Inez Dufresne ’21, a student at Grinnell College, came to Paris with Hamilton in France during the fall semester of 2019. Here, she tells us about her discoveries in the Parisian streets, the activities she was able to join as a student, and dreams of chocolate.

[Photos courtesy of Inez Dufresne]

I walked everywhere in Paris. I loved it because it allowed me to see the city and have a sense of direction that I wouldn’t get if I just took the Metro. The cafes, restaurants, shops, art galleries and more that I stumbled upon or deliberately went to allowed me to explore different arrondissements and feel more comfortable being alone in a big city. Some of my favorites were Cafe Culturel Pouya, Fringe Cafe, and the Grande Mosquee. I would spend time in small parks, Le Jardin de Plantes and the Coulée verte René-Dumont near my apartment to find respite away from the bustling city.

Art installations at the Jardin des Plantes

I knew that in Paris I wanted to take advantage of different opportunities the city could offer me. The Salon du Chocolat that was happening at the beginning of November called my attention months before my arrival in Paris and so once there I asked a friend to go with me. There were chocolate vendors from all over the world. We just walked from stand to stand getting samples. My dreams came true with all that chocolate.

I joined a University girls soccer team and although only attending practice once a week, I felt welcomed by the other players and enjoyed seeing this side of student life. I also joined a dance class that I attended at the Centre de Danse du Marais with a couple other students from the Hamilton in France program. These activities helped me become more comfortable in different realms of french daily life and reinforced my confidence with language and french culture. They made me happy and helped me form a routine.

Inez Dufresne

Notre-Dame de Paris