I spent four months in Paris, France during the Spring 2019 semester. I am a nursing major at Hope College and I went to Paris to finish up my French minor. I decided to choose this particular IES Paris program because I really desired to grow in my overall French language skills, even though French may not have any direct involvement in my future career as a nurse. That being said, my decision to take classes entirely taught in French and to live in a home stay with a woman who only spoke French was hands-down THE best decision of my life. I grew immensely in my language skills, and I got to immerse myself in Parisian culture while also traveling around Europe on weekend excursions with the new friends I made there and together with my entire program. I grew in self-assurance and maturity as I navigated my life abroad very much independently, and I got to experience cultures drastically different from my own - which I believe is one of the most important things anyone could ever do. When I ask people now if they have plans to study abroad, and their response is "Well, I don't really have any reason to with my major," it is difficult for me not to laugh because I know what a huge impact studying abroad had on me and my entire perspective on life. Everyone should study abroad. I made some of the best friends of my entire life, and I grew into a mature adult with the confidence to travel and take huge leaps out of my comfort zone. I now better understand the importance of taking the time to appreciate and learn from other cultures, and I can understand a whole new language!! I was lucky enough to be able to take a ballet class taught in French, and I received French credit towards my minor! This was something I would have never expected, but my program directors were so passionate about making my experiences as personal as possible.