Bhopal to Paris: An Indian Scholar’s Whirlwind Journey

Bhopal to Paris: An Indian Scholar’s Whirlwind Journey

The author is a student pursuing Diploma in Pâtisserie & Boulangerie at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris.

Rishika KhoslaUpdated: Tuesday, March 05, 2024, 11:44 AM IST
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Rishika Khosla |

From enjoying aloo paratha in Bhopal to savouring croissants in the heart of Paris, life took a 180-degree turn as I moved to the City of Light. Even after a year and a half in France, I still feel like I'm settling in. It's been a journey of building a life from scratch in a country where I initially couldn't even speak the language. 

What inspired me to choose France for my higher studies? 

During the lockdown, I delved into the world of bread and Viennoiserie. I wanted to learn more. The logical choice for mastering the art of French pastries was the first pastry school in the world – Le Cordon Bleu, Paris. The diploma in boulangerie and patisserie offered exactly what I was looking for.

Paris is everything you see in the movies – high-class fashion, breathtaking architecture, fascinating museums, and, of course, an array of delectable food. However, it comes at a price, and having multiple streams of income is almost a survival tactic. But, money matters aside, the openness, freedom, and liveliness of this city are unmatched. 

Le Cordon Bleu, where I pursue my studies, boasts a multicultural environment. The camaraderie among students, the insights into the industry, and the kindness with which questions are answered make it a recommendable choice for anyone wanting to delve into French pastries and bread.

Adapting to the French education system was a blend of theory, practical classes, and industry exposure. As a pastry intern in a Parisian boulangerie, the environment was initially strict and silent. But I've adjusted, and now I even have chef friends.

France has mastered the art of work-life balance, with rigid working hours, ample paid vacations, health insurance, and various benefits. I learned to appreciate this slower pace.

In the last year and a half, I've grown stronger, mature, patient and kinder to myself. If someone were to ask me if studying abroad is worth it, I'd say, without hesitation, it's the best decision.

Being an international student comes with its share of tears, challenges, and breakdowns, but it's equally filled with fun, love, kindness, and incredible experiences. Make every moment count, don't forget to have fun, and always stay present in the journey. After all, it's the journey that shapes you!

The author is a student pursuing Diploma in Pâtisserie & Boulangerie at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris 

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