IES Abroad Paris – Business & International Affairs

Video and Photos

Day trip with IES to Versailles
Our group trip to Versailles
Notre Dame by night
EuroDISNEY!
Field trip to Normandy
A gorgeous day à Paris!
An excursion to Chantilly!

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.

Scholarships

IES Abroad Scholarships
IES Abroad Scholarships and Financial Aid

As far as we're concerned, financial limitations shouldn't prevent you from studying abroad with us. That's why we offer more than $5 million in scholarships and aid.

Value
$500 - $5,000

Questions & Answers

Reviews

94%
based on 41 reviews
  • Academics 8
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 9.1
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 15 of 41
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Sarah
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

One of the Best Experiences of My Life

I was in Paris this past semester and absolutely fell in love with this city. Leaving Paris was one of the hardest things I have ever experienced because I gained a new perspective and met so many amazing people during my time there. Through the IES Business & International Affairs program I was able to meet new friends, go see a French ballet, take a trip to Normandy, have interesting classes, meet my language partner, be able to live with an amazing host mom; just some to say the least. These are experiences and relationships that I still carry with me now and have fond memories of.

Going abroad everyone is worried about making friends, but honestly on the first day talk to as many people as you can. You are all in the same boat but you all have different stories that you can share to get to know each other more. The people I met in this program were the ones who I went on adventures with; like taking random trips to Notre Dame, eating sushi on Boulevard de Sébastopol, going out to experience Paris day/night life, or just hanging out on the Seine. Find people who will encourage you to go out and have fun because it is impossible to see all of Paris but you have to try and experience the most you can.

The IES program has a raffle every month that you can sign up for and go to different events. I did this and ended up winning tickets to go see a French ballet. It was so beautiful and was unique to me because I had never seen a ballet before. Also, IES provided an opportunity for students to go to Normandy, here I was able to learn more not only about French history, but British and US history as well.

Now moving on to IES classes they were great and the professors are so interesting and intelligent. They were so friendly and loved talking to their students not just about classes but about their lives in France. One thing to note is that the program was mostly made up of US students so it made it harder to meet people from France. This is why I would recommend choosing to live with a host family and signing up for the Epitech language exchange program.

I was nervous to live with a family that I did not know at all, but I have no regrets because in my opinion I got the most amazing host mom in the world. She was so patient with my awful French and helped me in finding new things to do in Paris. Also, she made great food and don’t believe what people say about France having smaller portions because my host mom always fed me so much, and honestly not complaining about that. I was comfortable asking her anything and she let me look at her photo albums, her husband’s music collection, etc. She is such a great person and I learned so much from her.

The language program was another great opportunity for me to meet people in France. I contacted representatives from Epitech through IES and they assigned me a language partner. I met my partner and he was so easy to talk to and really showed me Paris through a different lens. He showed me parts of Paris I didn’t even know existed and introduced me to his friends. Through this program I was able to meet incredible people who I love to talk to and experiences that I will never forget.

What was your funniest moment?
The funniest moment I had was when I saw Owen Wilson in the streets of Paris and was literally so starstruck that I couldn't speak or think and completely forgot to take a picture, so I'm putting that here so people will believe me.
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Patricia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I would highly recommend this program!

This past spring I participated in the IES Business & International Affairs program in Paris, France and it was one of the best experiences ever! My classes were interesting and related directly to my majors, Marketing and Business Administration. I met many new people (French and American) through programs hosted by IES, and IES paired me up with an internship during my time in Paris. At first I wasn't sure about accepting the internship, but it was my favorite part of my time abroad. I didn’t have as much free time as other classmates, but I don’t regret a single thing because it was very beneficial. I gained new skills, practiced my French with locals, and I experienced firsthand what the French work environment is like. I would highly recommend this program and the internship option to anyone who wants to explore the French culture all while staying on top of your academics and growing as a person.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I'm a very "go with the flow" kind of person, but the one thing I would change about my time abroad is that I would create a list with all the different things I would like to do and places I'd like to visit in Paris. I didn't plan ahead and missed out on a few things.
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Aleena
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I learned so much about the French culture

The IES BIA Program gave me the opportunity to learn more about the political, economic, social, and cultural institutions in France through their planned excursions, weekend recommendations, and ticket giveaways for the Opera, Ballet, rugby games, and cooking classes. My French not only significantly improved through these immersive experiences, but also because of my host family, which was perhaps the best part of my experience. My host mom was kind and supportive, always helping me improve my French and introducing me to the different facets of French culture and cuisine.

The classes were engaging and the small size allows you to interact with both the professors, which come from prestigious universities around France, as well as the students. Coming from a university with larger class sizes, this was something I appreciated. The classes also offered excursions; I went to the cinema with my French class to watch a movie and went to the World Trade Organization Headquarters in Geneva with my Market Trends and Economics class. I learned a lot about the policies that France and the European Union implement; a lot of the material presented in my classes as well as the presentations I completed impressed employers when doing internship interviews.

My study abroad experience only grew my identity as a global citizen and shaped my ability to communicate across different cultures, which in an increasingly connected world is important. My decision to immerse myself as much as possible refined my French and by the end of the five months, I was confident and it was easy to carry on discussions in French.

I highly recommend this program to others who are interested in learning about the facets of French culture and are studying business or international affairs because the knowledge you acquire is invaluable and will aid you in the future. I also recommend doing a homestay - it was probably one of the best decisions I made while abroad.

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Erin
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
More opportunities to go on field trips
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Marissa
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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

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!

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing! :)
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Alyssa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Andrew
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
Daria
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Michelle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

What would you improve about this program?
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!
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Jacquelyn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

What would you improve about this program?
More clarification on homestay (whether it will be English speaking or not)
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Alexandra
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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

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!

What would you improve about this program?
This program could only be improved by better connecting students with real French students.
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Giulia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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?

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Katie
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.