A Pointe of Paris

Coming from the New York Metropolitan area, dance has always been a big part of my daily routine.  When I was preparing to spend the semester abroad, I went searching for dance studios that were available in Paris, as that is where my academic program was taking place.  I figured that I would maintain my level of training by attending some ballet – or, “classique” – and street jazz classes, but I had no idea that I would experience as much as I did.  So, I packed my Pointe shoes and set off for the city of lights, where this little journey made a great impact on my dance experience.

I got to Paris in the summer and went exploring the different areas.  In my first few days, I ran across a couple of “poppers” (i.e. dancers who study Popping, an umbrella form of Hip Hop), and I had a great interaction with them.  We communicated back-and-forth and got to share our training; I shared with them the classic New York style, and they gave me a taste of the European flare.

This isn’t exactly atypical—I ran into many dancers on the streets of Paris.  The most common places to find dancers are in the commonly explored parts of the right bank.   The next time I would have a similar encounter is on the night of La Nuit Blanche.

outing (1)

This night, my friends and I were returning home after exploring the Paris in party-mode (La Nuit Blanche).  Once we crossed the river and found ourselves back at St. Michel, I heard some ‘90s music blasting from some IPod speakers and caught up with another crew.  Before I knew it, I ended up in a freestyle battle –i.e. Popping and Bboy—and I finally felt at home with some of the dance scene.  To get to share that experience with some of those dancers was amazing (and they could tell, immediately, that I was from New York). From then I found an invitation to Le Cent-Quatre, where there was a spot to train.  I would highly recommend seeing this community spot –it’s incredible!

On the other side of things, I kept up my training with my classical styles—I was in Paris, the birthplace of ballet, after all.  Forget crepes, this city specializes in Pointe shoes and Tutus.

From the Breakers on the street to the classes around the city, there is not one corner of Paris that is absent of dance.  The art form is present in every area and every cultural event.  The city, itself, is alive with dancers… et c’est fantastique!

And for this, and more, I really do miss this city.

-Jayme Schlesinger

Finding Your Passion Abroad

A year ago today, I was firmly entrenched in my lawn chair, basking in the Australian sun, with no regard for the daily necessities of human life. Having embarked on a my journey abroad, I was less than thrilled at the prospect of having to work two days a week during my excursion.  But, in retrospect, as a self-evaluated, more mature individual, I had been quite ignorant to the fact that this working experience would be one of the more fruitful endeavors of my young life. Continue reading

Foods from Around the World (Part 1)

We asked a couple of return students to come up with one of their favorite meals from their time abroad and why did they chose it. We got a few responses and below are some of the submissions!

  1. Amanda Ogen: Fall 2013, University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK

    ogen foodie
    This delicious meal is the classic steak and fries, or in French,  le steak-frites. When I first arrived to Paris for a weekend getaway, my friend took me to a restaurant called Taverne Karlsbrau. This meal can come out looking different at each restaurant, but it is a common and always yummy option on menus in Paris.Why I had a good experience: First of all, wine is basically cheaper than water at restaurants in Paris. As you see in this picture, my friend and I helped ourselves to some wine, or in French, du vin. The menu was in French, but I loved practicing my French knowledge when I ordered!” Continue reading

How to Go Abroad Again: Fulbright Fellowship

While studying at Rutgers for my Bachelors degree, I participated in the RU study abroad program in Valencia, Spain for one semester.  It was an amazing experience.  Even though it sounds cliché, I really did learn a lot about the country and people, as well as myself.  I was able to travel to places and countries I never thought I’d be able to see, such as la Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and the Colosseum in Rome.  I became friends with a whole group of people who have similar interests and still keep in touch with them to this day.  My only regret during my time abroad was that I stayed for just one semester, instead of the full academic year.
Continue reading

Breaking Down Dodgy British Slang

One of my favorite parts of living in England during my semester abroad was comparing American slang with British terminology. Every day my flatmates would laugh at the things I said and I would be stunned by the words they used. The most common expression I heard that we as Americans never say is “I can’t be bothered” or “I can’t be asked.” This line comes off sounding rude to any American, but this expression is so common in England that they even have a text abbreviation for it! Brits will text “CBA” when they tell their friends that they are not interested in doing something. At first I thought that the people who said this must think they are superior to others and too good to do favors, but overtime I came to accept the phrase. While that was the only actual expression that I heard that shocked me, I learned about an endless list of words that my British flatmates and I use differently. Continue reading

6 Reasons to Take Art History in Paris this Summer

Art in Paris: Spaces, Places, and Pictures –  Rutgers Center for Global Education

My name is Grace and I went to Paris, France in the summer of 2013 for this art history course as a rising senior. Whether you are just beginning to consider studying abroad or already settled on this course, here are six useful points to provide you insight into the program, the city, and studying abroad.

1.  The majority of the amazing tourist locations you would want to visit are actually built into class time or class assignments.

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Outside of the Musée d’Orsay.

Including:

  • Excursions  to Notre-Dame, Versailles, The Opera House, Galeries Lafayette, Louvre, Giverny (the estate of Claude Monet), Seine boat tour
  • No classroom. Learning is on-site—your schedule each day is different, depending on where you will go
  • You receive your own professional, English-speaking curator (you don’t need to know a single thing about art history before coming on this trip!)
  • You learn how to get there and the logistics of entrance if you want to return to a specific place; you also get an inside look and perks that normal visitors don’t always get, all while skipping the lines! Continue reading

Putting A Cork In Your Fear: Embracing The Irish Culture

I’m a Jersey boy, born and raised. I spend my summers down the shore. I eat taylor ham like it’s my job. You don’t like the New Jersey rock scene? You’re dead to me. Needless to say, I’m very comfortable in my home state of New Jersey, which is why going to Ireland was terrifying to me.

I always wanted to go to Ireland, a dream that I’ve had ever since I was a little boy. However, after I was accepted into the study abroad program and booked my ticket, fear began to sink in. I’ve never spent more then a week out of my home state, let alone the United States. How could I possibly survive? Would I be the American stereotype? Would they see me as a typical fat American who believes that democracy only exists in North America? Continue reading