Once upon a time in France | Nane Alikhanyan

Those who wanderlust will agree that traveling might be costly, but it is worth infinitely more than you spend on it. Meeting new people, observing cultures, experiencing beauty and lifestyles, and tasting food are some of the things that make up lifelong memories.

Recently such an adventure took the COAF SMART Center student Nane Alikhanyan to the world’s most-visited country — France. The 18-year-old girl from the city of Vanadzor was selected as a chairperson of the European Youth Parliament’s “Understand and Act” international conference, taking place in Savigny-sur-Orge on March 17-20, 2022.

Over 50 young enthusiasts from close to 20 countries came together in the capital of France to debate different types and forms of discrimination and come up with ways modern society should address or deal with them. The conference included teambuilding activities, committee discussions, and resolution formation.

“The highlight of my trip was definitely the new acquaintances I made from different countries, including Finland, Germany, Serbia, and others. France was also my first time in Europe and my first introduction to the European lifestyle. I was amazed to be in places I had always seen in pictures,” says Nane.

Besides the worthwhile academic experience, 10 days in France meant checking off many foodie highlights on the bucket list — “French croissants taste so much better!” she says․ It also meant standing in the long line to tour the world’s most-visited museum, Louvre, and finding the best Eiffel Tower photo spots.

Finally, one cannot leave Paris without a little bit of French — bonjour, au revoir, merci beaucoup, enchanté!

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