IES Abroad Paris - Business & International Affairs

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Paris is also known as the fashion capital of the world, hosting designers such as Chanel, Christian Dior, Yves Saint-Laurent, and many more. Enjoy all that Paris has to offer while studying Business and International Affairs in the City of Light.

The Business & International Affairs Program offers IES Abroad courses taught by faculty from diverse backgrounds and disciplines. The program also offers students the option to take English-taught courses with French and international students at Novancia, the premier business school founded by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Enjoy field study trips within Paris, and excursions to important cities such as Geneva and Brussels. Or, gain valuable experience through a business-focused internship. With course offerings in English and French, and French language study, the IES Abroad Business & International Affairs Program is a unique experience for study abroad in Paris.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

95%
based on 35 reviews
  • Academics 7.9
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.1
  • Housing 9
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 1 - 15 of 35
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Alyssa
10/10

The Best Semester

My junior year fall semester was the best semester I have had at college thanks to IES Abroad. The ability to travel around Europe, try new things, and most importantly make lifelong friends in such a short period of time was incredible. I loved passing the Eiffel Tower on my way to class every day and getting recommendations on fun things to do from the IES staff. I truly could not have had a better abroad experience and I cannot wait to come back and visit soon.

Yes, I recommend
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Andrew
9/10

The challenge of being a Foreigner

Usually when you visit a country its for a week or two. There is not enough time to register the specific differences between your home country and the country your visiting. When you study abroad, you stay long after the tourists and visitors. You notice what is different. You analyze how people behave and speak. Even stranger, you start to analyze how you behave in comparison to the people of the host country. For me, this analysis began in the very first week. Most other students in my program had some time to prepare for the culture shock of living in France because they lived in dorms or apartments with other Americans. I on the other hand, had no time to prepare. Upon arrival at my home stay, my host family made it abundantly clear that they would not be speaking English with me. The first two weeks were horrific. I made a mistake every time I spoke in French to my family. I felt like I was making no progress and I would never speak French as fluently as others. Rather than beating myself up, I decided to pick myself up and better prepare myself for speaking French with my family. It was clear that my three a week French class for an hour a day would not be sufficient. So, before my host family dinner, three times a week, I would practice how to speak about things that happened during the day, what happened the last weekend, and what I would do the upcoming weekend. It was slow progress but it worked. After a month, I had developed a basic understanding of French and was absorbing new French words and phrases much faster than before. After three months, I had developed an accent and a fluent style of speaking conversational French. All of the mistakes, embarrassment, and hard work totally paid off. By the end of the program, I started to feel more comfortable speaking French than I did speaking English (which is probably why I suffered more reverse culture shock than actual culture shock). Since my semester abroad in France, my life has significantly changed. I am now a double major in French an International Business, applying to Bibliotheques sans Frontiers this summer, and will be applying to a two year program, post grad, to teach English to children in France. The path of my professional career has completely shifted because of my study abroad experience and I could not be happier.

How can this program be improved?
The only improvements I would suggest is that IES provides more information on the logistics of buying cell phone plans, directions to nearby airports, and how to plan for trips to other countries.
Yes, I recommend
Daria
9/10

Only regret is that it ended...

One of the best decisions I've made last semester was choosing to do the IES Paris Business and International Affairs Program. Of course I was nervous before embarking on this journey, knowing I would spend the next few months in a new countries surrounded by new people. However, IES quickly eased my fears. I was placed in a homestay in the center of Paris, allowing me to practice the french that I had been attempting to learn for so long. My classes were engaging and helped me to immerse myself in French culture. I have to say that one of the highlights of this program was the team behind IES Paris. They were friendly, approachable and truly cared about our well-being. One of the organizers helped me find an amazing internship with a French start-up. In addition, one of my classes took us on a field trip to the World Trade Organization in Switzerland for a day . They truly go above and beyond! In the end, as cliché it sounds, Paris is what you make of it, so take advantage of this incredible city! I'm happy to say I've made some life-long friends and I've learned a lot about myself in the process. This program really allowed you to take initiative and formulate your own experience whether it's through your coursework and field trips or your own explorations abroad.

Yes, I recommend
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Michelle
10/10

IES Abroad Paris BIA Spring 2017

IES Paris BIA absolutely blew away all expectations I had before starting my study abroad semester. One of my main goals in studying in Paris was to really immerse myself in the culture and people, and I was able to do so through this program. I stayed with a retired French couple in Neuilly-Sur-Seine, an amazing little town right outside Paris, I took two French classes that really allowed me to learn about the intricacies of French society and culture (in French, of course!), and I volunteered at a Parisian middle school, helping kids improve their English and participate in a cultural exchange. The staff was incredible as well. They're so friendly and truly want you to have the best experience while in Paris and France. I highly recommend this program for those wanting to studying in Paris! It can be nerve-wracking to study in an unfamiliar country with an unfamiliar language for four months, but the staff make it feel like a second home!

How can this program be improved?
Have more excursions to other parts of France. We went to Le Château de Versailles, Giverny, La Valle de Loire, and Normandie, but I think Bordeaux or Provence would have been cool options as well!
Yes, I recommend
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Jacquelyn
10/10

Exploration

While on that long flight to Paris all I could think about was what I wanted to experience. I wanted to see everything the city had to offer. I would go on walks for hours around the city exploring every street and metro station I could! Each day I would set a new goal to go to a different arrondisment or even just try something new at the local bakery. Each day you can make new connections with either people from your program or even Parisian locals! Some of my favorite memories would be playing soccer every Thursday with a group of locals I met! (I actually still keep in touch with a few of them through Snapchat). The main thing to know is that this experience is what you make of it!

How can this program be improved?
More clarification on homestay (whether it will be English speaking or not)
Yes, I recommend
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Alexandra
10/10

Amazing and Rewarding Experience

Studying abroad in Paris with the IES BIA program for my fall semester was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in my life. Living in Paris, practicing my french with my host family, traveling around the country and the continent, and meeting new people from all over the country and world were just a few of my favorite experiences. The classes I took at the center were all incredibly interesting and taught by wonderful professors who took the chance to get to know each student. The staff was amazing - planning trips around Paris and France to allow us to take full advantage of our time abroad. Examples of trips include an overnight stay in Normandy, a class trip to Strasbourg to see the building where the European Union meets, a trip to the Champagne region, and many more. The center also put on many events in Paris such as wine and cheese tasting, cultural discussions, and much more.

I will never forget the amazing experiences I had while studying abroad and would wholeheartedly recommend this program to anyone looking to have a fabulous time abroad!

How can this program be improved?
The only thing that would improve this program is providing more chances for students to meet and interact with other french students.
Yes, I recommend
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Cassidy
10/10

A Year with IES Abroad Paris

I spent my entire junior year studying abroad with the IES Abroad Business and International Affairs program in Paris, France, and it was easily the best decision of my life.
Paris is a unique place to study in. The city was the most cohesively beautiful European city I have ever been in, with such a rich history and an endless number of things to do. Depending where you are, Paris can have a small town feel or a bustling city one. And French food is the best in the world.
I stayed with the same host family for the entire year and they were wonderful to me. The only downside to my IES program was that it was difficult to make friends with actual Parisians and this was balanced out with my host family, who taught me all about the French culture and language. Living away from everything familiar could be difficult at times and having a family be there for me helped so much.
The center itself took the studying part of study abroad very seriously, but it was easy to balance the school work with fun and travel. The staff was like family to me by the end of the program and they work hard to make sure you have a fun and safe experience. The center put on plenty of events and day trips in the city to show you places only true Parisians know about and they really care about each and every student.
Overall, I would highly recommend this program that made the best year of my life possible!

How can this program be improved?
This program could only be improved by better connecting students with real French students.
Yes, I recommend
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Giulia
9/10

Why study abroad

I always thought travelling is an important part of a person’s life, but studying abroad helped me realize how to make the best of it. When you travel to another place, on vacation for example, you visit the city, you learn about the local culture, you come across locals, but you never really get to fully appreciate the place you are in. Studying abroad encouraged me to become part of the new city I was studying in allowing myself to enrich both my personal and academic life. I studied in Paris for a semester and it was a great experience! Not only did I enjoy all the attractions the city had to offer, but I also improved my personality. I learned how to be more independent, how to adapt to a new culture and how to be by myself. This last aspect is not intended in a negative way, in fact, I learned how important it is to be able to take the initiative to go out even if other people don’t want to because you never know what you could miss out on and what you could then tell your friends.
At school I learned a lot of new and exciting things within my major, but the aspect that enriched my knowledge the most is learning how to think about a subject in different ways. Americans might have a certain approach to a problematic which is different from the French, so one should be able to be as open-minded as possible in order to consider both perspectives.
I definitely recommend studying abroad, it doesn’t have to be miles and miles from home, the most important thing is that you feel part of the new environment, not a stranger or tourist. The experience will have a significant impact on your life and the way you look at things; it’s the best way to enrich your knowledge while having fun and travelling, what more could you ask for?

Yes, I recommend
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Katie
8/10

BIA

Living and studying in Paris was an absolutely amazing experience. I lived in a homestay with the most genuine french woman who helped me really improve my French. (and she was an amazing cook!) The staff at IES were always ready to help, almost too ready at times. From time to time their oversight of our daily lives was overwhelming, but it is understandable that they wanted to keep an eye on us in the semester immediately after the attacks on Paris. Overall, my experience was so great! If you are fairly confident in your French abilities, I would suggest doing the French Studies program, as the business program is completely in English. Had I done French studies, I'm sure my language abilities would have improved much more than they did in my very easy French course and with my host mom. Work load for classes heavily depends on what course you take, however it is low compared to regular college. If you have trouble making friends, this isn't the study abroad program for you. There is a short orientation upon arrival, but the staff doesn't make much of an effort to introduce you to others in the program (besides a lackluster awkward 20 minute ice breaker session) before you have your first weekend in Paris.

Yes, I recommend
Adriana
10/10

A Dream Come True

Ever since I was young I dreamed about visiting Paris. IES Abroad gave me the opportunity to not just visit Paris, but to live and learn there! The classes in the business program were interesting, applicable, and worked toward my management major. I was very anxious about studying abroad but IES helped every step of the way. They assisted me through the visa process, made sure I was comfortable with my living situation, and the staff at the center were like family. They went out of their way to help us get phone plans, took us on trips to learn about the culture, fixed problems with metro cards, and much more. It was easy to make friends since we were all from American Universities and in an environment very different than our own. Overall I was able to meet incredible people, live in a culture different than my own, and fulfil my dream of living in Paris.

How can this program be improved?
I wish I was able to meet more French students and make some friends who live in France.
Yes, I recommend
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Gwen
10/10

Time of My Life

Paris est magnifique. Studying abroad is an experience I recommend to everyone, especially with the IES program who made sure that I was safe and at home in a country so far away. As a student with only a basic knowledge of the French language, I spent four months learning about the French culture, language, and marketing (my major). I came back to the US wanting to go back Paris immediately. I had incredibly intelligent professors, a caring staff to ensure everything went smoothly, and a host family that made Paris home. I also made friends from all over the world! I hope to study abroad again next spring because of the amazing time I had studying with IES in Paris. If you need any advice or incentive, check out some of my experiences abroad in my blog - https://www.iesabroad.org/gwendolynlee

How can this program be improved?
I wish the program was longer.
Yes, I recommend
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Leigh
10/10

Paris is always a good idea

I'll admit that Paris was never one of my top dream destinations, but I fell in love with not only Paris but also French politics and society. I learned so much about not only European and French politics, but also Parisian culture and how it shapes politics and society. The professors encouraged dialogue and gave us the opportunity to read primary sources which seemed overwhelming but has greatly assisted me in making connections and helped in my later classes at my home school. Paris is a beautiful city to learn French and explore history. There is never a dull moment – there is always another cobblestone street to wander, another festival to attend, another museum to explore, another pastry to try. This international city has so much beauty and history that is enchanting! I'm so happy that I was able to spend a semester in Paris and be able to immerse myself in the tradition of the Parisian lifestyle!

How can this program be improved?
This program recently moved to a new larger location, but its such a great program that it is growing so quickly. Therefore, the center sometimes felt a little small especially during lunch hour as no classes were going on and people were trying to have a quick lunch and work on group projects.
Yes, I recommend
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Paulina
10/10

Study Abroad - Paris BIA

I spent my last semester studying abroad in Paris. I had an amazing time and so I'm extremely grateful with the IES Paris BIA program coordinators and staff for making this such an unforgettable experience! From day 1 of orientation to the last day of classes, the IES Paris BIA staff was always very friendly and welcoming, they would always go out of their way to make sure were happy and never passed an opportunity to share with us special events occurring around the city so that we could go and explore them.

To that point, the IES Paris program had a variety of different field trips within the city, but also to other regions in France. These were one of my favorite things about the program as they allowed us to get to know our peers, but also to get immersed in our host country's culture.

The classes were also an opportunity for us to learn more about France as they were all tailored to provide us with unique insights about the Parisian lifestyle. I was a little worried about the course credits not transferring properly, but the IES staff was very helpful in explaining how this worked in order to avoid such issues.

As for my housing situation, I can only speak for staying with a homestay as that was the option I went for. I had a wonderful experience, and truly recommend doing this when studying abroad. IES did such a great job matching students to host families that everyone felt very comfortable with their living situation.

Overall a very well organized program, offering a unique way of experiencing Paris, and something I will never forget!

How can this program be improved?
The program only recruited students from American universities and so there seemed to be a lack of diversity in the students that participated the program.

Yes, I recommend
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Elizabeth
10/10

Paris Calls

What I loved most about going abroad was the independence. I had the opportunity to explore a new city entirely on my own. Well, not entirely on my own because I made a lot of friends along the way. I learned the language, ate the food, and soaked up the culture.
One of my favorite things about this program was the academics. I took classes that I never would have taken at my home school. All of my professors were engaging and clearly experts on their topics. Many of my professors took our classes outside the classroom so that we could learn about our topic first hand. My art history class, for example, took place in a variety of museums so that we were looking at the real art as we learned about it.
I also loved that the program offered a lot of field trips. I went to Normandy and Champagne with IES which are two places I certainly would not have gone to on my own. In Champagne we learned how the champagne is made and the way in which it is marketed to consumers. (The Champagne trip was for my Intro to Marketing Class). The program also had events on weekends where a faculty member would take students to different neighborhoods in Paris.
I recommend studying abroad in Paris even if you don’t speak French that well. I was very nervous my first few days in the city because my French is very poor, but I found that I had no problem at all! Living in Paris allowed me to practice my French. I found people to still be very nice to me even if I didn’t understand what they were saying or messed up my French. Don’t believe in the stereotypes!! The French are very nice!
I loved studying abroad in Paris and truly believe that I am a better person for having done it. The friendly faculty of IES were always there for me when I had questions or needed any assistance. I highly recommend going to Paris and having an experience like no other.

How can this program be improved?
I would have liked a bit more time to travel to other countries. We got three day weekends and a week off to travel.
Yes, I recommend
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Nick
10/10

IES BIA Fall 2015

IES Abroad Fall 2015 was the best semester of my life. I highly recommend that everyone go abroad for a semester at some point during their time at college. I was lucky enough to spend a semester abroad in Paris through IES and it is a program that I would highly recommend to other students. I would recommend it for so many reasons but the top three would be their academics, trips and housing.

IES BIA offers many very interesting coursing ranging from Economics, to Art History, to Green Growth. I was unfortunate in that I would not receive credit for any business classes I took while abroad. I therefore took many liberal arts classes such as Art History, Society Today, French History, Green Growth and French. Everyone in the program is required to take a French class in order to improve your skills but there are many levels to these classes and everyone will get placed in a class that suits their French speaking skills and needs. I was a mediocre French speaker going in and got placed in the 301 level class. I had an amazing teacher and had so much fun while also learning a lot of French. The IES classes are not difficult which is nice because I know a lot of people are planning on traveling and do not want to be bogged down by schoolwork. I can say that I never really did any homework and was still very successful in school. However, even though the out of classroom work is not terribly difficult or cumbersome the learning is still present. Many of my classes we would take field trips throughout the city and were able to see the art or culture that we were learning about. I had about 3 or 4 trips to the Louvre for my art history class. I also was able to go and make my own crepes for my French class when we were learning about ingredients and cooking. These kind of experiences will stay with me and I can honestly say that I will remember a lot of what I learned because when you can see or touch the learning it comes to life.

IES runs a couple of school trips which are all well organized and educational. I participated in the trips to Normandy, Vaux le Vicomte and Fontainebleau, and Versailles. These trips are great opportunities to see your fellow classmates as well as teachers in a non-classroom setting while also experiencing French culture. During the trips you also get to eat traditional French meals provided by the program. These were some of the best meals that I ate while abroad and are way better than they sound. IES does a great job organizing these trips so that you have plenty of time to see the history or culture as a group but then you are also given time to explore on your own or with other students. These trips are not mandatory but something that I would highly suggest that every student try to participate in.

The final part of my trip that I would like to share is my homestay. I was incredibly lucky with my host family and my homestay living situation. I feel that I had the best situation imaginable but every student that decided to do a homestay was incredibly pleased with their situation and would argue that theirs was better. My family would allow me to eat dinner with them any night I was home and wanted to eat. I was also able to talk to them and ask them questions about any part of their culture that interested me. As I mentioned before my speaking skills weren't superb but they never made fun of me or laughed and I can say that by the end I could easily communicate in French. My homestay really improved my experience in Paris and is a large part of the reason that I want to go back. I highly recommend a homestay to everyone studying abroad with IES and encourage anyone worried about language barrier or cultural conflicts to give it a try because IES is very accommodating. For those who believe that apartments better suit their needs the apartments provided by IES are also great but their occupants just miss out on the cultural experience.

Overall IES BIA is an amazing program and I hope that many people chose it and have an amazing experience similar to the one I had.

Yes, I recommend

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