Jumbo Exchange: A reflection on study abroad

Time flies. It really does. As of now, I have completed my exchange program in the United States. To be perfectly honest, the past nine months were not all filled with fun and happy memories. Things didn’t always turn out the way I expected. It was not that everything went swimmingly back home, but in hindsight, […]

Jumbo Exchange: Culture shocks

As I mentioned in my last piece, today I am going to talk about culture shocks and social life at Tufts from an exchange student’s perspective. “What is the biggest culture shock you have encountered?” — This is one of the most common questions I have received. Actually, it is fairly hard to describe it. It […]

Jumbo Exchange: Good choice?

One of the questions people ask me a lot is “How do you like Tufts?” Usually, I just answer “I love it!” without a second thought. Today, I am going to ask myself the same question and think about it more deeply, looking back to the days that I have spent here for the last five […]


As I type this column, I am sitting in a cafe at the very summit of a 1,379 meter mountain just outside of Geneva, Switzerland. The sky is blue, and I can count only three individual clouds, two of which are wispy barely-there streaks of translucent white. The city below is sprawling and lovely, all […]

Scooter envy

When most people think about popular European modes of transport, a few vehicles come to mind, namely complicated railway systems, tall noisy buses and tiny electric cars that zip around the city with a hum, sometimes even driving on the sidewalks and scattering pedestrians on their way. Well, I’m here to tell you that, while […]

Time check

I’m afraid I don’t have much to talk about this week other than midterms, which have been occupying my every waking moment since I got back from Geneva. This week, I have about a zillion things to do — by the time you’re reading this column, I will hopefully have turned in one of two […]

The bells of Notre Dame

A few weekends ago (…as most of my columns begin, I am aware), I went with several friends to a free organ concert at Notre Dame cathedral. The very idea of it wowed me, even before the music started — as I sat at the end of a neat row of chairs looking up at […]


As some of you may be aware (or not — isn’t it still snowing in Boston?), the first day of spring was this past Friday. Everyone tells me that spring is the most beautiful season in Paris, and I’m inclined to believe them, though we haven’t seen much real evidence of growth and rebirth yet. […]

False cognates

One of the most frustrating parts of learning a romance language is that often words that look like an English equivalent don’t mean the same thing. We call these “false cognates,” or in French, faux amis (false friends). If that terminology makes you think of backstabbing frenemies, just know that that perception is about as accurate […]

Going out

A few Fridays ago, several friends and I decided to stop by Gare Montparnasse, a train station that happens to have a public piano available to anyone who wants to play. With one pianist and several singers in our group, we figured we’d mess around for a little while before heading off somewhere else for […]