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Being an expat in Paris has its advantages, and well, also its disadvantages…just like any other place you find yourself in far away from home. While strolling through museums, drinking coffee on a terrace, or picnicking on the Champs de Mars is all great fun, there are times when as a foreigner in Paris, you feel like you just don’t fit in.
Going on two years in Paris now, I can’t help but sometimes feel a bit homesick for, well, my own people! Whether you are looking to meet new friends from your place of origin, networking, or just a moment to indulge in some good ol’ fashioned nostalgia, seeking out the folks from your alma mater might be the way to go!!
I joined the Columbia Alumni Club of France not too long after arriving in Paris. Much to my delight, the club had a slew of activities lined up through which I was able to join an entirely new (and what I found to be a very large) community of Americans living and working in Paris. Club events range anywhere from happy hours to museum visits, lectures, Thanksgiving dinners, and more!
Getting together with other Americans from time to time is refreshing, and oftentimes, I have found that that we all run into similar problems and issues when it comes to living in France. Listening to how they deal with the various obstacles of expat life is inspiring and comforting.
The diversity of careers and passions of the members of the Columbia Alumni Club of France make going to events always worth while as I always come out learning something new, and meeting someone new! After two years of attending various events, I have recently invested myself more by becoming a board member. (That is how much I like it!)
So really, don’t be shy!! Whether you are thinking about moving to France, are already settled in France, or are looking for new friends or professional contacts in France, seeking out the alumni club/network of your respective university can really be a great resource and opportunity to get all your questions answered!!
Should you be a Columbia alumnus, check our club website here: http://alumniclubs.columbia.edu or join us on Facebook.