IES Abroad Paris - French Studies

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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.

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

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

93%
based on 35 reviews
  • Academics 7.9
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 8.8
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 16 - 30 of 35
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Alena
9/10

My Parisian Adventures

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.
Yes, I recommend
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Emily
8/10

IES Paris: French Studies

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.
Yes, I recommend
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Christine
10/10

"Once-in-a-lifetime experience"

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.
Yes, I recommend
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Xiomara
10/10

New York to Paris

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.
Yes, I recommend
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Sara
10/10

An American in Paris

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.
Yes, I recommend
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Robert
8/10

IES FRENCH STUDIES - PARIS

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.

Yes, I recommend
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Cami
8/10

Discovering Paris, Fall 2014

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.
Yes, I recommend
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Kelsey
10/10

IES Abroad Paris - French Studies (Fall 2014) Experience

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.
Yes, I recommend
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Carolyn
10/10

Perfectly Paris

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.
Yes, I recommend
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Audrey
9/10

A powerful, unforgettable, amazing experience

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.
Yes, I recommend
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Claire
10/10

An Experience That I'll Never Forget

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.

Yes, I recommend
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Beatrice
10/10

Overall Wonderful Experience

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.
Yes, I recommend
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Gracie
10/10

Life and Language in a Big City

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.
Yes, I recommend
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Mary
8/10

J'aime Paris!

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.
Yes, I recommend
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SEnglot
9/10

Amazing Program in an Amazing City

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.
Yes, I recommend

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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...