Written by:Students
Date posted:June 25, 2007
Posted in:Home / Locations / France / Paris / If you only take one thing in your suitcase to Paris, take this…

If you only take one thing in your suitcase to Paris, take this…

Okay, so, you’re off to Paris for your French course. So what to pack? As you rummage through drawers, you find old travel companions – passport, money belt, travel alarm. None of which you will use after your first day there. Pen, paper, pocket dictionary…yes, all useful for your course, so go on, throw them in. But before you close that case, there’s one more thing…

Just before I left for my French course at the school in Paris, my father gave me an old Penguin copy of Ernest Hemingway’s memoirs ‘A Moveable Feast’. I said my goodbyes, caught the plane to Paris, and within a couple of days had settled into the school, which was in an exclusive residential area near the Arc de Triomphe. On one of the rare nights when I wasn’t with fellow students on an evening activity, I dug out the book from the bottom of my case, and started to read. And read. And read…

In fact, I stayed up all night in my room in the student residence, engrossed in Hemingway’s remembrances of his time as a young writer in Paris in the 1920s. In short, seemingly straightforward sentences, Hemingway conveys what it was like to experience Paris as a young man.

Now here’s the thing – the cafes, the bars, the hotels…they are all still there. Waiting for you. Waiting for you to step inside, order un cafe and discover what made Paris so special for Hemingway and his companions.

Hemingway believed that living in Paris was a life changing experience, and that you would carry your experiences of the city with you always:

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

My advice to you? Try it. Sign up for a French course. Experience the sights, the sounds and the tastes of Paris. And take a seat at the feast…





  1. Mehdi

    Hi everybody,

    My time in Paris was AMAZING, when in Paris it seems at times you are in the 1930’s because of the lovely buildings, wonderfull monuments and this old man with a mustach and the world known french “Baguette”.

    But Paris is much more than that, its a dynamic night life ( I was out every single day of the week), one of the worlds fashion hubs (very groovy people walking down the Champs Elysée)and an extrodinary melting pot experience. I spent my time looking for different eating experiences and even though I stayed 4 weeks I did not have time to discover all the cosy Cafés and restaurants!

    I won’t hope you will have a nice time in Paris because I know you will!!!

    See you soon


    Posted September 14, 2007 at 1:08 pm
  2. Ted

    Paris is such a nice city!
    Ever since I visited it in 2002 I keep coming back each and every year! And it really doesn’t matter if it’s winter, summer, spring or fall; it will still be WONDERFUL!
    As Mehdi just said, do not miss “l’ Avenue des Champs Elysees” at night time!
    You’ll love it!
    Enjoy your stay!

    Posted November 29, 2007 at 9:52 am

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