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Expat Stories

My Life In Paris: Adapting to The Unknown

I’m Alba, a Spanish expat in Paris! Less than one year ago I finished my studies and I wanted to start my professional adventure. In this article, I share with you some hints on how it is to live in this French city as well as my personal experience.

Nine months ago, I arrived in this city with a heavy suitcase, a bit of uncertainty and above all, the big desire to work in Paris, start a professional experience, have new friends and of course a new life.

There I was, on June 28th with all the “canicule” at the airport waiting to find a way to get to that 11 m2 apartment in an “arrondissement” of Paris of which I didn’t even know where it was. But… there the adventure began!

An adventure that, I'm sure, many of you have already started or plan to start in a while.

An adventure that will be exciting and that will also come full of challenges and uncertainties.

In my case, Paris was the city that made me discover the challenges that daily life as an expat presents, in the professional field, but also in the personal one.

If you are an expat living in Paris, you will know what I mean when I say that just finding an apartment in this city can be one of the biggest challenges! I’m also sure that the French readers feel the same way.

After a while, when I was finally settled in that Parisian Haussmann style and above all tiny apartment, it was time to get to work.

apartment

I arrived at my first day of work. Some supposedly super interesting marketing and communication internship at a Parisian fashion brand was about to begin. But you can’t imagine how surprised I was when I discovered that in the end, I wasn’t starting a marketing internship, finally, I would work in the company’s boutique.

I have to say that at first the idea didn't sound really good to me…

However, I said to myself that even if it wasn’t my dream job, every experience can turn out to be positive, I could learn a new language, meet some nice colleagues or even have the possibility of working in the centre of this magnificent city.

After three months, which were anything but boring, I got another opportunity in Paris. Next Station offered me a position in their first office in Montparnasse.

This time, everything was different, I started to work in the field that I’m really interested in and I was learning more and more every day, on the professional, but also personal side. All this, especially thanks to the colleagues I had around me. nextstation_team

Now, I'm still in this city everyone calls the “city of love”, but which could also be named the “city of strikes” because you should also know that in Paris you will experience the biggest and longest strikes you can imagine!

C’est la grève… they say.

And then, after this short summary of my chaotic life during these months in Paris, I also want to say that if you are thinking of coming to Paris or if you are already here, you have made a good choice.

I believe that Paris is the city that will allow you to see everything from another perspective, to open your mind, to forget prejudices and limitations.

Paris has managed to increase my patience and change my way of life. From the first moment I have noticed that the rhythm of life here was very intense (completely different from my rhythm in Spain). Firstly, I was very shocked, what caused a complete change in my way of living. I also gained in maturity, the fact of starting to work in a city completely alone, in which you don’t know anyone allows you to discover yourself.

As one of my colleagues said to me one day: Paris makes you strong, after having lived here you will be ready to move and do whatever you want!

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