Study Abroad Advice from IES Abroad Ambassador of the Month Gwendolyn Lee: How to Work Study Abroad into Your Academic Timeline

Meet Gwendolyn Lee, our January 2017 IES Abroad Ambassador of the Month! Gwendolyn is a junior at Babson College, where she majors in Business Administration. She spent Spring 2016 on the IES Abroad Paris - Business & International Affairs Program and is excited to go abroad again to Spain this spring! Read on as Gwendolyn describes what drew her to choose her particular program and how she made study abroad work in her academic schedule.

IES Abroad: Why IES Abroad?

Gwendolyn Lee: The staff ensured that we had a safe, educational, and fun experience abroad no matter our initial knowledge of the language and culture. I chose the Paris - BIA Program specifically because of two classes: Luxury Brand Management and History of Paris through Art and Architecture. The first allowed us to study Paris for what it’s most known for: its luxury brands. The lessons also tied into the marketing field of these businesses, which was perfect for my marketing concentration. The other course took us on field trips to some of the best spots in Paris: the Louvre, the Centre Pompidou, and more. Learning at these landmarks made the course load very memorable and really enjoyable. 

IES Abroad: What questions are commonly asked about your time abroad? What is your response?

GL: I’m often asked how I got enough required credits done at my college to have room in my schedule to study abroad and graduate on time. To that I say that most of the credits you earn abroad will transfer to your college. Your dean or your school’s study abroad office can tell you if the courses you plan to take abroad will transfer as you hope. With the help of some high school AP credits, I had enough required Babson credits to be able to study abroad twice and still graduate on time. Meet with your advisor and he or she can help you plan out your academics. It worked out really easily for me and it was worth it to fulfill my liberal arts course credit with a class in Paris that let me learn about the Mona Lisa in person.

IES Abroad: What tips would you give to students to help them make their host country home?

GL: Try speaking the language even if you know that you're awful at it. This is the fastest way to grow accustomed to the new culture. Eventually you will learn enough common phrases. It definitely made me feel more at home when Parisians became friendlier towards me thanks to my effort to speak their language.

Thank you, Gwendolyn!

Want to take field trips to the Louvre, Centre Pompidou, and more, too? Check out all of our study abroad Paris programs.

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