‘Daddy, I got an admission in IESEG School of Management in Paris!!!” I told my Dad who had no idea about my secret application. It was like a big shock to him👀. At first, he smiled. Then I explained to him that I had paid the application fee and had attended 2 interviews before I finally got selected. I told him that I want to go to Paris for my MBA for which he said, “We will think about it later”.
I am from India🇮🇳 and I am 29 years old. For a girl who is 29 years old and not married is a huge thing in India. So, my parents didn’t want me to go anywhere without getting married.
I got admission in this school with the help of 2 friends. One helped in selecting the college, and the other was always there for me to share everything that I was going through at home and he even helped me prepare for the interviews.
Later I told my mother and my brother that I want to go to Paris and their reply was big ‘NO’. I had no support from anyone at home except all my cousins, who encouraged me to go.
After a lot of tiring and exhausting sessions of crying and convincing, my parents finally accepted. My happiness knew no bounds😆. I immediately started shopping for the basic stuffs and was ready to travel. On my last night in India, all my extended family came home to meet me, and we had a party till late in the night.
The day finally came when I was all set to go to Paris. I woke up at 3 in the morning to get ready. Dad, Mom and my brother came to the airport to drop me. Mom started crying, I don’t know why but I did not cry in front of them. But started crying once I started walking into the airport. Funniest part is, that I stopped crying just after one minute as I was very excited and happy to start a NEW LIFE IN PARIS!😎
Paris is the city of love♥️ and I could not wait to get a taste of all of it. I missed home already but I was looking forward to all the new experiences that the city and the MBA had in store for me.
I reached Paris and one of my friends was waiting at the airport for me. I was unable to find any accommodation for a week, so I had to stay with my friend for the first few days. I reached Paris on a Tuesday and my cousin, along with her family came from Zurich on that Friday to meet me. I was very excited to see my nephew. They picked me up from my friend’s place and we went to a hotel room. Later we went for a nice Indian dinner and finally I went to see the beauty, The EIFFEL TOWER, shining in all its glory and pride. 🤩💫✨
Our orientation week had started, and it was going well, and I was starting to know people. Then I heard a name of a guy sounded bit South Asian and he wasn’t present in the class as he was unwell🤒. After 2 weeks of orientation, we went for a dinner and there I finally met this guy and got to know that he is from Pakistan. I was instantly interested in talking to him as he was from our neighboring but supposedly rival country. We started talking, told him everything that he missed for those 2 weeks, especially the gossips😋😉 and to the surprise to a lot of people, he is my best-est🤗 friend.
My perception towards Pakistan changed completely after meeting him and now I want to visit Pakistan. Classes started and presentations followed. I have a stage fear and would shiver every time I had to give a presentation.
He was the only person who would say that I did well after every presentation.
He was always there to help me whenever needed. We started doing all crazy things🤪.We did assignments together, prepared for exams together, pitched business ideas together and played like kids together . Probably he is the only person who I have met till now having the same mind set as mine.
My life was exciting again – classmates from so many different countries, living in a small cute room🏠 alone for the first time, having fun🥂, cooking for the first time, shopping in fashion capital of the world and most important of all, INDEPENDENCE! I was taking care of myself all by my own. I visited all the famous places in Paris such as the Louvre museum, Arc the triumph, Concorde, Galleries Lafayette and made wonderful memories with my friends.
I have also been to trips to Saint Mount Michel🏰and Strasbourg. Strasbourg is famous for Christmas market🎪. Christmas in Europe is so happening, with all the lights, colors and decorations. I visited many Christmas markets but to me the best one was in front of the Grande Arche in La defense, right in front of my college campus.
I also went to few countries such as Zurich, London, Spain and Portugal. Zurich 🌁🏔️was the best because of its scenic beauty, where I went to see my cousin. London🏙️ was a short trip to see my brother during the Christmas holidays and Spain & Portugal was a trip with my friends during the winter holidays. We had plans of visiting Milan, Rome and Venice in Italy and Barcelona in Spain in the summer✈️, and until Covid-19 happened. 🥺
The beauty of this course is you don’t only study and make presentations and get marks, you also make a lot of friends and pleasant memories as you go along. I was really looking forward to having fun and a productive summer in Europe this year but for now the entire world is on stand-by mode right now and there is not much we can do about it. So, with a brave heart and lots of eager expectations, I am waiting for things to get back to normal again, so that, after this, I can resume my journey and go on to live my dreams which had brought me here in the first place.
By the way, My name is Sai Prateeka Reddy 👸🏻