Even before coming to Paris, I knew I wanted to participate in the internship program IES Abroad offers. The center has ties with several different businesses within Paris, many of which are small startup companies. As the program is through BIA, the internship and accompanying seminar count for college credit (which is an awesome bonus). For me, it was not just a way to improve my resume, but a way to really understand the entirety of the country, its people, and their culture. If living with a host family abroad is like cannonballing into the culture, working in a different country is like diving into an ice-cold lake with no idea of how deep the waters are. I’ll admit it was a bit nerve-wracking at first. My interview was conducted in French and the entire time I was worrying whether I had conjugated my last verb correctly. But my coworkers were all extremely wonderful and I am so grateful that I was able to work with them, even if it was for only 10 weeks. The company I worked for throughout the semester is one of the leading collections of boutique hotels in the world. The majority of the work involved has been translating from French to English, but I have gained invaluable skills. The experience has provided me not only with a “connaissance” of France, its people and culture, but also knowledge of the world itself. Some of my coworkers came from other countries such as India and Ukraine and I was able to get a glimpse of some of their traditions and culture as well: something I would have never learned without this internship. I also was able to do research on certain areas where our boutique hotels are found, from Kenya to Argentina to Taiwan. And besides learning about the rest of the world, I am now an expert on all bizarre English idioms and their translations in French, or lack thereof. It was hard work, and not always fun, but my internship in France has been an experience I wouldn’t trade in a million years.
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<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hi! My name is Katie Baldwin. I am a junior International Business Major at Saint Joseph's University. I am a member of my school's Gaelic football team and a sister of Alpha Omicron Pi. I also work as a technician and a brand ambassador at SJU's Technology Service Center. I love travelling, painting, and dancing with my friends. I have always dreamed of studying abroad in Paris and that dream is finally coming true!</span></div>