Getting a Taste of Europe Without Leaving the States

Last month, 16 students from my city planning program and one of our professors had a chance to go to New Orleans for the National Planning Conference (NPC18). Thanks to SDSU (we won part of a Student Success Fee grant) we were lucky to attend this important event in our field! Having a lot of stress before all finals and graduation, we enjoyed the chance to relax under New Orleans sun.

“As an international student from Russia, I loved New Orleans a lot because the architecture and the whole style of the city reminded me of Europe.”

We fell in love with the city and people in there! We met a lot of professionals in our sphere, and had amazing networking opportunities.

As an international student from Russia, I loved New Orleans a lot because the architecture and the whole style of the city reminded me of Europe. Being built by the French, the city still preserves the history of the area. It felt so cozy, like I was home again.

People were lovely there, too. They were ready to help you any time you needed it. But what really charmed me, and all our group, was the music. The jazz vibes carried a lot of emotion and captured our souls and minds forever.

Food is another topic. I love that this is French-inspired cuisine, but still so American. Of course we could not leave the city without trying their most popular donuts — beignets! I’m totally in love with this sugary pastry.

Also, we got a great opportunity to celebrate New Orleans’ anniversary — 300 years!

Our team became even closer during the trip. We learned a lot of things about each other and it feels even more like a family now.

Here are more photos of the city:

The City Park, which has more than 1,000 acres of space, is amazing. It has a huge variety of areas, starting with just picturesque walk near the river and ending with an amazing, spacious playground for kids.

The streets have a lot of shade, which makes perfect sense for every city planner in this country.

The waterfront, near the center of the city, allows you to enjoy the breeze and music at the same time.

There are a huge amount of statues and monuments, which makes this city very walkable and attractive to visit.

All in all, I am very glad that SDSU gave us this opportunity to be in this dream city — and to visit a conference that could easily change your life! I’m so thankful!

Anastasia Mysina is an international student from Russia. She is a city planning graduate student at SDSU.


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