Why Study Abroad in Paris This Summer

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Ashley Houston
February 11, 2016

We asked our Paris Business & International Affairs Center Director Nathalie Lenfant and our Paris French Studies Center Director Scott Lyngaas what makes our summer programs abroad in Paris, France, so spectacular. Enroll in our new summer program, enjoy great weather, practice your French, find the hidden gems of the city…and that’s just the beginning. Check out what our Center Directors had to say:

IES Abroad: Why should students come to Paris to study abroad?

Summer programs abroad in Paris, France Center Director

Nathalie Lenfant: I've heard several students quote Audrey Hepburn, saying that “Paris is always a good idea.” Paris, France, is a cosmopolitan, European capital symbolic of luxury, business, and culture. Paris is an international city that draws millions of people per year for every reason under the sun. The experiences and the people you will meet in Paris can never be replicated anywhere else in the world.

Scott Lyngaas: Paris will always be Paris—a capital of culture and humanity. As a center of great cultural importance, its history is marked by stunning achievements in the arts and sciences, and by the ugliness of human nature. The terrorist attacks of January and November 2015 have indelibly marked the city. But now the city is moving on and those attacks are taking their rightful place in the history of Paris. A prime example of this is, just weeks after the attacks, Paris hosted the COP 21 Climate Conference. Paris is what it has always been: an amazingly beautiful world capital.

IES Abroad: What makes Paris such an incredible city for a summer abroad program?

Summer in ParisNL: Summer in Paris is a very unique experience because you get the best of the city—great weather and less hustle and bustle. Summer is really the time to make Paris your own because it is less crowded than it is during the year, and since you have a more extended time to spend in the city, you will get a better grasp on life as a Parisian.

SL: Long, beautiful days, and lots of outdoor activities. Paris is a great city for walking, and in the summer you can see it all, and at your own pace. Summer in Paris means picnics in the Jardin du Luxembourg, leisurely evening strolls along the Seine, and stopping by Berthillon on the Ile Saint Louis for the best ice cream in Paris. On the longest day of the year, June 21, all of Paris is filled with music during the Fête de la Musique. Summer 2016 is going to be particularly special because France will be hosting the Euro 2016 Soccer Championship from June 10 to July 10. Many of the major matches will be played in Paris and all of the matches will be followed closely all over the city.

IES Abroad: What makes our Paris study abroad programs unique?

Summer in FrenchNL: We are very excited to announce that the Paris Business & International Affairs Center has a new summer study abroad program, Beginning Language & Marketing. This is your chance to get a head start on your global career by spending your summer in French. You’ll gain French language skills and cultural competency, coupled with one of our most popular marketing classes. This program is the best way to gain the necessary skillset for an international career, creating foundations in cultural sensitivity, as well as mastering the foundations of marketing.  

SL: There is no better way to improve your French than by completely immersing yourself in the language and the culture. Our Intermediate and Advanced Language programs in Paris are structured to do just that as students take courses with native speakers who use Paris as their classroom. In the evening, students in homestays enjoy meals with their French host families. And throughout the semester, the IES Abroad Paris French Studies staff organizes activities and excursions that allow you to use your French and expand your vocabulary.

IES Abroad: What opportunities do students studying abroad in Paris have that students studying in other locations in Europe don’t?

Summer study abroad

NL: You can study French and marketing anywhere in the world, but only by studying abroad in Paris can you practice your French by attempting to buy a book from a small vendor on the banks of the Seine River. In Paris, you can go to class and learn about the brand strategy of Louis Vuitton, and later that afternoon you can visit their beautiful new foundation in the Bois de Boulogne. Studying abroad is about having a new landscape and a proximity to people and connections that you have never been able to access before. Paris holds all the keys to all of these possibilities.

SL: Paris is the city of art and culture, par excellence. Students who study in Paris are completely immersed in a city that lives and breathes art and culture. Any guide book will tell you that museums such as the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay are among the most famous and important in the world. But what locals and IES Abroad students know is that the city is teaming with hidden gems—small museums, concerts, galleries, dance performances—many of which are free.

Paris is also a great location from which to see the rest of Europe. Fast trains take you to the French Riviera, London, Brussels, Barcelona, and elsewhere in a very short time. While on a Paris study abroad program you can not only immerse yourself in la vie parisienne, you can also expand your cultural knowledge by seeing many other parts of Europe.

IES Abroad: What is the most frequently asked question you receive about summer programs in Paris? What is your response?

Summer abroad program in Paris, France

NL: Students most often ask me, “How I can stay longer?” or “How can I come back?” Once you get a taste of Paris, it will always remain as a place that will feel like a second home. A summer in Paris is just the beginning of many trips back, either for graduate studies, for work, or for vacation. Paris is a place of endless possibilities, and students usually leave only dreaming of what opportunity will bring them back soon.

SL: I usually get asked, "How much can I improve my French?" To which I respond, it all depends on you! You are choosing the premier summer study abroad program in France. Through immersion you will be working with faculty and staff members who are the best in the business. Our French Studies summer programs are structured to allow you to make as much progress as possible. Your progress depends on your attitude and dedication. But, don’t worry, you will have a lot of fun along the way!

IES Abroad: What advice would you give to a student preparing to study in Paris with us this summer?

Studying abroad in Paris

NL: I would advise students to read the book, Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong, by Jean-Benoît Nadeau. This is a great introduction to the French culture you are about to immerse yourself into. You will not be a tourist in Paris, France. Paris will be your home for the summer, and this book will give you a great picture of the real Paris. Daily life in Paris isn’t a movie. Paris is a city rich with history and culture. We want our students to achieve not only academic success, but a greater level of cultural awareness and adaptability that we find fundamental for a summer study abroad experience, and an asset as a global citizen.

SL: Come prepared to immerse yourself in the language and the culture from day one. Study French and have fun with the language before you come. Listen to music, and watch French films and news reports. This is an amazing opportunity, and once you are here, it will go fast. Remember what you are hoping to get out of the experience, and enjoy it!

Ready to live and learn like a Parisian this summer? Learn more about our summer programs in Paris :

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Ashley Houston

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