IES Abroad Paris - French Studies
92% Rating
(34 Reviews)

IES Abroad Paris - French Studies

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.

Check out this Center for yourself through our virtual tours at www.IESabroad.org/study-abroad/virtual-tour.

Locations
Europe » France » Paris
Europe » France
Program Type
Provider
Subject Areas
African Studies
Art History
Cultural Studies
Service Learning
Social Sciences
Sociology
Theater, Drama and Dance
Degree Level
Bachelors
Timeframe
Academic Year
Fall
Spring
Accommodation
Apartment
Host Family
Language
French
Steps
Online Application
Official Transcripts
Age Requirement
Language Requirement
GPA Requirement
Health Requirement
Starting Price
$0.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
Contact IES Abroad or see website for details: www.IESabroad.org/paris
Other Locations
Paris

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 gr...

Program Reviews

  • Academics
    79%
  • Support
    92%
  • Fun
    92%
  • Housing
    88%
  • Safety
    92%

Program Reviews (34)

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Etta
Female
Appleton, WI
Lawrence University

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

10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?

Better healthcare information, and easier access to independent housing.

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Alaina
Female
21 years old
United States
Whitman College

The best semester of my life was spent in Paris!

10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?

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.

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Emoni
Female
22 years old
Durham, NC
University of Rochester

The City Where Dreams Come True!

10/10

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!!

How can this program be improved?

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.

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Anna
Female
21 years old
Northfield, MN
Saint Olaf College

The First of Many Arts Adventures in France

9/10

I enjoyed a thought-provoking and adventurous semester abroad in Paris, France this past fall semester of 2016. I am grateful to the IES program for opening the door to daily social and professional life in Paris. I am especially pleased with the internship coordinating that was done throughout the program to help me attain and sustain a three and a half month-long internship with a prestigious modern and contemporary art gallery in the heart of the city. Not only do I plan to return, I hope to live a large portion of my life in France after my incredible experience there!

How can this program be improved?

While I am a big supporter of program to live with a host family, I myself was not placed with a family that met my social nor living condition interests. I would have appreciated living with a family that engaged me in daily conversation on the lives we were leading in the city!

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Jennifer
Female
21 years old
Colorado Springs, CO
Miami University

Living in Paris

7/10

Overall, my time in Paris with IES was a great experience. The IES Center is in a great location on Rue Daguerre, which is a really cool market street. There were always plenty of options for lunch - especially bakeries with traditional French sandwiches and pastries. As far as classes go, the professors were all very nice and willing to talk to us about differences between France and the United States. One of my favorite classes was “Paris Museums” because we spent time in class learning about French art history and then on some evenings during the week, we went to museums to see the actual artwork that we learned about in class. It was so helpful to go through these museums with a professor that could actually tell you about what you were looking at. I probably would not have visited all of the museums we went to on my own, so the class was a great way to see more of Paris. Taking classes solely in French and having to write papers and give presentations in French was also a great way to improve my French and really feel fluent in the language.

I also had an internship while I was in Paris, which is one of the best things I did. I worked there 2 afternoons per week after my classes and all day on Friday (there are no classes at IES on Friday). It was great to get to work with French people and learn about the differences between business culture in America and France. They kept me busy with a variety of tasks including translating documents, designing the newsletter, and posting things on their website and Facebook page. This was such great work experience for the future as well!

My homestay was also a pretty good experience overall. The apartment was in a very nice neighborhood in the 16th arr. and was located very close to two different metro lines, which made getting around the city very convenient. My metro ride to my classes everyday had an above-ground portion that went right by the Eiffel Tower! My host mom was a really good cook and was very nice. However, I was a little disappointed with my homestay overall because I had put on my homestay application that I would prefer to be treated like “family” as opposed to like a “guest.” Although I felt comfortable in the apartment, I never really felt like family and, apart from the required 3 dinners per week, I didn’t feel like my host mom really made much of an effort to show me and my housemate around our neighborhood or Paris at all. But overall, I felt safe and comfortable in my homestay.

How can this program be improved?

I think the IES Center could do a little bit more to facilitate interactions between the IES students (who are all Americans mostly) and French students. I didn't feel like I had a lot of contact with French students.

I also think they should pay more attention to the homestay surveys and how they match you up with your host family. I didn't feel like I got matched up very well.

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Abigail
Female
22 years old
Las Cruces, New Mexico
The Catholic University of America

Très bien!

9/10

It is January 8th, 2016, and what better way to start off the new year than by traveling to Paris, France? For years, it had been my dream to live in the City of Lights, and it is because of IES Abroad that that dream became a reality. By enrolling in their French Studies Program, I was given one hundred and fifteen days to explore and experience France. Every day in the country was an adventure. I would start each morning by eating a traditional French breakfast with my host mother. In between bites of bread and cheese, we would talk about everything under the sun, from fashion to French politics, from traveling to television. Afterwards, I would hop on the Metro to go to the IES Center, where I usually had two or three classes a day. The IES Abroad staff and faculty really took it upon themselves to provide students with an authentic French educational experience. Not only were classes taught exclusively in French, but they were also structured to mirror the typical French classroom. Staff and faculty members were genuinely concerned with student learning, and they encouraged students to not only practice speaking French but also immerse themselves in the city. During my four months abroad, I went on several IES Abroad-sponsored field trips. We visited many places in Paris, including the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louis Vuitton Foundation, the Montparnasse Tower, and the Place de Vosges. We also had the opportunity to travel to other nearby towns, including Reims, Giverny, and Amboise. However, even without a field trip planned, there was always something to do in Paris once class let out. Some days I would brave the more touristy areas, such as the Louvre Museum, the Sacre-Coeur Basilica, and, of course, the Eiffel Tower. Other days I would chill at a café with friends, where we would laugh and converse over small shots of espresso. There were even times where I would take my camera, ride the Metro to some random station, and just start walking, photographing everything I saw along the way. In doing this, I got to see the real Paris, the one that cannot be seen in just a week’s visit. In just one afternoon stroll, I could find a new patisserie, stumble upon some rad street art, and learn of where to buy French fashion for cheap. The evening usually ended with me returning back home to video chat with friends back in the United States. Study abroad was life changing for me. Never before had I imagined that I would be capable of living in another country by myself. But IES Abroad really helped in ensuring that I found my home away from home. The staff and faculty were there whenever I needed a crutch, but they also encouraged me to go out, be brave, and make the city my own. Now, thanks to this experience, I have a city that I dream of going back to, a city that I miss, and a city that I can call home.

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Juliana
Female
21 years old
Chicago
DePaul University

Wonderful experience with IES Abroad

10/10

While I was abroad, I met up with a friend who was studying abroad in Spain and was traveling to Paris for the weekend. She was studying through her home institution and knew almost everyone in her program in Spain. She explained it was almost an extension of her university, and many people in the program did not know Spanish. Her traveling companions even explained to me how they never spoke to their host families because they did not speak Spanish and their families did not speak English. There classes were too easy and they felt as if they could be living in America if not for the fact they were halfway across the world.

If this is what you want, then IES Abroad is not for you. However, I was turned off by the typical extension-of-America study abroad programs commonly offered by large universities with campuses around the world. I wanted to feel as though I was a resident of my host country: speak the language, eat the food, be set in the routine of a typical Parisian student. Luckily, IES gave me exactly that. The classes were all in French and offered a challenge that only serious students could take on. I felt as if I was Parisian for four months when I would hop on the metro, roll my eyes in annoyance at the accordion player as we sped past the Eiffel Tower, and skim my French novel for that day's class discussion. Although there were bumps along the way, IES prepared students to become integrated into French culture and experience life as a real university student instead of a four-month American vacation.

How can this program be improved?

There were a few issues with some of the classes and teachers, but the teacher evaluations gave each student a chance to speak their mind on these issues at the end of the program. There were also some problems with cell phones in the beginning, but those were also worked out over the semester. I really enjoyed this program and do not think there was much to be improved!

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Nadia
Female
22 years old
Berkeley, California
Pomona College

Amazing semester in Paris!

10/10

Studying abroad in Paris with the IES Abroad French Studies Program was an experience of a lifetime. I was matched with the most incredible host mother, and roommate from the same program, and we all got along so well; you could tell that IES had taken the time to match people well based on what they had asked for in their housing applications, and that made all the difference in my stay and feeling comfortable throughout my 4 months there. I took 4 classes at the IES center: History of Paris, Modern Art, Creative Writing, and Grammar, and developed a huge appreciation and love for history and art (two subjects I've never been too interested in) thanks to the talented and engaging IES professors, all of whom were native French people. I took two other classes at a local art school, and found myself going to 3 hour classes twice a week, surrounded by a much older crowd of talented parisian artists, whom I shared cheese/bread/wine breaks with halfway through class each time. The culture there, which I found was highly focused on working hard at work, thoroughly relaxing and enjoying time away from work, savoring food at mealtimes, and always appreciating the art and culture and history imbedded throughout the city, was a culture I had never witnessed before, and one which I fell completely in love with. IES Abroad gave us the toolkit to experience it all, through encouraging us to go to cultural events, providing us with the kindest guidance from their staff, the most inspiring professors, and through of course having its location in the very heart of Paris, where we were able to go to any and all of the most beautiful spots within 20-30 minutes after class; I wish I could go back already!

How can this program be improved?

It couldn't be!

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Hayley
Female
23 years old
Washington, DC.
Pomona College

Paris French Studies

8/10

Overall, IES was an amazing experience. The cliche saying 'study abroad changed my life,' is true.

While I found the classes to be rather dull at times, the other aspects of the program compensated greatly. The planned program excursions and dinners were educational, fun, and a great way to meet the other students. I found the freedom to control our own schedules forced me to become more independent and rely on myself. I loved my outside university classes. Furthermore, my homestay was perfect. I loved living in a residential area with a real french family.

I would strongly recommend this program to future students!

How can this program be improved?

The classes can be largely improved. Instruction was dull- and class topics were outdated.

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Victoria
Female
Chicago
DePaul University

Taste of a New Culture

9/10

Studying abroad in Paris was easily the best decision of my life. It allowed me to finally experience a culture that I had been learning about in textbooks for 6 years. I learned more about the French culture in the 4 months abroad than I had throughout the years in French class. I believe anyone studying a language or culture must travel and see that culture first-hand.

At IES, I took 5 courses all in French: French Literature, French Language in Context, Paris Museums, an internship seminar and I also took a phonetics course at Université Catholique de Paris. The course load I will admit was more than expected, but it was also key to helping me improve my French and boost my confidence in the language. My grammar course in particular focused on current events and hot topics in France and for that reason I enjoyed this class the most.

I also stayed with a great host family on the southwest side of Paris right in between the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. Needless to say, my commute was always a pleasant one. My host family was very informative on where to go and what to see in Paris, dinner was always phenomenal, and the girls were around the same age as me so we would often talk about pop culture and current events at the dinner table. I'm lucky I got to stay with a family with such a great sense of humor. And my host mom was an amazing artist! She's going to be having an art expo of her own very soon!

The IES Center itself was a great place to be. There is a beautiful garden just outside of the classrooms and student lounge. The lounge has a piano and there is also a computer lab located in the basement of the student center along with a small library. I would often spend time here getting homework done or just hanging out with friends between and after classes.

IES also helped me get an internship while abroad. I interned with a market research firm and learned a lot about the work culture in France first-hand, which was supplemented by class reading in my internship seminar.

I will always remember and cherish the 4 months I spent abroad. In a beautiful city like Paris, any where you turn is a history lesson, a beautiful monument, a work of art.

Everyday I learned something new, faced and overcome hurdles, and everyday I grew. I grew to realize that different parts of the world do things differently, and with different motivations. Studying abroad has only deeper encouraged me to keep traveling and keep exploring the world and the cultures that call it home.

How can this program be improved?

The academics of this program is very Americanized even with a French curriculum. I spent a lot of time doing homework which impeded me from exploring the city sometimes. I would recommend lessening the workload just a tad bit.

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Hattie
Female
Chicago, IL
DePaul University

Semester Abroad in Paris, 2015!

10/10

My Study Abroad experience was nothing short of life altering. I participated in a French Studies Program in Paris, France. The program has a 100% French curriculum meaning all of my classes, assignments, and exams were in French. There were 44 of us total which meant the class sizes were pretty small, about 8-12 students in each of my classes. The coursework was challenging yet doable, and I admit harder than I expected prior to going. Yet I have no complaints because the curriculum greatly improved my French and I made several lifelong friends in this program. To give you an idea of the classes I took History of Photography, Paris Cinema, History of the Maghreb World, and a grammar class that emphasized discussion of current events and issues in France. The program also offered many excursion events which allowed us to have an even greater appreciation of the city and all it has to offer!

For housing accommodations I lived with a host family in a suburb just outside of Paris. This meant I had an hour commute to school every day which had its drawbacks, but on the plus side I got along great with my host family and I enjoyed the area I lived in. I’m still in touch with my host family and I’m very thankful for how kind and generous my host mom was! The initial culture shock is not easy but my host mom and her son made me feel so welcome. While abroad I also had an internship as an English instructor at French middle school. My job was to teach age appropriate lessons related to American culture to groups of students ages 12-14. My internship was one of the best parts of my experience abroad and I highly recommend doing an internship while abroad! Lastly, during my time abroad I had the chance to travel to Portugal, Ireland, and Belgium. Traveling is definitely one of the best aspects of going abroad but there was plenty to see and do while in Paris. My favorite thing was going to open mic nights with friends to listen to live music!

But the best part of going abroad was simply getting to experience and explore a different city with a completely different culture and language than I’m used to and getting to know the locals that live there. It makes you grow in ways you never thought of and challenges you every day and I’m very thankful I went.

How can this program be improved?

Make all excursions available to all students. Only a number of students could go on some excursions, even though they were included in our program fees.

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Tanya
Female
24 years old
Ohio
University of Virginia

Becoming A Parisian

10/10

I had the wonderful opportunity to study abroad with IES in Paris the spring semester of 2015. From start to finish, this was one of the best experiences of my life. As soon as I arrived with my host family I knew that I had an instant home in Paris, and I still keep in touch with my host mom from time to time. IES allowed me to create a second family in this beautiful city that invites me to remain a part of it whenever I'm near them. Living in a home stay allowed me to fully experience the city as a true Parisian.

My academic life with IES allowed me to both experience cultural immersion by taking a class at a local university and become a part of a very tight-knit group of American students by taking classes taught by French professors at the IES center. This mix of classes created both new and familiar experiences in a foreign city that took a lot of stress off of what could have been a very disorienting assimilation into the Parisian culture.

IES made incredible efforts to create a welcoming environment for its students and to provide a great cultural experience. IES tuition fees included several trips to wonderful locations (for me that included Nimes, Tours, Reims, and Giverny) that allow students in the program to bond as well as experience the cultural diversity of France. IES also held monthly contests to win some amazing cultural experiences around Paris, like a free brunch at the world-renowned restaurant Angelina or a ticket to a performance of Swan Lake.

Overall, IES helped make my semester in Paris more than a one-time experience. It allowed me to transform into a functioning and contributing member of the Parisian society in a way that I would've previously thought impossible. That semester with IES has transformed me into a part-time Parisian, and for me that experience is priceless.

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Harriet
Female
24 years old
Bloomington, Indiana
Indiana University- Bloomington

IES French Studies- Spring 2015

9/10

This program was great! The academics were less rigorous than I am used to at my home school which allowed for more time to explore Paris and spend time with friends. Also no classes on Fridays allowed us three day weekends which was perfect for traveling around Europe.
I loved my homestay and most students also had a really positive experience with their host families!
The staff at IES were really great and helpful, and all the other program participants were really friendly!

How can this program be improved?

More organization in outside courses taken at local universities

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Clara
Female
24 years old
Northfield, MN
Saint Olaf College

Life changing experience

7/10

Studying abroad experience with IES was an opportunity for me to gain French language skill, be independent, and learn cultures. Going to Paris all by myself when I am not confident with the language was a huge challenge, yet I knew that I would have life time experience and lesson from studying abroad. Indeed, this study abroad experience has changed my life.

Through this study abroad, I have gained lessons both academically and personally. IES really challenged students to emerge into culture and French language. All my classes were in French, and I had French host family which contributed to the improvement of my French ability. Whenever I had questions about French culture and French language itself, not only I had my French professors, but also my host family. They were all happy to teach me what they know, and further explain it to help my understanding. Living with a French host family has taught me different life style than I previously have experienced. IES did a great job of matching host families and really cared how it is like, and when people have questions or problems, they could easily talk to one of the staffs and figure things out. All the staffs at IES really want you to improve and achieve the goal you come in with, and they are all super helpful.

How can this program be improved?

Have more variety of classes.

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Alena
Female
24 years old
Port Matilda, Pennsylvania
Other

My Parisian Adventures

9/10

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.

How can this program be improved?

My best advice for someone who is going to study abroad is to make the most of your time by planning ahead. IES has so many things to offer to its students, so it can be difficult to find a balance between school work, internships, volunteering, hanging out with friends, spending time with your host family, traveling, site seeing, and relaxing. IES should try to limit the amount of busy work that the professors assign and communicate the expectations for internships in advance so that students have time to enjoy their semester and not always feel pressed for time.

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Emily
Female
24 years old
Bethlehem, PA
Lehigh University

IES Paris: French Studies

8/10

I actually loved my experience with IES Paris. First off, my daily activities gave me a really great way to experience Paris and French culture. I lived with a French woman in a beautiful apartment in the 16th, I took the metro daily and walked through a market district to school. The classes, taught by professors from French universities at the IES center were interesting and certainly challenging. I never felt overwhelmed though, especially as I was taking all of my classes entirely in my second language. I felt as if the classes I took (sociology, grammar, film studies, literature) were also tailored to better understanding the culture and the history of France. I also had the amazing opportunity to work in a French start-up through a tech incubator. It was incredible getting real experience working abroad. In my free time and on weekends I could travel around Europe or explore Paris, which is amazing. I would go to French movies, museums, shopping and explore parks. I wish I could have spent more time outside, but sadly I was there in winter and early spring. Overall, I would say that my experience made me test my own confidence and self-sufficiency. I am much more aware of my ability to succeed and to rise to challenging situations. The IES staff were always helpful and always seemed genuinely interested in helping and improving the quality of student life.

How can this program be improved?

I think that at time this program can be a little internally focused. Although they're very good at providing socialization, resources and programs it is often with other Americans. I wish I could have met more French people my age and socialized outside of the IES Paris program more.

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Christine
Female
24 years old
Bethlehem, PA
Lehigh University

"Once-in-a-lifetime experience"

10/10

Many people have told me that studying abroad is a "once-in-a-lifetime experience." After completing my program in Paris, France, I realized just how true that statement was. I had so many adventures while I was abroad, and I also had the opportunity to make life-long relationships. All this was possible through my program!
IES Abroad is a great program that helps students dive into the culture by providing many excursions and opportunities to learn about the important aspects of that culture.
Through the program, I also got to meet my host family, and I am so thankful that IES placed me with them. It was an incredible experience to live with them and be a part of their lives.
I really recommend the French Studies program with IES because 1) your French will be greatly improved, 2) you will meet awesome people in your program, and 3) the activities IES provides are really fun and engaging. Overall, IES Abroad is the perfect program to participate in for that "once-in-a-lifetime experience."

How can this program be improved?

Perhaps the internship course could be improved...I wish more opportunities were available for an internship. Or maybe the program should tell students earlier (whether or not they can participate in the internship)...that way- students can research and apply to possible internships before they arrive.

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Xiomara
Female
24 years old
United States
University of Rochester

New York to Paris

10/10

Leaving home for the Paris BIA program was my first experience of Europe. I was nervous, but I certainly couldn't keep my excitement at bay. I had never taken French a day in my life. Luckily, I had amazing professors who taught me just what I needed to further my exploration. I simply needed is a bit of confidence and courage to put myself out there and speak French whether it was right or wrong. The lesson allowed to travel to Italy and Hollande without the fear of being put down for my language barrier, and it allowed to learned a little French and Dutch as well! Additionally, living in a new city all by myself really taught how to fend for myself. Cooking became joy instead of a chore because why I shouldn't I have some fun in my kitchen. I love exploring a city on my own, going down random streets, finding miscellaneous street art, or meeting a couple of open markets. Moreover, I made wonderful friends and had great time with them on our explorations. Paris certainly changed my life. I see my surroundings differently now. Not only am I more aware of cultural differences, but I now notice that sometimes it doesn't matter where one is from. Everyone is still looking for the same happiness and people still look out for others, even the French!

How can this program be improved?

More activities that force students to interact with French like clubs and such.

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Sara
Female
24 years old
State College
Pennsylvania State University

An American in Paris

10/10

A most amazing and wonderful program! I most highly recommend IES Abroad Paris to anyone considering studying in France's capital city of Paris. When I began my search for an abroad program I had no idea what to choose, but after much research I decided on IES Abroad and I am so glad that I did. They walked me through everything from getting my visa to returning home after the semester. I felt very prepared. I received my housing placement about three weeks before my departure and I was super nervous at first, but then I arrived in Paris and found that my host parents were some of the coolest people in the city! The housing coordinator had matched us up perfectly and they really helped me to integrate into French culture. The entire staff at IES Abroad Paris includes some of the nicest people you'll ever meet! I was able to tour different parts of France with the trips organized by IES as well as take classes at a French university where I could truly immerse myself in the culture. The IES Abroad Paris program is simply delightful and I just wish I could do it all over again!

How can this program be improved?

The only thing I would have to say is that there were some aspects of the academic side of the program that I wish were a bit more clear at the beginning, but honestly everything cleared up in the end with that. The one other problem, and this isn't really about the program exactly, is that you have to be careful because you could very easily just stay with the American students in an "American bubble" almost only speaking English, so just be mindful of that.

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Robert
Male
24 years old
Chicago, IL
University of Iowa

IES FRENCH STUDIES - PARIS

8/10

The IES French Studies program provided me a Fall semester full of self-enhancing opportunity. In a smaller program size of 47, I was able to connect with most, if not all, of the other IES students. The program evaluated us well based on our knowledge and proficiency of the French language. They provided us with a great list of courses, from which I selected History of Photography, History of Architecture and Contemporary France. IES also works with universities throughout Paris, at which a student can branch out and take exterior courses. I had the pleasure of following both a sculpture and a design course at L'Académie de la Croix Nivert. Honestly, my course load was not as intensive as that of my home university, but I don't believe that being abroad is about having such a heavy academic workload.

The staff and professors were willing to help in whatever way they could, but they weren't the most organized nor were they there to baby you. Having them be a little disorganized, a student did have to sort some things out on their own, which permits the student to grow and learn in their own experience. I see IES French Studies - Paris as a program that gives a student just as much as the student gives it. It was a program that introduced us to many doors, but wasn't there to open all of them or push us through. I saw the IES Center as a home base, but not somewhere that I needed to spend all of my time, and it definitely wasn't where the most crucial parts of my education in France came from.

The IES French Studies Program of Paris is a great program for any type of student, but not every student will profit from it in the same ways. It is a program that can be amazing for a social aspect and an educational aspect, but I believe it to be a program that is a guide, and it is up to the students to really utilize the guide.

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Cami
Female
24 years old
Washington, D.C.
George Washington University

Discovering Paris, Fall 2014

8/10

I absolutely loved my abroad experience with the IES French Studies Program. I decided to apply to the program because I wanted to further my french language skills by taking full french classes. The courses were both challenging but insightful into the French activities. They give the student the option to be as involved or as little involve in the IES organized activities. They make sure that the students have all the tools to have an eventful semester. The administration was approachable, sweet, informative and ALWAYS readily available to help me with all my questions and concerns. I definitely recommend this program to anyone who wants to both immerse themselves in the French culture and challenge themselves academically.

How can this program be improved?

I wished that the administration had more information on the courses that were available to us at the local universities. I didn't have all the information necessary so I did miss out on a few important classes.

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Kelsey
Female
24 years old
Bloomington, IL
Illinois Wesleyan University

IES Abroad Paris - French Studies (Fall 2014) Experience

10/10

I studied in Paris, France with IES abroad in the Fall of 2014 and had an absolutely amazing experience. Each member of the IES staff and faculty was incredibly kind and helpful. The program organized several excursions outside of Paris, including trips to Normandy, Reims and Lille, as well as lots of activities within Paris, such as guided tours of art museums and galleries, the different quarters of Paris, and a guided walking tour of different Parisian chocolatiers. There were also opportunities each month for students to win tickets to things like operas, ballets, and soccer games.

The activities planned by the IES staff weren't the only aspects that made the program wonderful. The academic atmosphere was tremendous. I loved each one of my professors and was genuinely interested in all of my classes. I think that IES provides unique classes covering material that students may not otherwise have the opportunity to study. It was also interesting to experience first-hand how French professors teach and grade, and to be able to compare French and American academic systems.

Finally, I felt that the IES staff did a great job encouraging students to fully immerse themselves in the French culture and language, and to make the most of their experience. One of my favorite parts of my time with IES was the weekend trip to Normandy at the end of our two-week orientation. I found that by the end of the trip, I had already made some good friends and felt confident that the rest of the semester would bring things for me. In closing, the IES Abroad French Studies program is a wonderful one, and I highly encourage any student looking to study abroad in Paris to consider going with IES.

How can this program be improved?

There was honestly nothing that I didn't like about this program. If I had to change one thing, I would simply add an excursion to the south of France, or I would provide students living in a home stay with four dinners per week as opposed to three.

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Carolyn
Female
24 years old
Davis, California
University of California- Davis

Perfectly Paris

10/10

IES and its staff at the Paris center are all extremely helpful. All questions or concerns were answered in a timely manner and they prepared us for everything very well. We were given very specific instructions to prepare us for everything, such as a full packet of how to obtain our visas or the week long orientation to explain things about city life specific to Paris like the Metro or how to buy and recharge a cell phone.
The academics were definitely challenging, but not too much that you could not enjoy and immerse yourself in the Parisian culture. After finishing a semester of 5-6 classes all in French, you feel so accomplished and like you can take on anything. Your French will improve immensely and all of the hard work is 100% worth it.
Overall, this was an amazing experience and I wouldn't change it for anything in the world! I highly suggest IES to anyone searching for a study abroad program!
Happy travels!

How can this program be improved?

More social events at the start of the program to get involved and meet people.

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Audrey
Female
24 years old
New London, CT
Connecticut College

A powerful, unforgettable, amazing experience

9/10

The IES staff hosted excursions into the city and encouraged interactions with French people. I stayed with a host family- an older retired couple. They were lovely and we formed a great dynamic. All of our classes were in French, and the hearing and speaking French all the time definitely helped my improve. By the end of the semester, I knew Paris well; I no longer felt like a tourist, and that was a wonderful feeling. I learned to be flexible and adventurous, and I grew into a more confident person. I am so happy I had this opportunity abroad.

How can this program be improved?

The IES staff offered very good resources and orientation and assistance throughout the semester. However, some of the staff could have been more responsive to individual requests about course registration and other details.

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Claire
Female
24 years old
Austin, Texas
University of Texas- Austin

An Experience That I'll Never Forget

10/10

This study abroad experience was probably one of the toughest, most grueling, but most rewarding experiences that I was blessed to go through. I realize that many people aren't lucky enough to grab this opportunity like I did. I am bilaterally deaf and cannot hear without the help of cochlear implants. IES Abroad accommodated my full needs ranging from a sign language interpreter to preferential seating. IES Abroad Staff MADE sure I had everything I needed to succeed. And I did. That is my priority. I learned so much about myself, others, and the environment around me. IES made that possible for me. I struggled with learning how to be independent from my comforts, (Staying in and reading) but IES Paris staff taught me how to use the metro. Learning something so small, like navigating around Paris using the metro, was one of my highlights. I fully realized that I could get away, away from my comforts. My eyes devoured the Paris setting and all the richness of the Parisian lifestyle. One of the most difficult experiences that I encountered was hearing and communicating with the French. But with the help of IES Paris Staff, they provided me with an interpreter. I was able to get the full experience I wanted.

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Beatrice
Female
24 years old
Bloomington, IN
Indiana University- Bloomington

Overall Wonderful Experience

10/10

Having the opportunity to study abroad in Paris, France was truly the chance of a lifetime. The staff at IES truly made me comfortable both with my studies and living in Paris in general. Day to day life in Paris took some getting used to, but after a couple weeks, things like the metro became second nature. Another positive of the program was having all of the classes taught in French; this was something I found intimidating before my arrival but I really can't imagine not having this component of the program. My French speaking and comprehension skills improved drastically because of the classes, staff, and my home stay. Definitely take advantage of Paris as a city; you can learn just as much from walking around and visiting museums and monuments as you would from a textbook. Don't be intimidated by the language and people; they may seem impatient which might make you nervous about speaking with them, but they truly are patient and want to help you learn. One piece of advice is to become as familiar with the metro as possible - it will truly become your best friend when trying to get around the city! It took me a bit to get used to, but once you get familiar with it, you will be so grateful.

How can this program be improved?

My recommendation is not for the program itself, but something I would change about my experience would be taking advantage of all of the extra opportunities IES organizes. Between the conversation clubs, additional weekend excursions, and the after school activities, IES provided many opportunities to improve my language abilities and meet new people.

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Gracie
Female
24 years old
Bloomington, IL
Illinois Wesleyan University

Life and Language in a Big City

10/10

IES does a great job of screening and matching host families (I still keep in touch with mine and really couldn't have asked for a better match) and supporting you throughout the whole semester. They guide you through getting a phone, using the metro, and so much more! The semester was rather short (like 16 weeks or less) which wasn't ideal but the broad range of course offerings helped me secure credit for both of my majors. The Paris center is on a cute market street and the city offers a lot for students (think museums for free with your student ID!)

How can this program be improved?

I think it should start a week earlier and end a few weeks later. By the time you get used to the city and language it's practically time to pack up and go home.

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Mary
Female
42 years old
State College, Pa.
Other

J'aime Paris!

8/10

Don't worry overly much if your French is not perfect or that you won't understand what people are saying, you will be fine. Relax and enjoy the experience. However, make sure you attend classes regularly as too many absences will affect your overall grade in every course. Be sure to attend the class given by the staff on how to travel cheaply and safely. Great information!

How can this program be improved?

I do believe they need to screen some of the homestays hosts/hostesses a bit more closely to make sure they are doing it for the right reasons and that they are welcoming and friendly toward the students...not always the case.

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SEnglot
Female
24 years old
Gettysburg, PA
Gettysburg College

Amazing Program in an Amazing City

9/10

When I was first looking at study abroad programs, I thought that I wanted to be in rural France, in a smaller town, because I did not think I would enjoy living in a city. IES Paris completely changed my mind about that. The staff and professors are welcoming and go above and beyond to help you adjust to life in Paris. There are so many great events scheduled to enable you to learn as much about the culture as possible, both mandatory and voluntary. I fell right into learning and participating in French in my classes because of the excellent week of preparation they gave us before class started.

The only stressful thing I experienced the entire semester was that my housemate and I made the decision to move out of our first host parent's house. This was not the fault of the program--the woman who we lived with had just hosted a student last semester and everything had worked out fine. It was just not a good fit for the two of us. Throughout the entire process of deciding to move out and finding a new host family, the staff at IES was so reassuring and supportive. It made everything so much easier, and my housemate and I ended up with an amazing family who we got very close with. Ultimately, it was the right decision, and IES Paris empowered us to make it. The program truly helped me find my independence and grow as a person, in this way in many others.

How can this program be improved?

I would recommend making blurbs for each host family and letting students rank them based on their preferences in addition to using the housing questionnaire that they asked students to fill out.

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David
Male
24 years old
Claremont, California
Pomona College

greatest semester ever

9/10

My host family (just a host mom and a cat) were the best possible pairing I ever could have imagined. We got along extremely well and she made me incredible dinners (in 4 months abroad, she only repeated 2 plates...and those were on my last two nights because I had specially requested them). I was spoiled...The IES program was also great because it had really great professors that were very accessible and wanted the american students to succeed. There was a good selection of classes as well as the option to take classes at a local french university (which I partook in). I made a lot of friends, both inside and outside of IES programs/classes. I also had the opportunity to travel a lot, which was great!

How can this program be improved?

Paris is a very expensive city.

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IES Abroad offers 140 programs worldwide for college students. We are a highly charged force of study abroad enthusiasts. Every day we have the privilege of witnessing how study abroad changes our students’ lives. We also believe that every student should have the opportunity to

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