My program emphasized a cultural immersion. Therefore, our only housing option was to stay with French families. This is the best way to learn the language as I was forced to speak in French during dinner time, in the morning, and when I needed help. After all, isn't that the reason why I was there and I got a scholarship?
I actually stayed with two families during my time abroad. The first one was with a widow. She was American, but she had been living in Paris for the past 40 years. In fact, my program director in her bio said that "She sounds so French, you could not even tell she was American unless you had asked." She had a great career in France as she had worked for the high-end cosmetic company, Lancome, raised three kids, and now she has 6 grandchildren.
She lived in a chic, rich neighborhood in Paris, near Metro stop Jasmin. Her apartment was well-decorated and modern. Just like those fancy Parisian apartments you read about in magazines. In fact, I could even see the Eiffel Tour from my room. Perhaps that is the reason I didn't go see this famous monument until my last month, there. All of my classmates had already seen it the first week.
The interior of her apartment was mostly plain and white. She was very spiritual and she believed that this theme creates inner peace. I do agree with her.
She had a cute, cat named Cannelle (cinnamon). She was 20 years old which was the same age as me during my time in Paris. She always needed love and affection which I didn't mind giving.