality of its timing splitting
up my year became quite stressful. All of the logistics and moving was hard to bear, knowing I would do it again in a short three months. However, after walking off the plane in Charles de Gaulle (and after a jet-lagged nap), the entire minutia drifted away to the ever more important being in the moment within the city.
Never had I been to a place that combined an international bustle with a small-town quaintness. Upon meeting my classmates, we decided to be oh-so-stereotypical and seek out a café. I dedicated the entire quarter to finding a café that I could call my own.
Without any courses in my major or minor offered, I was able to fully open my academic interests up to what I found interesting as opposed to what I should take. The most incredible of these courses was the Art History class that not only discussed French 19th century artists, but also brought us straight to the actual work, housed in the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay, just to name a couple. I also had
the honor of taking a class with the visiting professor, who brought his expertise to France and put a unique spin on Constitutional processes. Beyond serving as professors in a classroom, these leaders were mentors throughout my stay in Paris. The most unique of these experiences was spending an evening at a dinner party with my classmates and the visiting professor’s peers as we delved into the usually forbidden topic of politics.
I became much more interested in following American politics, specifically as reported on by le Monde and other foreign newspapers. As the primaries got more heated, I grew an increasing awareness of the importance of my own voting decisions on the outcome of international policies. My status as an American voter did not disgust the French as so commonly portrayed back home, but rather fascinated them. Many dinners with my host family lasted through the night as we discussed the nuances of vocabulary that differentiated American and French journalism.
As intellectual as I was becoming, I was also having far more fun than I had during any quarter at Stanford (yes, even more fun than Spring quarters). Mrs.
Bing had given all of us guidebooks, which I unabashedly dug through to highlight and make notes of the places I would have to explore before my quarter was up. The 18 members abroad were all so different yet so warm and welcoming; I always had a new companion on my missions. We tracked down the Statue of Liberty (mostly for the sake of taking pictures that would confuse those back home) and traveled out to the zoo on the edge of town.
While abroad, I did not allow Paris’s border to dictate my experience. I traveled to Bordeaux with a wine tasting friend and to the fortressed city of Carcassonne with the Bing trip. Paris’s central location allowed me to see an entire continent about which I had only dreamed. Each time my trip ended and the sadness of a
great weekend being over began to creep in, my return home to my flat near the Arc d’Triomphe reminded me that I was grateful enough to be studying in the best place of all those that I had visited.
There are many tangible things about Paris that allow me to explain why my time abroad was so incredible, but the moments that truly defined my experience were those day dreaming afternoons where a French visitor to the city would mistaken me for their local countrywoman and ask me for directions. Being accepted into such a grand city was an experience that trumps all others through my college career.