Paris BIA was the perfect balance of everything I was looking for in a study abroad program because it allowed me to take classes relevant to my major while simultaneously being immersed in French culture. As an accounting student, I enjoyed the diverse offering of businesses classes, such as Intercultural Management, International Political Economy, Business French, Luxury Brand Management, and Global Marketing. The courses I took allowed me to increase my understanding of business in a global context in a way that I would not have been able to if I had stayed at my home university. At the same time, however, I was able to take classes in Parisian art and architecture and France's history with the Middle East and Islam.
One of my favorite aspects of this program was that my professors and program directors made a conscious effort to get students outside of the classroom. My art history class met once a week for three hours, and we seemed to spend nearly three fourths of our class periods on field trips. We saw everything from Pont Neuf, Paris' oldest bridge, to the Louvre, the Musee D'Orsay, Haussmann's boulevards, and the new library, the Bibliotheque Nationale de France. In other classes, I visited the Paris Mosque and took a day trip to Geneva to see the World Trade Organization and the International Red Cross.
Outside of class, the program directors did an excellent job of introducing us to several aspects of French culture. I had the opportunity to watch France play the Netherlands in soccer, bake cakes in a French bakers, spend a weekend in Normandy, and see Versailles and several other palaces. In addition, the day to day interactions I had with my host family enriched my study abroad experience. Through family dinners, trips to the movie theater, afternoons spent baking with my host sisters, and countless other daily activities, I developed a deeper understanding and appreciation of France's unique culture.