Mwengwe Mpekansambo - Stanford in Paris
Minor: Creative Writing
College year while abroad: Junior
About the photo: I had arrange to meet with some french students I befriended at the Eiffel tower. We popped into a restaurant for a quick lunch.
Questions and Answers with Mwengwe
Why did you choose to study abroad in Paris?
I wanted a change of surrounding where I could test my language schools, and explore another culture.
What were your expectations before you went and how did those change once you arrived in Paris?
I expected it to be challenging in allow me the opportunity to look deeper into myself and my aspirations and it delivered on all fronts.
What were some of the academic benefits from studying abroad in Paris?
I got to take classes i wouldn't normally take on campus, as well as use my curiosity to learn more about the culture, and history.
What did you learn about yourself while you were studying abroad?
I learned that I am very capable of finding my space in unfamiliar spaces, and I easily adapt to places. Also that I don't always need my immediate friends to create a worthwhile experience for myself.
What was the most challenging experience you encountered while you were abroad and what did you learn from it?
Navigating the unspoken norms in public settings was the most challenging of all. I learned how blend into french society, such that someone could walk up to me and crack a few jokes as well.
What was the biggest cultural adjustment you had to make?
Speaking the language.
What was your favorite part of your everyday life in Paris?
I bought crepes on my way home from the same shop religiously.
What was the most memorable experience you had while you were in Paris?
I attended a dinner party hosted by my host family. It was filled with writers, lawyers and doctors who came from different parts of the francophone world.
What 5 words would you use to describe your experience?
Enlightening, dynamic, hilarious, uprooting, powerful
What was your favorite food you had in Paris?
Mont d'or cheese with some bread for dinner.
What was the most valuable item you took with you on the program?
What was your favorite music/band that you discovered in Paris?
French pop - Aya Nakamura.