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Students spend spring break in Paris

“The first thing that strikes a visitor to Paris is a taxi,” said comedian Fred Allen.

Thankfully the eight Lipscomb students who spent spring break in France as part of the course “Paris as Classroom” have far happier memories of their times spent at The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Arch de Triumph, and other famous attractions in Paris.

Professor Cliff Tierney led this group from Sunday, March 14, to Monday, March 22 as they traveled from Nashville, Tenn. to Paris, France, where they stayed in Mary’s Hotel outside the tourist-oriented area of Paris.

The students were there specifically to study art, but also learned much more about Paris.

A metro stop near the Palais Royale Museé du Louvre.

Every day in Paris, the students had a scheduled time to go somewhere as a class, such as a museum or park, and then free time to experience the city on their own.

Joe Ernst, a sophomore studio art major from Stratford, Conn., had never been out of the country before, but embraced the culture, lifestyle and food of the city.

Ernst said Paris felt very different than the U.S., but in a way he couldn’t quite explain.

“The experience as a whole was eye-opening for me as it was my first time being immersed in a non-American culture and learning how to navigate a non-English speaking city,” Ernst said.

Katie Dillard, a junior art major from Hyattsville, Md., also encountered several differences between the U.S. culture and that of Paris.

“The way of life was very different [in Paris],” Dillard said. “It’s a fast paced city that you have to slow down to enjoy. Everyone seemed to be smoking but their lifestyle is much healthier than Americans’.”

Dillard had multiple run-ins with the same group of gypsies trying to exploit tourists. Dillard, a German minor, said she finally had to “break out the German” to get them to leave her alone.

“You really had to be on your guard the whole time,” Dillard said. “Our group witnessed multiple traffic accidents. Safety and cleanliness seem not to be main concerns of the Parisians, nor does religion.

“Politics, smoking and graffiti, however, are very popular.”

The older buildings of historical value in Paris are untouched by the graffiti. Paris is a city that was mostly unharmed during the war, so the Parisians are very proud of their well-preserved city.

Alana Thomas, a sophomore studio art major from Nashville, Tenn., like Dillard and Ernst, couldn’t fully express her love for the city, the culture, the art, and the food.

“Something about Paris brings out this artistic side of you like no other city can,” said Thomas.