Dimly lit street lights, drizzling rain, and a glowing Eiffel Tower enveloped in a cloud of haze. I can never forget my first night in Paris. I instantly fell in love with the city, and my semester as an exchange student there is painted with colorful memories and inspirations. There are several reasons why I chose Paris as my destination for a semester abroad. First, INSEEC Business School, the university I attended, offered a variety of courses taught in English. I could receive course credit without worrying about classes taught in French. One memorable course I took at INSEEC was Luxury Brand Management, an examination of the business models of luxury brands. Paris was the perfect place to study this subject since my teammates and I could conduct firsthand research and observation of renowned fashion brands, all lined up on Champs-Elysees. Paris was also attractive in that there was so much to do and see besides studying. You can enjoy the most delectable desserts, lay down in the park with a good book on a sunny day, or go shopping at exquisite vintage boutiques. Moreover, with the international student card issued by INSEEC, all the museums are free of charge for students under 25. I personally recommend visiting the museums at night when there are fewer tourists. On a lucky night, you can take in a painting with absolute serene silence, as if you are at a private gallery! Finally, the greatest advantage was the chance to travel. Universities in France have frequent, and short vacations throughout the semester, so I was able to use this time to travel around Paris and around other countries in Europe with my friends. Train and plane tickets have great student discounts, and planning an itinerary is easy and convenient. Of course, life in Paris wasn’t without challenges: Enduring the freezing winter, overcoming the language barrier, and watching out for pickpockets. In particular, because Parisians prefer to communicate in French and rarely use English, getting my way around the city was daunting at first. However, the five months I spent in Paris are simply
* Kim Choo-kyung (International Studies, 4) studied at INSEEC in France.