TAPIF | Tips on the Application Process

Now that you’ve decided that you want to spend the school year as a language instructor through the Teaching Assistant Program in France, it’s time to submit an application. Applying for TAPIF is much easier than applying for college, and certainly nothing to stress out about. That being said, it is much easier (and less nerve-wracking) to be prepared… The application is... Read More

TAPIF | Choosing to be a Language Assistant in France

“Passant prends le temps sinon il te prend.” (Passerby, take the time. Otherwise, the time will take you.) – Quote painted on a wall near Notre Dame, Metz, France. So, how exactly does one decide to become a language assistant in France anyway? How do know if the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF) is the right fit for you? I know that these were questions that I... Read More

TAPIF | What is a language assistant anyway?

This last September, as I sat on the floor of my room, frantically packing the night away in some kind of panicked fit, I experienced a moment that would have been rather comical, had it not occurred some dozens of times in the preceding months. My friends, friends so close that they had gradually become roommates, had been flitting in and out all night long. Eventually, one planted... Read More

Italy | Io, il Destino, e L’Arco della Pace

Despite trying to embrace “la dolce far niente,” I incessantly set out about Il Parco Sempione with a very intentional quest: my long awaited first viewing of the Arco della Pace, which has been covered for quite some time, including the duration of my stay the first time around. In fact, some guide books even feature its masked image in lieu of an older one, and you can’t... Read More

Italy | This Time Around

“What is the fatal charm of Italy? What do we find there that can be found nowhere else? I believe it is a certain permission to be human, which other places, other countries, lost long ago.” – Erica Jong To be completely honest, I was half afraid to return to the city that so drastically altered my life. I was nervous that without my original companions, Milan would... Read More

Italy | A Serious Venetian Surprise

“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.” –Truman Capote Most of us had been to Venice, and we called it for what it was: mostly, a tourist trap. An overpriced, heavily clogged mess of people and pigeons and pickpockets. Alas, Mary’s desire to see the city was immense, and I certainly owed her a kindness from having forced her aboard... Read More

Italy | Milan Unveiled: Il Parco Sempione

I am walking through il Parco Sempione on a cold and rainy Milanese day, and I am in a frenzy. The world is a bowl of colors and blurry shapes, and I am caught in its whirlwind, snapping anything that catches my eye. Generally, I try to be spontaneous in my photography, but often find myself upset over not having captured a moment I could have, and perhaps should have anticipated.... Read More

Italy | Il Castello Sforzesco

I have been to Milan’s castle more than most Milanese. (After all, you don’t often visit the tourist attractions of your own city.) It really is quite ancient, which is plain from the crumbling brick and fervent dedication to maintenance – it is a strangely clean place for Milan standards. My favorite part is not the Filarete tower or the museums inside, it is the general... Read More

Italy | Verona, Full of Surprises

Having heard fabulous things about Verona, a place which I had not even initially planned on visiting, I decided that this was the place to go for a short little side trip from Milan. Just hours away by train, Verona greeted us with a teary disposition, as it had been raining for hours; nothing unusual in the north, mind you. Despite conditions, we wandered to the coliseum, expecting... Read More

Italy | Milan’s Pride: Il Duomo

“Fra le tue pietre a le tue nebbie faccio villeggiatura. Mi riposo in Piazza del Duomo. Invece si stelle ogni sera si accendono parole. Nulla riposa della vita come la vita.” — Umberto Saba, 1934 (“I am vacationing amidst your bricks and fog. I relax in the Cathedral Square. Words, not stars, illuminate each night. There is nothing more relaxing in life than... Read More