IES Abroad Paris - Business & International Affairs

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About

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

94%
based on 38 reviews
  • Academics 7.9
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 9.1
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 1 - 15 of 38
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Erin
9/10

I don't go a day without thinking about something from my time abroad!

Every single day, something will happen that reminds me of an experience I have had abroad or makes me thankful of a strength I gained while abroad. I'll never forget the nerves I had rolling up to the home of a family I had never met and knew nothing about and a severe case of jet lag. The second I got into my room and discovered my 12th story view of the Eiffel Tower, all my worries faded away. Every single night I got to fall asleep with the Eiffel Tower shimmering into my room after an amazing meal with a family that felt like my own in no time.

It was so easy to fall into a routine while abroad. Going to classes in the day, recapping classes with my host family in the evening over dinner, and going out to explore free museums and sites with new friends from my program. I've never been in a position where I could so easily translate what I was learning in the classroom to real life.

I loved everything about my study abroad. The people I was with, the comfort I felt in the city, and the learning I accomplished.

How can this program be improved?
More opportunities to go on field trips
Yes, I recommend this program
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Marissa
8/10

Fulfilling Time Abroad

My time abroad was so fulfilling, and I owe it all to IES Abroad! The staff was so helpful whenever I had any questions, which was a lot of the time. They took time out of their day to help me solve problems, and they always had smiles on their faces! I was placed with an amazing homestay family who truly became my family away from home. The staff did check-ins with me to make sure that I was happy in my placement, and I always felt comfortable. Everyone was very passionate about helping me maximize my time in Paris, and I am so grateful for that. We went on cool trips, and you could even win some extra events in the center. I personally got to go to cooking classes and opera shows which are usually expensive. I loved my time abroad and I would recommend IES to anyone looking to study in Paris!

How can this program be improved?
I think there could have been more bonding events with the other participants but things like that are sometimes what you make of it!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Emily
10/10

Paris will always be a home!

Four years ago, when I was looking for my dream college and University one of my requirements was that I had to be able to Study Abroad and specifically go to Paris. When I got onto my campus at the University of Vermont, I told my academic advisor our first meeting that we need to arrange my 4-year course schedule to include a semester in Paris. I was determined to do everything in my power to go to Paris, France.

While researching different programs, my school really encouraged me going to an exchange program or one that was run by my university. There was ONE school my university called a “direct exchange” and it was not in Paris, so I immediately crossed it off of my list. I found IES and loved that it is an American program, based out of Chicago, so they had an understanding about the college system and life in the US. Then once I applied, I got my packet of information to take to the French Consulate or Embassy. They made it so easy, and I know other friends of mine who were going to other countries with other programs, had such a hard time getting their visa, but if you go through IES as long as you follow every direction to a T, you will have no problem getting your Visa.

The classes were amazing, and the professors caring about you and the course subject. They also really encouraged applying the lessons even in marketing to go and explore Paris and the surrounding countries.

I studied the French culture all throughout high school (my high school French teach is a member of the family who started Fragonard Perfumer), and I wasn’t going to Paris to just take classes and then to travel to other places. I really wanted to live and absorb the culture that I had learned about though my teacher’s stories and things I read in textbooks.

Probably the highlight of my time in Paris, was the program sponsored trip to go to the Loire river valley to see the famous castles. I actually did a huge research project about one in high school, and that particular castle was the first one we got to visit on the trip. It was amazing to see in real life something that I had only seen online and in textbooks.

The second opportunity I had was to study art. I grew up only an hour and a half from the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, so very quickly I fell in love with Monet, but that museum cycled out their paintings. I had the opportunity to go to the Musée D’Orsay (impressionist’s museum) (for free because I had a student visa) and see the work in real life, then go to Giverny (Monets’ home and gardens) (with the program), and then see the exhibit (the day after it opened) looking at how Monet re-created his most famous paintings 5 years before he died, while he was going blind.

This program also allowed you three different living options. I had a friend who lived in a dorm like room, an apartment, and I lived with a host family. My host mom, was truly like my mom. She was excited to get to know me, and I was excited to get to know her. I also had the opportunity to get to know her grandchildren and other children, besides the one that stilled lived at home. It was also awesome, because she spoke English, but would only speak to me in French because she knew that I’m in Paris to learn and use my French, not my English.

For the first 3-4 weeks after I returned, I would speak in French (luckily my mom is fluent in French), but my poor dad had no idea what I was saying.

This program really allowed me to explore other things outside of my business curriculum, but also allowed me to do everything I could’ve possibly wanted to while I was abroad!

How can this program be improved?
Nothing! :)
Yes, I recommend this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program

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