IES Abroad Paris – French Studies

Video and Photos

About

Imagine practicing your French as you order a pain au chocolat at your neighborhood bakery. Meeting local students as you explore the city’s 20 unique arrondissements. Examining the masterpieces of the Louvre Museum—for class. All this and more awaits you when you study abroad in Paris!

When you study abroad, Paris becomes your classroom. Our courses use the city as an extension of the classroom, leading course-related excursions to monuments, museums, and neighborhoods as part of your academic study. This is what study abroad is all about!
This program combines rigorous study of the French language with a broad range of classes taught in French by accomplished faculty. You can also experience what life is like for French students by taking one or more courses at a local French university.

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

IES Abroad Paris has two different schools/programs: French Studies and Business. If you enroll in the French Studies Program all of your classes will be in French, and you will have the choice to take classes at French universities (I only took classes at the IES center). Each student takes a placement test to assess his/her language skills before going abroad - the test doesn't count toward a...

Reviews

9.33 Rating
based on 39 reviews
  • Academics 8
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 8.8
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 8 of 39
Default avatar
Lauren
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

EVERYONE should study abroad! No matter what.

I spent four months in Paris, France during the Spring 2019 semester. I am a nursing major at Hope College and I went to Paris to finish up my French minor. I decided to choose this particular IES Paris program because I really desired to grow in my overall French language skills, even though French may not have any direct involvement in my future career as a nurse. That being said, my decision to take classes entirely taught in French and to live in a home stay with a woman who only spoke French was hands-down THE best decision of my life. I grew immensely in my language skills, and I got to immerse myself in Parisian culture while also traveling around Europe on weekend excursions with the new friends I made there and together with my entire program. I grew in self-assurance and maturity as I navigated my life abroad very much independently, and I got to experience cultures drastically different from my own - which I believe is one of the most important things anyone could ever do. When I ask people now if they have plans to study abroad, and their response is "Well, I don't really have any reason to with my major," it is difficult for me not to laugh because I know what a huge impact studying abroad had on me and my entire perspective on life. Everyone should study abroad. I made some of the best friends of my entire life, and I grew into a mature adult with the confidence to travel and take huge leaps out of my comfort zone. I now better understand the importance of taking the time to appreciate and learn from other cultures, and I can understand a whole new language!! I was lucky enough to be able to take a ballet class taught in French, and I received French credit towards my minor! This was something I would have never expected, but my program directors were so passionate about making my experiences as personal as possible.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
When I first arrived in Paris, my host mom sent me to the metro to figure out how to get to school the next day. I had never had to use public transportation before, let alone in my second language, and so I was terrified! I knew that it was something I was going to have to do, so I worked past my anxiety and figured out how to navigate the metro and also the street where my school was. It took some time and asking for help from multiple people (in French!!) but I did it! It was so cool to see how quickly the metro became old-hat to me, despite all of my the initial anxiety.
Default avatar
Jalen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Learning and Having Fun in Paris

I spent a semester in Paris with IES Abroad. Through this program I was able to take classes on the colonization of francophone Africa, feminism movements in France, and a sociology course, along with my grammar course. These classes were instrumental in broadening my worldview and how I view social movements and the perspectives of other cultures. I was able to gain a better understanding of how history can shape right and wrong and influence political discourse, not only for France but the ways in which the same has been done here in the United States in a way that is unique to America.
Also, thanks to this program I was able to complete an internship. This experience was invaluable, not only in helping me gain an understanding of French culture on another level, but in improving my language skills, and giving me experience that will be invaluable as I continue to move forward in my professional life. My internship was with an organization called Afrika Tiss, which is a fair trade organization that works specifically with female artisans and Malian refugees in Burkina Faso. In Ouagadougou the artisans there make jewelry, bags, and home accessories that are later sold in France as well as other countries. The production works on a small scale, but everything is made by hand in a way that preserves ancestral patterns and skills while also adding a modern touch. I met some incredible people through this internship and I learned a lot about humanitarian work and what that looks like from the inside.
IES from the beginning was very clear and helpful in terms of telling me what I would need while I was there and everything I would need to do before. The staff onsite was incredibly helpful in determining what courses would be best for me and for helping me find my internship. They had multiple excursions that helped me meet other students in the program and they also had so many meetings that helped me get acclimated to French culture and prepared me for the types of things that I might experience in my first few weeks in Paris. From the beginning the staff was readily available to help me and provide me with advice to help guide me through the early and often times difficult stages of my transition into Parisian culture. Even better, the entire staff was open to the suggestions of students so that they could continue to better the program for future classes of students. Overall the program was instrumental in helping me discover myself and broaden my education not only in an academic setting but also from an intercultural perspective.

What would you improve about this program?
I feel like this program would benefit a lot from discussing financial literacy and wealth inequality and how that can affect a students experience.
Default avatar
Noelle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Paris, Je t'aime!

The time I spent in Paris this fall has been one of the most enriching, rewarding, and influential experiences in my life. This is an excellent program for those who are looking to significantly improve their French language skills. By the end of the semester I felt so much more confident in my abilities to read, write, and speak the language. I chose to stay with a host family and I am so happy I did- they made me feel welcomed and comfortable in an unfamiliar environment and introduced me to aspects of French culture that I wouldn’t have been able to experience otherwise. One of my favorite things about Paris is that there is always something to do and the city is so rich in history and culture. I was able to travel outside of Paris a number of weekends and explore different cities around Europe, each introducing me to something new and broadening my perspectives. Studying abroad has brought me a greater awareness of what opportunities the world has to offer. I have nothing but good things to say about this program. Merci, IES Abroad!

What would you improve about this program?
I was very pleased with the way this program was organised and run. I truly have no complaints!
Default avatar
Austin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

French Language and Culture

I loved my experience with IES Abroad French Studies. I was placed with a homestay family, which allowed me to both practice French on a daily basis, but also to gain interesting points of view on current events and popular culture. My IES Aborad classes were excellent, and all taught by French university professors who both understood how to teach classes to American students and to students for whom French was their second language. I was also able to take classes at an outside university, and truly gain an understanding of the French university system, invaluable because I plan to return to France for further education after graduating college. I also met wonderful people during my time abroad, both students in my IES Abroad program, and French teenagers in my classes at the university. IES Abroad both encouraged and facilitated our immersion in French culture, and allowed students to really personalize the program to meet their specific goals.

What would you improve about this program?
I wish I had been more prepared for how different the French and American university systems are, so I could have anticipated many of the problems that I faced while abroad with course equivalencies and such, and planned better for them. It may seem like the academic advisors are unhelpful, but they are doing their best to help you out! The two systems are just so different.
Default avatar
Logan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Paris: a perfect paradise

As a participant in IES Abroad's French Studies in Paris Program, I had the best and most valuable experiences as a student, a traveler, a volunteer, and a woman of the world. I had the opportunity to explore Paris, the French Province, and several European countries--such as Belgium, Holland, and Italy--as my location in the heart of Paris provided me with ample modes of transportation within and beyond France. Additionally, the French Studies Center is well located in the Montparnasse area where there is always hustle and bustle with the surrounding businesses, restaurants. and retail. Being thrown into this amazing city and all it has to offer, I had innumerable opportunities to step outside of my comfort zone through local organizations, volunteer opportunities, and field-trips. Additionally, I was able to challenge myself intellectually and socially through the classes I chose to pursue through IES (Histories and Legends of Paris, Sociology of France, Politics and Poetry of Gender in France, The Word and the Image, and French in Context). IES provided a wide array of courses to be taken at the IES Center in addition to the courses at Parisian institutions of higher education. The IES staff and faculty were incredibly welcoming, approachable, and knowledgeable. The relationships I formed with the staff and faculty will endure, for they were instrumental in my success while abroad. I look forward to the day when I can return to Paris and swing by the Center. My study abroad program motivated and supported me in all of my academic, personal, and professional endeavors. My French language skills improved drastically within the immersion program, my knowledge of new and interesting material increased, and I now have experience with professionals in various domains and careers that will help me after graduation as I search for jobs. There is not one thing about my time abroad with IES that I regret--except that I didn't stay the whole year!

What would you improve about this program?
The program should work more closely with the local institutions of higher education to facilitate IES students' enrollment.
Default avatar
Etta
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A beautiful, eye-opening journey full of cultural exchange and learning

Studying abroad reinforced my strong connection to France, and helped me become even closer with some of the locals there. I made life-long friendships with other Americans and international students, locals, and possible future employers as well as with the IES center staff. The after-class scene was also full of fun opportunities to engage in clubs, volunteer work, or simply enjoy a night out, all the while improving French language skills. Also, I did apply and receive independent housing which improved y mental health and physical activity.

What would you improve about this program?
Better healthcare information, and easier access to independent housing.
Read my full story
Default avatar
Alaina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The best semester of my life was spent in Paris!

Paris, c'est magnifique! Everything is magical, from the language, to the food, to the museums and monuments. I was able to take classes in French, reading the texts of my major in their original language. The people and places I had been studying since high school were standing before my eyes. I could walk the streets of Napoleon, or eat at the cafés of Manet. For everyone who is hesitating to go abroad, I urge you to take a leap of faith and discover a completely new world. Things may not be easy (in fact, sometimes they can be downright hard), but that is when I grew the most. Feeling uncomfortable because my host mother didn't know any English, I pushed myself to become better at French so we could communicate more readily. Separated from all of my friends at home, I made new friendships that are going to last me a lifetime. I ate foods I had never dreamed of and saw art I had only read of. My experiences have made me more confident and sure of myself. I am now more spontaneous, and I worry a lot less about the small things that don't matter. I have always been a small town girl, but now I know that I can live and thrive in a big city, especially if it has the culture that Paris does.
My program really helped me make the most of my Paris adventure. IES Paris French Studies introduced me to aspects of the culture that I had never considered, and helped me to foresee cultural problems that could have arisen. They have an excellent range of classes that allowed me to get credit in my major, as well as exploring areas that I wouldn't have been able to do at home, such as the history of Parisian museums, or the history of French photography. Through the program, I was also able to visit places within and around Paris, such as Monet's gardens at Giverny and da Vinci's house in the Loire Valley.
Some advice that I might give future students would be to be ready to be uncomfortable. Studying in a foreign country is going to give you experiences that you would never think to encounter in the US. And while those can be hard to get through at the time, they can give you new insights that you never would have thought to gain, or ways to deal with trying situations when you return home. Be open to new opinions and new ways of doing things; if you are so closed to new experiences that you can't discover the value in a new method, your experience is going to be limited.
Once you get to Paris, you will be bombarded with amazing opportunities. Some of my favorites were wandering through Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, and having a picnic along the Seine as the tourist boats go by. Hit the main tourist sites, like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, but also go to some of the smaller museums, like Musée Marmottan Monet. See the general things, but find your own little corner of Paris, with a go-to café and your favorite outdoor market. And above all, wring all you can out of each day; once you return home, you will miss it so much that it hurts to think about even one day not spent exploring the wonders of Paris.

What would you improve about this program?
The academics of the IES Paris French Studies program could be improved somewhat. The professors are wonderful, but they can be a little unorganized, and they don't always make their expectations clear. However, they are very helpful, and showed us many aspects of French life that we would never have been able to discover on our own.
Default avatar
Emoni
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The City Where Dreams Come True!

After dreaming of studying in Paris (since the eighth grade) I finally had the opportunity to spend a semester abroad in Paris, France in 2016. Outside of taking classes and improving my French language skills I was able to immerse myself in French culture and see/eat my way through Paris. As a French major taking classes that were conducted solely in French challenged me to use the foundation of my home university while expanding my knowledge that only the study abroad experience can provide. I was also fortunate enough to take ballet classes at the Paris Marais Dance School.

For housing, I lived with a host family in a suburb just outside of Paris. It took about 40 minutes for me to commute to school everyday which seems like a drawback but it forced me to stay out and explore the different arrondissements before going home at the end of the day. My host family was so welcoming and understanding that the initial culture shock could be a challenge but within two weeks I felt like part of the family and we still keep in touch!

Outside the classroom Paris is full of adventure. From visiting the main attractions (the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Coeur) and eating macaroons, escargot, and crêpes it was finding where the locals hung out that made my time in Paris more than a tourist vacation. Be it eating in a student cafeteria that is a boat on the Seine or visiting Rex (a movie theater by day and club by night) once you feel more comfortable with the city all that's left to do is take it by storm.

Overall, my experience was indescribable! The friends, memories, and connections I made will last a lifetime. I can't wait to go back!!

What would you improve about this program?
This program offers plenty of opportunities for students to take classes at outside universities or participate in an internship, yet there are no programs for students to volunteer and give back to their host country. I would love to see the program offer a few events where students can volunteer at the local libraries or schools.