Accent Community College Scholarship: Starting with Bonjour

This week, we check in with Accent Community College Scholarship recipient Hunter Dickey, who learns that a word as simple as “bonjour” can signal the start of amazing friendships, exciting adventures, and valuable intercultural learning.

Bonjour! I have been studying at the Sorbonne in Paris for only two weeks, but I already feel like a full-time French student, and more importantly, a full time Parisian. Traversing this city multiple times each day, with a baguette in my backpack and new bilingual — and often trilingual — friends by my side, I can’t help but feel that studying abroad with Accent has been an incredible point of entry into the beautiful and rich world of Parisian culture.

While preparing for this month in Paris, I found that my expectations surrounding the trip were funneled towards the interactions I would have day by day: speaking French with my roommate in the morning, meeting other students in between Sorbonne classes, and conversing with the artisan bakers in the boulangeries around town. Before the trip, I dreamed of becoming culturally French. And today, after many conversations, I still do!

In my short time abroad, I have been seeking out daily opportunities to learn and adopt French culture. For instance, all Parisian conversations, meals, and classes here start with a simple “bonjour.” That is it. If you are in Paris and can say “bonjour,” be proud and start using it! You now have the single most effective icebreaker in France at your disposal; a phrase that can propel you full force into unexpected conversations and a beautiful culture that will change your worldview forever.    

Entering into my second and final two weeks in Paris, I feel so blessed to live here in this city. It has been humbling to live as a guest in France and incredibly exciting to integrate into its culture as well. With each day that comes, I am approaching every cultural adventure with anticipation, ready for the next “Bonjour. Comment allez-vous?”

~Hunter Dickey, CCCD in Paris with Orange Coast College


Accent is proud to support the Community College Scholarship as part of our commitment pledge to IIE Generation Study Abroad, a nationwide effort to help more U.S. students gain international experience through study abroad programs.

Studying abroad is an amazing way to expand your horizons and experience growth. Explore your options with Accent to take your first step into a new and exciting journey.