I made it through my first semester of grad school! I ended up dropping one of my courses in the beginning of the semester because the workload was too much. I have to get my work done when the kids are sleeping and there just aren’t enough hours in the day for me to take the full course load at this point. It may take me a little longer to graduate, but there’s no rush so I’m fine with that. I managed to get A’s in all of my classes which was especially surprising for my chemistry class. Unfortunately, the final grades are only submitted as pass/fail so I don’t even get to brag about my GPA…oh well :).

I’m only taking one course this summer which is the class I dropped last semester – Physiology: Healthy Function I. The reason I’m only taking one course is because in just over 2 weeks, we’re heading to Paris for 2 months. I will have even less time to get my work done while we’re gone so I would prefer to only have one class to focus on. My husband’s last semester of grad school is this summer. He found out at the beginning of the year that he has the chance to spend it in Paris and jumped at the opportunity. I studied abroad in Paris when I was in college and had an amazing experience. It’ll be a bit different this time around with 2 little ones, but we’re ready for the challenge. The last time we were there was 2 years ago when Zain was about 18 months old.

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The biggest challenge we’ve faced so far is finding an apartment. I spent weeks searching for one and weeding through the listing of “kid friendly” apartments that have toddler death trap stairs. Here are a few gems from my searches. I don’t think I’d even trust myself with these kinds of stairs.

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The things we absolutely must have in our apartment are WiFi, an elevator, and a washing machine. I finally found the perfect place in the Latin Quarter and booked it in February. I felt so relieved to have that part of the trip taken care of. That is until the apartment agency emailed me about a month ago to tell me that there will be construction going on in the apartment building in the month of June. We either needed to find another apartment for the duration of our stay or split our stay between 2 apartments. We didn’t want to deal with the hassle of changing apartments mid-stay so we decided to find a new one. Since we’re getting closer to our arrival date, it was even harder the second time around to find a place. We lucked out and found one that is available just a few blocks for our original place. Our fingers and toes are crossed that nothing goes wrong this time!

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Our apartment has a view of the Eiffel Tower from it’s kitchen…
 

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And a view of the Seine and Notre Dame from the living room…we might not
ever want to leave!
 

I wanted to share some of the resources I used for finding an apartment in Paris. You can use an agency or book through individual owners. Apartment rentals are available for short and long term stays. Even if you’re only going to Paris for a week, it’s nice to have an apartment so you can buy your own food and avoid eating out for every meal.

One very important note is that just because an apartment’s online calendar says it is available, that does not mean it is. I got my hopes up so many times when I thought I found the right place. I swear that 95% of the time that when I contacted the owner, they told me it actually wasn’t available. That was always disappointing.