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 Back to SummaryPaolo Casumbal - Student Advisor Profile

photo of Paolo Casumbal

Stanford in Paris, Winter, Spring, & Summer 2009-2010

Internship: Humour Consulting Group
Directed Reading: The Formation of Filipino-French Youth Identity and Culture

MAJOR: International Relations

ACADEMIC INTERESTS : Human rights violations in developing countries, international diplomacy, and the social development of transitional countries

I remember briskly walking through a busy and crowded metro station when I suddenly recognized the beautiful notes of Pachalbel’s Canon coming from around the corner; I stopped and enjoyed the impromptu concert. I remember sitting on the Pont des Arts overlooking the Seine and chatting with friends new and old while looking at the Tour Eiffel glitter in the distance. I remember my first few days in the city walking along in the nippy weather and gazing at the snow-covered cobblestone streets and church steeples. Such is the beauty and wonder that I experienced while living in Paris for eight months.

During my time in Paris, there was nothing better than walking around the city without any particular destination in mind and discovering lively pedestrian streets or happening upon quirky shops along the way. Every day was an adventure! Even after eight months, I still have so many landmarks, so many shops, and so many other things to see and experience. This Parisian vastness is one of the most alluring aspects of the city of lights; the city is just so rich in culture that there were so many instances when I wanted to be in three or four places at the same time to check out this event, go listen to that band, or look through a new exhibit. Paris was simply like a treasure chest with no bottom; events like Paris Plage, La Nuit des Musées, or La Fête de la Musique were always occurring throughout the city all year.

In addition to discovering Paris on my own, I discovered even more with the array of classes and opportunities with the Stanford-in-Paris program. My class schedules during Winter and Spring quarters were a mix of interesting International Relations-related courses tackling topics like Globalization and the formation of the European Union, French language courses, and courses new to me like French Painting from the 19th Century. These courses thoroughly piqued my academic interests; I was learning about contemporary issues and topics in International Relations, Political Science, and Economics from a fresh French perspective and I was taking art history for the very first time and seeing the very works we discussed before my eyes at the Louvre or at the Musée d’Orsay.

While taking these classes, I also seized opportunities offered by Stanford-in-Paris to do an Independent Study and Arranged Internship. Driven by my curiosity and family heritage, I performed an informal sociological study on the culture and social identity of Filipino-French youth. This was admittedly a very specific topic but the Stanford-in-Paris program still found a Professor that could mentor me through my study. I learned a lot from my study by getting an intimate glimpse into this growing population of minorities in Paris. I also gained a great deal professionally and culturally with my arranged internship working for a small local consulting firm called Humour Consulting Group. My role at the firm was quite involved because I was the project leader for launching HCG’s new marketing campaign for the American market with a new English language website. Since the firm was small, I worked in an intimate hands-on environment without any bureaucracy; I wasn’t an intern filing papers or delivering mail, I was an intern directly involved in the formation and strategic planning of a marketing campaign for our consulting services.

My eight-month stay in Paris was incredibly gratifying and memorable! Everything from gazing at the surrounding panorama from the steps of the Sacre-Coeur to buying a freshly baked baguette for less than a euro added to my immersion into this foreign culture and distinctly Parisian rhythm of life. Whenever I recall my experiences abroad, I am overcome with nostalgia for my days living in the 14th arrondisement and I remember just how much I loved it there. I will definitely be making my back to Paris some time in the near future, guaranteed!


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