This summer I studied abroad in France with the IES Paris Summer program. I lived there for a little over 6 weeks and loved every minute of it. There were about 50 other students in the program from schools all over the United States and we really got the chance to get to know each other. After our three-day orientation session during the first few days of the program, we continued to have classes together and go on field trips together. Many of the students even traveled to other cities on the weekends. I myself went to London and Madrid with girls that I met through the program and we had a great time.
I lived with a host family in the 16eme Arrondissement of the city. My host dad was semi-retired so he was home most of the day and did a lot of the cooking. My host mom worked long hours for an insurance corporation outside of the city but she was always around at night and on the weekends. Both of my host parents were very sweet and all of their kids were grown so I got to know them really well. We lived in a 5th floor apartment that was small by U.S. standards, but was always clean and beautifully furnished. I had my own room with a balcony entrance and a bathroom to myself. I ate dinner with my host family three nights a week and my host mom always made me breakfast. The food was delicious and my host parents were always bringing home information on things to do in the city that we often discussed over dinner.
A typical day for me started at 7h15. After I got up and got ready, I had breakfast with my host mom before I left for classes. It took me about 45 minutes to get to the IES Center from my apartment with a combination of walking and taking the metro. I had two classes from 9h30 until 12h, one was a French Sociology course and the other was an Advanced Grammar course. Both of them were 3 credit classes that easily transferred to my home school and helped me to complete my minor. After class, I went to lunch with some of the other IES students. There are numerous restaurants along the rue Daguerre where IES is located and many of them were cheap enough for a student budget. I usually left lunch and had the rest of the day/night to see the city. I went to museums, restaurants, tourist attractions, cafes, gardens, movies, bars and shops all over the city, often with other IES students or their host siblings.
A photo of some gardens in Paris
A photo of a building in Paris
Paris is a wonderful city and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to study there. I really liked living in a big city and taking part of all that Paris had to offer. I loved the things that I got to see, the people I got to meet and the new culture I got to experience. I really grew to love the French language and my speaking abilities improved enormously while I was there. The IES Paris Summer program was a wonderful choice for my study abroad experience and I recommend it to anyone considering studying in France.