15 Ways You Know a Girl Studied Abroad in Paris

You would probably never guess this since we never ever talk about Paris or French people on Man Repeller, but believe it or not, a lot of us lived in Paris at some point in our lives. Since today is the fourteenth day of July (Bastille Day!), here are fifteen (plus one for luck, like a birthday candle!) ways you know a girl absolument studied abroad in Paris:

1. She is très excité about it being Bastille Day and wants you to know it. (And because she’s not actually French, she doesn’t realize that “très exité” is more often used to express sexual arousal.)

2. She tweeted something about drinking wine today before 11am.


3. She once had a blog called some variation of “A [blank] in Paris,” where the number of posts were directly proportionate to her level of loneliness. Her mom read every word.

4. She has at least one Facebook profile picture where she’s sitting at a café holding a cup of espresso and/or a wine glass. She also has one from that bar made of ice in that other country. Oh, and a narrow stairwell picture.

5. For approximately 120 days, her Instagrams consisted solely of pastries and monuments.

6. She assumes everyone understands that “J.Y.A.” stands for “junior year abroad” and uses the word “bizzare” too often.

7. She has zero French friends, but it’s not her fault. She tried. And by “trying” she means living with — and never separating from — three American girls. (Her host brother/sister doesn’t count.)

8. She “went to Paris Fashion Week once,” which means she happened to be walking through the Tuileries and spotted Bill Cunningham.

9. She only wears black now and sees this wardrobe shift as an indication of emotional and intellectual maturity.

10. She gained ten pounds and has no regrets.

11. There’s a picture of her somewhere on the Internet at Oktoberfest making out with a guy from your high school who used to be ugly but now looks really good in lederhosen.

12. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway makes her cry.

13. Upon returning to the United States, she immediately went to Chipotle and Instagrammed a picture of a burrito, which she of course missed so much even though she never ate there before she left.

14. She sends everyone her novel-length Paris recommendations/itinerary even if they didn’t ask for it.

15. She wrote a post called “15 Ways You Know a Girl Studied Abroad in Paris.”

(Now add yours…)

— Emilia Petrarca

Image on the left, courtesy of Elle Russia, Image on the right courtesy of the Louis Vuitton 2012 Cruise Collection catalogue, shot by Mark Segal.


  • Hahhahaha this post was brilliant, Emilia! I don’t plan on studying abroad in Paris (I’m thinking more Berlin or Copenhagen), but I do know several people who have studied abroad in the City of Light, and boy have you just embodied them in this post.

    • Charlotte Fassler


      • Just traveled to Berlin a couple of weeks ago. In love. So stylish, so diverse, so industrial, and I love the sound of the German language. A lot of people don’t, but there’s a preciseness to it that is satisfying.

        Not to rain on this holiday or anything, but Paris just felt kinda sleepy to me. I’m all about the Northern European cities.

        • Mad love for Berlin. I’d move to that Deutsch-filled, artsy, cutting edge, wildly affordable, rebellious and unconventional centre in a heartbeat. Copenhagen–while clean, cute and manageable–has the capacity to lead one into financial ruin. E.g.: $5-6 for a ristretto or latte? Case closed. *drops the mic*

          • Hhahaha yes! Copenhagen was SO expensive. I’m not sure how people do it…I’m willing to try though because loved it so much. Berlin prices on the other hand…those were good.

          • Jenny

            Scandinavia is always a bank account killer. It scares people away, which is too bad. Such a gem. I’m from Sweden so when I was working there the minimum wage was $15 (and $21 if you worked after 7 pm…) which explains the high cost of living. Still hard to resist.

  • Leandra Medine

    Hit the nail on the head 15/15 times. (my blog was called 4 months in Paris)

  • Julia

    Okay I mean yeah….but lets face it. Everyone comes back from abroad and goes to Chipotle. Lets get a grip. Ritos for life.

    • Laurent90

      Chipotle did open in Paris, they knew about it, and made it much easier for all the people coming from abroad 😉

  • Amelia Diamond

    16. She resents anyone who visits Paris after her and feels anxiety when viewing photos of them because “they’re doing it wrong.” (Aka, post-study-abroad-panic-syndrome which I still suffer from 100 years later)

    • Leandra Medine

      17. Amelia you did not study abroad in Paris


        (jk amelia, love ya.)

        • Amelia Diamond


          • sorry! it was between that and a joke about paris hilton’s sex tape. i thought the mean girls reference was better. if someone would effing take me to paris i would have something better to add.

      • Amelia Diamond

        18. I studied in Nice and visited your sweaty ass in Paris so that counts!

    • I know this feeling, although it doesn’t have to do when studying abroad for me. But you hit the nail on the head with that particular feeling.

    • Haha. Yes to this.

  • Lol as someone who just got back from vacationing in Paris this post is spot on! If I studied abroad in Paris I’m pretty sure the majority of my sentences would start with ‘this one time when I was studying abroad in Paris….’ Everyone would find me obnoxious but I wouldn’t care because well, I got to study abroad is Pari!

  • Riley O’Donnell

    17. Baguettes “just don’t taste the same” to her after she ate them with friends at the local café because they were the perfect accessory to her cup of expresso for a Parisian Instagram post.

    • Emilia Petrarca

      Baguettes ARE the perfect accessory!

  • 18. She no longer tries to order a pain au chocolat in America. It’s just not the same.
    19. She now calls the NY subway the metro despite getting funny looks from her friends.
    20. She inevitably went to “the place where they serve unlimited wine in baby bottles.” And you bet she Instagrammed it.
    21. She doesn’t think walking through a cemetery is creepy (well, only if it’s Cimetière du Montparnasse).


    • Charlotte Fassler

      Ugh I definitely did the metro thing…

    • Yes to number 18. Till this day I snub non-French in France fake looking wanna be boulangeries. Boy do I miss a real fresh baguette. *le sigh*

  • Rachel Thompson

    22. You listen to Serge Gainsbourg all the time and it makes you look super hip and European.
    23. You own a beret and you don’t wear it ironically.

  • GapToothedGirl

    LOL!! Great post…I need to be a parisian soon!

    XOX, Gap.


  • Elise

    Thing is, there’s actually a hipotle in Paris.

    • Elise

      I meant Chipotle.

  • andrea raymer

    If you substitute London for paris this very accurately describes my life. I have to hesitate when speaking now because I don’t want to annoy people even more with my study abroad stories. Its a hard life.

  • This is the most accurate thing of all times.

  • Guest

    This is actually so hilariously and embarrassingly relevant. I didn’t even study in Paris… just spent a couple of weeks at an apartment as a tourist/wannabe local. Even with that, I had/have a list of recommendations for anyone going to Paris… or even France for that matter.

    24. All of her Instagram posts are geotagged

  • Bubble Child

    …I live in Paris now and was absolutely that girl a few years ago after having returned twice from studying abroad in Paris… twice. Happy Bastille Day, New York.

  • Bubble Child

    and my blog was called “Mornings in Paris”. Très original.

    • Emilia Petrarca

      Mine abroad blog domain name is just about to expire. THANK GOD.

      • Kandeel

        link us to it we need to know!

  • Victoria

    This is actually so hilariously and embarrassingly relevant. I didn’t even study in Paris… just spent a couple of weeks at an apartment as a tourist/wannabe local. Even with that, I had/have a list of recommendations for anyone going to Paris… or even France for that matter.

    24. All of her Instagram posts are geotagged

  • I’m guilty of number 2 ! Yes, wine before 11am was totally normal for me. How else did I survive Ecole des Beaux Arts ? lol.


  • Very interesting post. Well if you were like me and had a french boyfriend without even living in France, it stays for your whole life as the biggest success you can brag about (being absolutely sarcastic here though) 🙂


  • Lindsay McCallum

    She makes sure to slip in a comment about having lived in Paris every chance she gets. Just in case anyone missed it.

  • kaytmo

    25. Always carries un tire-bouchon (corkscrew) in her purse in preparation for spontaneous picnics of wine, cheese and baguette on Pont Neuf with friends.

  • Lisa

    going to paris in September – haha. looking forward to take a classy coffee-photo and post it on instagram!

    • Amy

      Ahaha, same! Surely it’s the only reason to go, non?

  • Hilarious! Thanks for a great article!!




  • EmmaM147

    Such a great post!

    Emma x


  • Alexandra

    35. She pronounces words like “crème fraîche” and “croissant” that have French origins but are ubiquitous in English the French way with the R’s, claiming that “but thats just how you are supposed to say it!”

  • Every single time someone even mentions the word croissants, she rambles on about the real french croissant she had in a tiny hipster cafe in Paris that no one has ever heard.

    I mean it’s not like every cafe in Paris is like that….Psh!

    Much Love, AnnCates xx

  • Lucile BEAURAIN

    Haha! I’m French, and your post is really funny! I’ve seen many tourists doing these things, so I couldn’t agree more! PS: we never say Bastille day but only “fête nationale” (national day) . Merci pour cet article mes petites poulettes 😉

  • Sarah Rose

    So funny! I lived there too and we can’t forget the bicycle riding selfies. Oh, and too bad she waited to get home because there is definitely Chipotle in Paris.

    • Last week in Paris I saw Kentucky Fried Chicken ads in the metro reading “Bucket de KFC, Partagez! Vouz allez adorer.” Almost as entertaining as the gilded Abercrombie and Fitch on Champs-Élysées.

      • tflacke

        and i thought i was the only one who noticed those!!! haha

  • lavieenliz

    so good!! all this is so true


  • FunFunFun

    SO TRUE. Emilia, spot on. As usual.

  • Berkanovitch

    You know it’s exactly the same, when a French girl goes to New York. (An I know what I’m talking about. I’m French ;))

  • Lauren

    This just made me so much more excited for my upcoming JYA abroad in Paris

  • This makes me so much more excited to spend my JYA abroad in Paris

  • streats

    I usually cringe whenever I see anything about Paris because it’s usually so cliché and not true at all, but this is actually at least 50% relateable. I lived in Paris for 4 years and can definitely attest to number 3, 7 and 14. Although most of these I can’t relate to because a) I’m not American and b) I lived in Paris before Instagram. I actually did go to Fashion Week a few times by blagging my way into shows, back before fashion bloggers were even really a thing and certainly before they got to sit in front row. I think back to then and think where I could be now had I stuck to it! But definitely number 3 hits the nail on the head. There’s a great quote by Alicia Drake: “A foreigner in Paris, especially in those early years, is always oscillating between a kind of ecstasy and infinite despair”

  • bekindbekindbekind

    “pardon! pardon!” instead of excuse me.

    • pamb

      Also, ending sentences with “…no?”

  • mageeski

    Truth. If you can’t be one of them giggle at the stuff they do!

    Magee / Mageeski.blogspot.com

  • Emilia Petrarca

    Oh mon Dieu…

  • Jen

    She never ever EVER went sightseeing. She ‘wandered’ and ‘soaked up the atmosphere’.

  • Kate

    Yeah, right…but what has Oktoberfest to do with Paris? Isn’t this more a German / Bavarian thing? Or do girls who have studied in Paris not really make a difference between France, Italy, Spain, Germany and all those other European countries?

    • pamb

      Because when you study abroad you visit other countries (because it’s all so close) , and if you’re in Europe in October, you might as well go to Germany…

  • anullita

    She has updated her facebook status to “studied at – enter french university here -“, even though she attended that university only for three months while doing erasmus. Meanwhile, the actual university she attended is nowhere to be seen.

  • Cristina Feather

    This has nothing to do with the French, but you just reminded me of this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2cMG33mWVY

  • GiuliaG

    This post is awesome! I’ve lived in Paris when I was a teenager and though it’s been four years since I left I still got my parisiennehumblebrag going… Still lecturing people about how the best macarons are not Ladurée but Pierre Hermé, still casually mentioning me and Carla Bruni went to the same high school (not simoultaneously though)

  • Elle

    came home smoking cigarettes
    can’t speak french but exclaims, congratulates and swears in french
    is extremely judgmental of what americans think a good croissant and macaron is
    can now get anywhere by public transit
    loves champagne and desperado reds
    spending longer than an hour for lunch
    found every mexican restaurant in paris: el nopal, another place in montmarte
    staked out the two windmills cafe from Amelie
    inexplicably loves edith piaf, serge gainsbourg and francois hardy
    pretends to have an opinion of french politics, Sarkozy vs. Hollande (also loves carla bruni)
    Is apalled that the US’ art museums are not more accessible
    understands gypsies are a real thing, not a disney character

  • Autumn

    You now pronounce ‘croissant’ like ‘krwahsahn’ and complain how you can’t find a good one anywhere in the US (the latter I still do every once in a purple moon).

  • Margaret

    26. Cries/sobs uncontrollably at the opening sequence of Midnight in Paris, and/or comments on any scene in any movie set in Paris “oh, that is just around the corner from ….”

  • bong
  • Taylor Aube

    100 euros is 100 dollars, right? No, unfortunately not. Now let’s go shopping!

    I studied abroad in Paris. And I would make mistakes all the time. Trust me, there are many ways you can accidentally say you are horny in French. #15 though…. Here’s my 10 signs you lived in Paris: http://stopdropandvogue.com/post/81082412289

  • Andres Poiche
  • Saakshi Kaushik

    My blog was called “très excité in Paris”!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Courtney Taylor


  • Susannah

    This is so fucking accurate that it made me ashamed of my post Paris abroad semester self.

  • Camille

    I can only relate to #10. #noregrets

  • everythingpolice

    There’s a few Chipotles in Paris now

  • What if you just want to look like the girl on the right? Taking picture to my hairdresser ASAP.

  • As two Americans who both studied abroad in Paris, we must say…you killed it.

  • Aslı Durak

    Butttttt there’s actually a Chipotle now! And when there wasn’t a Chipotle Instagram hadn’t blown up yet. Plus we were all using little flip phones from Orange hahaha

  • Alexa

    A response (in equally-proportioned list form) on my own blog:


  • Ally Oberrotman

    *******through Tuileries not through *the* Tuileries, darling

  • 16. knows what “arrondissement” stand for
    17. have in her closet a very kitchy bag that she “found in a little shop in Paris”, shop which was actually made for american students, and that no french girl would even consider entering.

  • Lauren Bennett

    This is brilliant. I didn’t study there, I worked there but all of the same applies. I’m from the UK but had some friends from California who just talked about Chipotle and In n Out the whole time!!

  • Júlia Webber

    That’s me! Almost all of them

  • love this!! im visiting paris soon and would love to see some novel-length reccomendations haha!
    x anna messystreet.com

  • Sarah

    When I went to Italy my mom mailed me a very expensive box filled with Cheetos , brownie mix , twizzlers .. , and Italian text books .

  • This post was a little mean but unfortunately, sadly, a little true. Reminds me how I am in Indian lawyer in London and only seem to know other Indian…lawyers. Yeah, we are that adventurous.


  • Barbara Lannert

    2 years late, but commenting anyways because I’ve realized I was the girl studying in Paris. Now however, you have a finsta instead of a blog bc my generation doesn’t do writing- we do pictures and captions.