Graduating Samford University language and world trade major Mia Farris capped her education with an exceptional international experience. This fall, she took a bold step toward her career goals by studying and working in Paris, France.
In addition to taking CEA Paris Center courses in advanced French language, international business, and the history of haute couture, she is interning with a French designer to build experience in the fashion world. “I feel like I am not just here as a student exploring the city, but I am really working to lay the groundwork for my future career,” Farris said. “It’s a huge commitment but I have gained so many opportunities and learned more than I could ever imagine.”
Farris has met daunting challenges, from interacting in French at work to navigating daily life in one the world’s largest cities, but she views it all as an adventure. “It is not hard to have a positive attitude in Paris,” she said. “Sometimes I find myself frustrated by metro lines or delays, then I look up and see the Eiffel Tower, and that puts things in a better perspective.” She still misses peanut butter, café tables large enough to work on and other American conveniences, but she has new French friends and a church community to help her through overwhelming moments. “Overall,” she said, “my gratefulness to be here kind of outshines it.”
That gratefulness, a determination to say “yes” to more experiences, and a growing personal and professional network have Farris feeling bittersweet about the end of the semester. “Part of me wants to stay here, but I know my family wants to see me,” she said. “I have so many Christmas traditions back home that I don’t want to miss out on.” First, she said, she’ll welcome her mother for Thanksgiving, sharing her once-in-a-lifetime experience of the City of Light.