It was an amazing experience.
Submitted by Lauren Hickman - Western Oregon University | August 03, 2012
I would recommend this program to anyone interested in art, even if you aren't an art major. Any study abroad program in fact, it was a great experience that taught me a lot about my self and how i interact with different cultures. I had a blast, and the city is beautiful! so much history, and you see it just walking down the street.
would have been nice to be in closer proximity to the rest of the students in the program.
CISabroad Summer in Paris 2014
Submitted by Shannon I. - New York Institute of Technology | August 04, 2014
The program, overall, was pretty decent despite a few lapses in organization. I was met at the airport by a staff member upon arrival and taken to my living quarters; I was given a transportation pass which allowed me to travel freely by metro; the other participating students in the program were all very nice; the admin staff at IESA were helpful and were there to address my concerns. The living quarters could have been better; also, the continental breakfast that was promised was not provided. Overall, the experience was not bad.
The living quarters was decent and in a good neighborhood. The rooms were well-equipped with proper necessities--bed, desk, shelf, private bathroom, kitchenette and kitchen utensils; however, the rooms could have been cleaner.
Staff members were helpful and easy to reach in the event of a question/ issue.
Health and Safety:
There was no security on duty 24/7.
Best Experience Ever
Submitted by Taylor Schwieger - University of New Haven | August 04, 2012
The Summer in Paris program through CIS was one of the best experiences of my life. The teachers are great and they want you to have a good time. The classes were so much fun. IESA is a great place to study and CIS made it easy to know everything that was going on and get us to Paris, where IESA took over. Housing could have been a little better as the roommates weren't matched well and all of us lived all around Paris, but the apartments were nice and clean. Anyone question if they should do this program, I have three words for you... JUST DO IT!!! It was one of the best experiences of my life and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Submitted by Heekyeong Seo - Maryland Institute-College of Art | July 29, 2013
It was a great experience overall!
Great Time On My Own
Submitted by Nadia Kurtz - Ohio University | July 29, 2013
Paris is a great city and the the classes were wonderful, but some of the group activities were boring and I felt like a child. For some people who have never traveled, this is good, but I had already been to the country so it wasn't helpful to me.
Submitted by Stephanie Marszalek - Western Michigan University | July 30, 2012
This is a great program to get your feet wet. You get wonderful exposure to Parisian living without feeling overwhelmed. Minimial French is needed. How often can you say you took an art history class that met in the Louvre? or Musee D'Orsay?
Unable to gauge academic standing. Waiting for transcript to see how I did.
Too many people in Paris jump in to speak English when you're trying to speak French.
Nina was great. Everyone was great, trying to make sure we had a wonderful experience.
Health and Safety:
Felt very safe walking around Paris...even at 1:00 am.
Plenty of things to do, but you had to be willing to search them out.
not the best.
Submitted by Krystin Soto - St. Francis College | August 11, 2014
Although many of the staff at cisabroad were extremely helpful and kind, it wasn't the best program. I found it to be extremely unorganized and not well thought out. We were told we would be receiving free breakfast that we were never given and the 2 excursions on the trip were extremely boring and were more like a boring class learning trip. We got there on a Monday morning and were not able to rest because we had to rush through orientation to start classes the next day. We should have arrived the weekend before. The dorm rooms weren't the best quality but luckily I was able to change my room to one that was a bit better. All the students in the program weren't in the same dorm which causes someone of click between different groups. Every own should have been in the same dorming location to allow everyone the chance to bond. The overall experience was okay not the greatest, but I would not use cisabroad again.
Photography class was a ridiculous amount of work. Although it was enjoyable it required too much work for such a short period of time.
Living situation was ridiculous. We were told we would be staying in our own private apartments but we stood in dorms. The dorms were not the best of quality either!
Luckily on my own time I was able to
Embrace the culture but it wasn't thanks to
Many of the staff working at the IESA sight were
amazing! A great deal of help.
Health and Safety:
The area of my dorm and school was an overall safe area.
Unfortunately because of cisabroad and the hours we were given for class we never had a lot of time so socialize during the week. We got out of classes at 5 and by the time we got out we were exhausted and plus everything would be starting to close down. The weekends was the only time to socialize which was okay I guess.
Great Trip to Paris, Program itself needs improving
Submitted by Sean Neal - Campbell University | August 05, 2014
I had a fabulous time in Paris and I wouldn't change my decision to go for anything. I met some amazing people, and we all clicked immediately. The small group size definitely helps with this. You have a lot of freedom to live in and explore Paris on your own, as you choose, with the exception of just a few group outings throughout the program. And overall I think that's the best way to see Paris.
When I was there, the program seemed a little disorganized, and there were quite a few things I wish I had known before I agreed to go and payed the program fee. I found out when I got there during orientation that I would not be able to take the two classes I signed up for, because they were at the same time. So I had to take a more advanced French class then I was prepared for, which was very stressful. We also all thought that we were going to be assigned roommates, but we got our own rooms, which was fine, but it's just another detail that was inaccurate.
There were a lot of things about the room also. You have to pay for laundry, and your linens and towels are not changed for the entire time you're there, neither of which we were told about ahead of time. And the "included breakfast" doesn't come out until after we have to leave for class in the morning, and consists of pastries and juice.
Despite these things, I did have a great time in Paris. And I'm not sure what other program out there will let you truly live in Paris on essentially your own accord, not doing everything as a group and under administrative supervision. I also enjoyed the classes overall, minus the class mixup that I really should've been aware of before I payed and signed onto the program. I had French with a true Parisian local, which was a great was to get to know French culture firsthand, and I still learned a lot even though the level was a bit high for me. Painting in Plein Air was fantastic, and is a great way to see the many park landscapes of Paris. Also with the small class size, you get individual attention and specific instruction from the professor. The instruction is of a good quality, and really helped me grow as a painter.
Given the administration makes some organization changes going into the next year, this program is a great choice for any student interested in art and in seeing Paris.
When I was in Paris I took painting and French. A good art class puts some emphasis on how you see the subject, and translating that to paper with certain techniques. This was exactly the teaching instruction I had in Paris, and I was stretched, and I believe I am now better as a painter. I have new tools that I need to continuously use after taking that class to continue to grow. I really enjoyed that class, and the small class size allowed for the teacher to give us individual attention, student-specific instruction each day, and individual critiques at the end of the session.
French was a bit of a struggle at times. First because I had submitted the French placement test, and was then not placed, but asked which level I would like to be placed in. I said beginner. And I firmly think that was the right choice, since I haven't taken any French since highschool. So this was pre-departure for the program, but when I got there, the first day I find out that the only beginner French class is the same time as the only painting class. So by default I had to take the advanced French course.
I will give the teacher in that class a great deal of credit, because she tried to accommodate each of our differing levels, and it seemed she would be able to due to the very small class size. But this was a struggle. We were still all taught the same things, because you can't really teach three entirely different levels in one class. So I felt expected to know things I haven't studied since highschool, and I was tested on them as well.
I did learn, but it was pretty stressful for me. And it wouldn't have happened had it not been for the poor planning of the classes. It was misleading from the start to say one can take painting and any level of French in the program. Because as I found out after I payed, and after I arrived in Paris, that wasn't true. That sort of detail should be made known up front, or at least after applying, and definitely before paying tuition.
I appreciate that we were each given our own rooms in Paris, it was nice to have the chance to recuperate alone should we need that time. But again, all of the housing situation, the fact that we wouldn't be having a roommate, that we had to pay for laundry, and that our linens and towels would not be cleaned for us, all were details we didn't find out until after we got there and had settled in.
I liked that we each had our own kitchen, and pretty nice views of the city, those things were great. But the room was pretty dirty from the moment I got there. The sink drain was a little backed up, and that got worse as my stay continued, and the same with the shower.
The area I stayed in, which was on Rue Oberkampf, seemed potentially unsafe at first. The street is lined with bars and grafitti. However, after days of walking past it, walking to school, I ended up loving it, and realizing the area isn't necessarily unsafe, just kind of underground and more grungy. Maybe that could have been reassured in the beginning, but it wasn't. We were just dropped off at the housing and left to fend for ourselves and figure it out with little to no further instruction or info.
Again I ended up loving the area, it was a cool, more hidden and less touristy part of Paris, but I didn't know that going into it. It was the way the housing situation was handled by the program that was less than satisfactory.
I don't think I did much to be immersed in the culture, but having a teacher who was a Parisian local was a pretty great way to get to know the culture/people firsthand, and learn about the culture from someone who knows.
I enjoyed all of the excursions. Fontainebleau was nice, it was a little class-like with the tourguides commenting and essentially teaching the entire time, and I maybe would have rather gone to Versailles for that. But it was still nice, and the palace was beautiful. Monet's gardens were amazing, I wouldn't change anything about that.
And there were a couple extra group activities, like dinner the first and last night, which was nice, and a boatride on the Seine with ice cream, that was great as well.
As part of the Painting and French classes, I didnt get to go to very many museums. We did all go as a group to the Musee d'Orsay which I enjoyed, but I would've liked to maybe have more cultural experiences like that. Although I know students from the Art History class would say they spent too much time going to museums, since they went to one nearly every day for class.
I made some points in the previous comments that relate to this area. But I just felt the overall administration was really lacking. Everything seemed pretty disorganized from when we got there, which my schedule conflict, and the French teacher was still figuring out who should be at which level, and we were never really told what resources we had with the program. It really felt like we were completely on our own, except for the first few outings.
On one hand I loved the independence and the freedom to get to live and explore Paris as you please, but it would be nice to know that we have a secure administrative resource that's there for us should we need it. I think that could've been established and executed better.
Health and Safety:
It was pretty independent, there wasn't a lot of controlled safety by the program. I will say the housing have locked doors that you needed a key to get into, and a code, and also a nighttime security gaurd. So overall I felt pretty safe.
I loved the group I was with. I liked that the overall program group was small too, so we all knew each other.