Culture ShocksDuring my junior year of high school, I was an exchange student in Sendai, Japan. There's nothing like the experience of being thrown into a new place, new culture, and new language. Since then, I've become a believer in the the sink-or-swim experience of living abroad. During college, I lived and studied in Paris for two years (which I highly recommend). Even though I'm from the Pacific Northwest, Sendai will always be my first city, Paris my second, Seattle my third. (Sorry, Providence, RI, you simply don't measure up). I will always measure a place in the currency of culture shocks.