Bonjour! My name is Zoe and I am a junior at USF. I am a dance major, nutrition minor, and honors student. I am writing this blog because I received the Genshaft/Greenbaum Passport Scholarship Endowment, which is really such an honor. In a few days I will be traveling to Paris for the Dance in Paris Program! I will be staying in a working women’s dorm, which means full immersion into french. I took a few classes of french in high school, and really loved it. However, my love for Paris goes back further than that.
My first knowledge of Paris was derived from ballet. I have danced ballet since I was four, and always found it interesting and challenging. The majority of the steps are french words, and as a child we were taught not only the movement, but the meaning of the word. I loved how beautiful the language sounded, and later found out the extensive history of ballet and its origin in Paris. Paris is where ballet found its home, and no place has more history or culture when it comes to the arts. In my junior year of high school I switched to attending school completely online, and attended an academy dance program all day, five days a week and a shorter period on Saturdays. My love for ballet and dance as a whole only grew, and when it was time for college I knew I had to find one with a good dance program. I was lucky enough to have USF in my state. They’re the only college in Florida with a ballet concentration, and I knew this was the school for me. It wasn’t until after I began to attend USF that I realized how lucky I was to have picked this school. And now, three years later, because of my teachers and peers, I feel ready to take a chance on traveling to France.
I have many ambitions and goals for this trip, but putting them on paper seems equivalent to telling someone your birthday wish, it won’t come true! I can however say, my biggest goal in attending this study abroad is the chance to really get outside my comfort zone. A year ago I never imagined I would be brave enough to do this, and just as everyone says, I believe this program will change me. I chose this study abroad specifically because it is the only dance based study abroad program to take place in Paris originating in the United States. It is an amazing opportunity to have it based from my home institution, and as I watched my older classmates attend this program and come back so changed and so excited to dance, I knew I had to see it for myself. I have always dreamt of going to Paris, and soon it will be a reality! I am excited to document my experiences here, and share the things I learn for future travelers!