Study Abroad in Paris

About Paris

Official Language: French
Population: 2,144,700 million
Square Mileage: 2,723 sq km (40.69 sq mi)
Currency: Euros
Symbol: €
Nickname: Balles
Climate: Oceanic climate with sporadic rainfall with average temperatures during the day as follows: Winters –3C/37F
Spring – 15C/59F
Summer 19C/66F
Fall – 10C/50F
Nickname: The City of Lights

Paris is a city of superlatives! It’s home to the Louvre Museum, which houses some of the world’s most famous masterpieces. It’s where one of the world’s best-known monuments, the Eiffel Tower, has thrilled visitors for over a century. It’s where some of the greatest chefs are trained at Cordon Bleu and where they open some of the best restaurants to demonstrate their talents. Above all, Paris is where some of the latest in fashion, art, food, and style have happened “first” for the past 600 years.

The founding of this sophisticated city began humbly enough around 250 B.C., when a migrating Celtic tribe of traders—the Parissi—settled near the river Seine. Two centuries later the Romans invaded Gaul and expanded the town, renaming it Lutetia. But the Gauls reclaimed it once again as “Paris” when the Romans left around 400 A.D.

In the centuries since, through sieges, rebellions, revolutions, and world wars, Paris has been at the center of change in politics, religion, and art, setting some of the major cultural trends throughout the Western world. Since the 1400s, kings and queens and their nobles in every country have demanded Parisian fashions as a sign of their royal status. And in the mid 1800s, as monarchies gave way to constitutional governments, French designers like Charles Worth, LeLong, Schiaparelli, Dior, Balenciaga, de Givenchy, Chanel, and Yves Saint Laurents established “kingdoms” of their own in the world of Parisian haute couture.

Paris is the Mecca of artists, and, whatever the medium, the city has always had a special talent for producing, supporting, and stimulating genius. Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh, Renoir, Rodin, Dumas, Verlaine, Balzac, Bizet, Piaf, and Bernhardt have all claimed Paris for their home and inspiration.

Paris is often called the City of Light, and all of its many parts—the beauty of its wide, tree-lined boulevards and old-world architecture; the magnificent grandeur of the Louvre, Notre Dame, and Versailles; the charm of its outdoor cafés; the savory delights of its three-star restaurants; the ebullience of its lively night life; the glorious fragrances of its perfumers; and the allure of its many shops from designer boutiques to flea market stalls—combine to generate an energetic excitement that inspires and fuels creativity.

Experience it for yourself. Feel your own creative forces rise as you savor a glass of wine at one of the city’s many charming bistros. It’s the perfect spot for watching the locals and tourists pass by, for pondering the enigma of Mona Lisa’s smile, or perhaps sharing an impromptu discussion on architecture with a friend you’ve just made at the next table.

Or you could take a journey of your own, for Paris is a walker’s paradise. Visit the alluring upscale shops on the Rue Etienne Marcel and Place des Victoires, amble along the Seine, or stroll through the parks that Seurat and Renoir made famous. Whatever your choices, it is a place you will never ever forget. For as Ernest Hemingway, observed, “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris…then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”
American InterContinental University Study Abroad Programs
3150 West Higgins Road, Suite 150 · Hoffman Estates, IL 60169 · ph: 1.800.255.6839 · fx: 1.847.885.8422
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