Parsons Paris Pre-College Summer Spotlight

API is excited about offering students aged 16-18 the opportunity to study at Parsons Paris in the Parsons Paris Art and Design Pre-College Summer program. This program allows students to explore the world of art and design before entering college with the added benefit of calling Paris home! We had the chance to chat with France Program Manager, Amy Newman about the program, studying abroad and all things Paris.

Why do you think a student should consider a study abroad experience before college?

I think that the more international experiences a person can have… the better! One driving factor for studying internationally early on in a student’s academic career is that it really breaks down a barrier of fear. They can learn about new cultures through experience; expand their personal network, travel, and ultimately find their own rhythm. And of course, free reign of campus and settling into that experience before college; sort of a taste of what it might be like when you eventually go away.

Program Manager, Amy Newman

Program Manager, Amy Newman

To be able to walk away from this experience and have gained important life skills before college is huge! I was able to watch as students overcame personal challenges and celebrated little victories and firsts… like successful wayfinding, conquering public transport, and finding moments of independence. I think the sooner you can expose yourself  to these situations, the more prepared you are for life.

Why is Paris a great choice for study abroad?

Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It has a really rich & diverse art scene. France is also very supportive of the arts and culture in general. So, to study art there and be immersed and involved in that, is really special.

Also, our on-site staff in Paris are fantastic! Students on the program have access to our resident directors, Fabienne and Roberto, as well as on-site community assistants. All of our on-site staff is knowledgeable, friendly and ready to help and have proven to be a tremendous resource for our students. Additionally, of note, Fabienne is a local Parisian. It was so great for students to have advice and support from someone born and raised right in Paris and be able to learn from her experience!

Parsons Pre-College Summer students on a weekend excursion

Parsons Pre-College Summer students on a weekend excursion

What is the Parsons Paris experience like academically for students?

The Professors at Parsons are amazing! The classes are generally small (around 12-16 students) providing for a very intimate learning experience. The students also have access to professors outside of class for additional learning opportunities and advising. I would say it is definitely a close-knit environment. The facilities at Parsons Paris are also fantastic, giving students access to a student lounge, student life activities, and a fantastic computer lab.

Classes are held from approximately 9am-4pm. Students choose one course to complete during the three-week program. The courses at Parsons give students the chance to explore fashion and design related subjects (graphic design, fashion design process, photography).

Something I really like about the academic experience is the constant opportunity for extension opportunities just outside the classroom. For example, this past summer, students in an “explorations in drawing course” were able to visit the botanical garden (jardin des plantes) and connect their classroom acquired drawing lessons to Paris itself. It was a location they most likely would not have been able to visit on their own,which made it all the more special.

These outside the classroom learning moments definitely help set students off on their own exploring.

In what ways can students explore Paris when they’re not in class?

Pastry and Cheese Tasting!

Pastry and Cheese Tasting!

Students have weeknights free to explore or participate in weeknight activities planned throughout the program. Those activities this past summer included taking students to the Eifel tower, the Museum of Fashion, and hosted a pastry and cheese tasting. And then on weekends, we take the students on excursions.

Highlights from this past summer include a one-day excursion to Disneyland Paris, we did a walking tour of Montmartre and visited the Chambord Castle, a local farm to make wool. It was so fun seeing the students at Chambord then wanting to design a dress with the wool they made after beginning to study fashion design. We also did guided tours of Petit Trianon in Versailles which was absolutely beautiful.

If you would like to learn more about the Parsons Paris Pre-College Summer Art and Design program or our other programs available at Parsons Paris you can check out this link here:

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