My time in Paris can be described as nothing short than life changing. I am a studio art major and a french minor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and I knew that I wanted a program that encapsulated all of my interests in one, so when I came across IES's Paris studio art program, I knew I had found the perfect match. To say I was nervous to begin is an understatement. I was worried about the language immersion, making friends, if I would get along with my host mom, etc... however, after a week in my new home, my worries began to settle. I took painting and drawing classes in the most quaint Parisian studio with mainly native Parisians, my host mom was one of the coolest people I've ever met (the picture is the view from my bedroom window), and I made so many friends with whom I still keep in touch. On top of all of that, my French improved by leaps and bounds. I was no where near fluency, and I was barely proficient at the very beginning of the program, and even though my program was in half because of the global pandemic, I can now say that I feel beyond comfortable carrying out an intense conversation in French (of course I still mess up, but I have vastly improved.) The cultural trips were structured and a lot of fun, and we saw some truly amazing places that I never would have been able to go it had it not been because of IES, including a few wine and champagne tastings. I definitely recommend this program to anyone and everyone. Something that I would recommend you to do is to do some research beforehand to learn about non-touristy things that are going on while you're in Paris. Also, start saving your money NOW. Seriously. There are so many things to do, and a lot of them do cost money (but some of my favorite things to do didn't, like wandering the streets and going to 59 Rivoli.) Another tid-bit is that Paris (maybe all of France, but I don't know) has seriously low price concerts, even for mega-famous musicians, there's some law prohibiting overpricing the tickets. And! On your IES student id if it says "histoire de l'art" aka "art history" you can get into most museums (including the Louvre and Musée d'Orsay) for free!