I spent an incredible semester studying in Paris, France this past spring thanks to IES. The IES staff members showed their dedication to their students by helping and supporting us at every step of our program. They made the transition to and from my home university easy and put in the effort to make us feel at home in a foreign city.
My host family was one of the best parts of my study abroad experience. Through my conversations with my host parents I learned more about French culture and language than I ever could in a classroom setting. My host parents were kind, funny, caring and welcoming. Their generosity alleviated any homesickness that I was feeling, and their advice helped me make the most of my time in Paris.
My courses at the IES center made me aware of the beauty and complexity of Paris and helped me confront cultural differences better. IES also guided me through the process of interviewing and securing an internship at a famous art gallery. My internship gave me the confidence to engage in conversations with French speakers, which led me to meeting three Parisian artists.
IES staff members also dedicated a lot of time to organizing field trips and activities for their students. During my semester I traveled to Nimes, Aigues-Mortes, Avignon, Reims, Giverny, Deauville, Versailles, Fontainebleu, Amsterdam, Berlin and Prague. Thanks to IES contests and activities, I won tickets to see Swan Lake at the Opera Bastille ballet, a private street art tour, and brunch at Angelina’s. Some of my favorite memories included visiting Paris’ Grande Mosquee, spending a night in the catacombs, touring champagne caves, drinking tea at a cat café, going to the theatre, wandering for hours through Paris’ streets and museums, and making new friends who shared these experiences with me.
My semester with IES is one that I will cherish, and I hope that other students who share my love for travel, adventure, and culture will choose an IES program for their semester abroad.