Emily (middle) and two friends pose on the Paris riverfront.
Overseas Study Program
Emily’s majors: History and Spanish
Term abroad: Summer 2008
Reason you chose this program: I really wanted the opportunity to take a history class with hands-on, real-life applicability. By studying about Paris in Paris I got a completely different perspective of the city, its people and its incredible history. I knew that this would be a unique chance to get the whole package: credits toward my major and personalized attention from a professor in one of the most amazing and famed cities in Europe.
Describe the housing situation: The housing situation was perfect. The ten of us were housed in pairs in a hotel furnished with bathrooms, beds and a kitchenette just a short walk from the main IES building. It was nice because we were able to come and go as we wanted and didn't have to spend all of our money eating out. Breakfast was served in the mornings. The only downside was the expensive cost of doing laundry.
Best memory: There really are too many to count. The ten of us became really good friends and would hang out together outside of class all the time. One of my favorite memories is a scavenger hunt Professor Pace assigned us toward the beginning of the trip. We were separated into two teams and given paintings of Parisian landscapes. We had to find the location that corresponded to the specific painting and then take a picture trying to replicate it. We ended up all over the city, running around like a ridiculous episode of Amazing Race.
Greatest challenge: The greatest challenge was getting around Paris without being able to speak the language.
Biggest surprise: How well I got to know Paris in only 3 weeks. By the time we left, I could find my way anywhere, despite not having any knowledge of the French language.
What I wish I knew before I left: Pack light! Bring a rain jacket and several good pairs of sturdy walking shoes.
Going abroad versus staying on campus, discuss: It was such an incredibly fun trip! I was able to work both before and after I left so I didn't miss out on making money over the summer months. Would you rather spend that extra summer time laying by the pool or visiting Paris, France?
Advice to future study abroad participants: I think that a semester or year abroad is the ideal amount of time, but with the opportunity to go for just a few weeks during the summer, there is no excuse for not going! It's a wonderful way to see a different culture, get credits toward a major or minor and make new friends from IU.