Keara Parciak - 2014 Program Participant

Front door of the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris

The Front door of the Ecole Normale de Musique: the conservatory where Keara took music classes.

Why did you choose to study abroad? Why France?

As a French language major, it was pivotal for the completion of my degree that I was able to live and experience the culture. By living in France and speaking the language every day, I was able to become fluent in French.

Why did you choose to study in Paris over other cities in France?

I had been to Paris once before on a high school exchange trip, so I knew some of the city.  Looking at this program description, I saw that I could take music classes at a French conservatory (which would fulfill requirements for both of my majors). In addition, I also wanted to live where there is so much great culture, art, and music.

What type of living arrangement did you have in France?

I lived with a host family and another American student from St. Olaf college. It was an older couple and their twenty-three year old daughter. We lived in a suburb outside of Paris, but very close to the metro.

What was a normal day like as a student in Paris?

I would have breakfast with my housemate, and then take the metro to class. After class, I would have lunch, walk around that area a little, and then take the metro to the ENM for my music lessons. If I had any free time, I would take the metro and see some of the sites that Paris had to offer. Later that evening, I would head home, and have dinner with my host family.

Eiffel Tower in London, England

The iconic Eiffel tower on a clear day.

What was your most memorable moment while studying in Paris?

Being able to perform in my voice studio recital at the Ecole Normale de Musique was definitely memorable.

What draws you to return to Paris?

Having been back to Paris after my semester with IES, I would love to go back for the sake of going back. Paris has become one of my favorite cities, and a city where I really thrive. I hope to go back again this summer.

Would you recommend your IES program to others?

Yes. Learning French in Paris was a great experience and there are so many things for students to do which IES Abroad offers.