Experiencing Arts and Culture: Paris 2013

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“…Paris opened up my vision to not only seeing certain objects in my environment but understanding the meaning and versatility of them. I notice so much more in my environment now, and this is because we were taught to look for different design principles in aspects of daily life. Paris taught me to notice different cultures and be more aware of the people who are around you and in your environment.”
– Kendall  Wentzell

“Learning about the Notre Dame in Paris in a classroom was hard for me to realize the size and importance of the cathedral to Paris. When seeing it in real life it almost seemed like a dream and I was just shocked that every time I revisited the cathedral I notice something new.
…My experience in France has made me understand how similar we really all are.
…Being able to work with other people in the class has made me express my strengths and weakness more clearly.”
– Ethan Taing

“The French stereotypes I had been predisposed to were mostly shattered by my experiences in Paris, especially any negative preconceptions towards French people. …The people, although more reserved, were no different than what I see in my daily life anywhere else. I encountered a few rude individuals, yet I also encountered some of the most friendly and interesting people of my life. …The overall feeling of being away from home and having the opportunity to expand my horizons was incredible. … Within a week of coming home, I went to Chicago for a month-long internship and my experiences in Paris helped greatly with my adjusting to the city. I spent a lot of time making comparisons and relying on my previous knowledge of Paris to navigate the windy city.”
– Sam Swindell

“The feeling of being able to go out get lost and just discover a city and in turn discover yourself; felt like freedom. Exploring by myself really gave me an opportunity to take in everything around me and fully experience the culture. …Something that I had really never put much thought into was architecture and the landscape surrounding it. The connections that they hold between each other never clicked in my mind until this trip. …I began to notice more connections in the principles of art throughout Paris from the design of posters to the music being played throughout its streets even to the city layout itself.
…You can really appreciate this culture from just sitting at a café; having a café and watching the people go by. This is a norm in their culture and it is one to be jealous of. They sit and take in the life around them, talking to friends and family really getting to know each other and just using the time they have to its full potential.”
– Chad Stebbins

If there is one thing I learned from studying abroad in Paris, it is how to fully live each day.…From even a young age, children in the US are questioned about what they want to be when they grow up, and the idea of “living to work” is instilled in the American mind. It was a very eye opening experience to be immersed in a culture where the opposite philosophy of “working to live” seemed to be more prevalent. …Whether I was in a quaint courtyard or the Tuileries Gardens, I found myself frequently just taking a moment to appreciate my surroundings. And, whether observing its nature or architecture, I could spend all day just looking at Paris and it would feel like a day well spent. …Things such as reading, going to museums, classical music concerts,  and just conversing, are all regular activities that I experienced during my month long stay. My mind was enriched and my days felt fulfilled. These activities are not difficult to incorporate into life in the United States but for some reason many people have just shied away from anything that does not involve a video screen. …My time in Paris has taught me how to best use and appreciate every minute of every day.”
– Kaley Sobanski

“Integrating myself into the Parisian culture and living independently as a “Parisian” stands out to me as being the most impactful….The responsibility and maturity required for living that independently taught me a lot about being an independent adult. Beyond this, trying to be a Parisian (especially when you know little to no French), while being the most independent I have ever been in my life, was a huge learning experience. …I like to think that I actually became a bit of an expert on Paris and on Parisians. I could navigate the metro and order food on my own by the end of the trip, which in my book was a big success. Even as proof of how much I began to fit it, on my last day in Paris, I got asked for directions by three different confused tourists.…I notice small beauties and art forms in my little town that I have lived in for most of my life that I never seemed to notice before. I appreciate the world around me much more, just because I actually pay attention to it now.”
– Olivia Saulnier

“On this trip, we walked down the Avenue Montagne, which is home to many luxury shopping boutiques. The next day we learned about the history of Avenue Montagne, which made our walk the day before that much more meaningful. The presentation made me want to go back and observe the things the man pointed out in his presentation.…Since returning home, I have been more conscious of my observations skills and the environment around me.”
– Haley Pike

“My creative instincts were invigorated and passions validated. Pablo Picasso is quoted as saying, “To draw you must close your eyes and sing.” His quote of trusting oneself creatively, and authentically, describes overall, how significant the trip was to me. It had a tremendous impact upon my life.”
– Glenda Miles

“I learned a lot about myself, and grew as a person in such a short time. Living basically on your own in a foreign country, especially planning trips to other countries with out the help of advisors or parental guidance, and finding your way with maps instead of having the help of GPS’ made me become so much more aware of my surroundings. Because of my new heightened sense of awareness I truly believe I did more than just see things, I experienced them. …This trip has made me so much more observant of even the smallest details. I was upset in Paris and repeatedly said, “We don’t have beautiful things in America.” Shame on me, we do. On the drive back to Oxford looking out at the land, which I previously took for granted because it has always been there, probably like Parisians do with things like the Eiffel Tower. I am more appreciative of everything I have and everything I have worked for and my future goals have really changed and become centered around traveling.”
– Alex Mazzurco

“…Until visiting Paris, I would definitely say my design style might be described as ‘unknowingly narrow’ only because I have grown up in America, been taught in America, and therefore influenced mainly by American design. I knew very simply what designs worked and what didn’t for the American consumer based on the design principle: less is more. Now however, I feel that after consciously and unconsciously being surrounded by and observing the classical style that French design… I have a much more expansive design knowledge. This priceless expansion of style and knowledge in the design world has in and of itself been the most important and surprising part of my entire Parisian experience.…Studying abroad has taught me how to adjust and adapt to new people and surroundings, a priceless lesson I could never have learned inside the walls of a classroom.”
– Mikala Marrone

“A million times a day I learned that speaking was not our greatest form of communication, but rather our effort to try and try again is what would get me my answer. A million moments where I learned, again and again and again, that this city of lights and wonder makes everyone a student, every day.”
–  Alex Bishoff

“What I will take away most from this experience are the skills I have gained in my understanding of art but also a new awareness of myself, both as an American and as a young adult. I believe it is important to get outside yourself, to get outside what you know and what you are comfortable with, and to see things from a whole new perspective, and for that opportunity to do so, I am grateful.”
– Lucy Dilworth

“Studying art was never something I thought would be enjoyable to me, but this trip has taught me that art is all around me and the ability to appreciate it is a powerful and important skill.”
– Abbey Dunnan

“These seemingly mundane things like going to a market to buy fresh food for dinner, and getting to know the owners of what become your favorite local cafes, are what separate an “enjoyable” trip to Paris from a life-changing journey.”
– Lucy Hurley

“I believe that the study abroad program really helped me make the most of my trip because I was able to see and appreciate everything to a much deeper degree. I could name a dozen amazing experiences that I had during this trip, but what made the biggest impact on me was living there for a longer period of time. Many people visit Paris for a week or even just a few days, but actually living in apartments and taking a part in their daily routines is much different.”
– Taylor Laatsch

“I think about my trip every day and how it has affected me. I find it interesting that the experiences and places that affected me the most are the ones I stumbled upon without intent. [For example] my favorite café or boutique. Or the time a group of Parisian boys serenaded us with a guitar while watching the twinkling lights at the Eiffel Tower.”
– Kate Mahon


REVISED SCHEDULE 6/3/13: Final Paris Schedule

Welcome to Experiencing Arts and Culture which will take place in Paris, France the last two weeks in May and the first two weeks in June. We are excited to have 24 students taking this workshop and traveling with us to one of the most amazing cities for the arts in all the world.

As one of our participants, you will be experiencing an immersive thematic sequence focused on the global importance and impact of the integrated creative arts (e.g.: architecture, interior design, theatre, studio arts, graphic design, fashion, music, etc.). This intensive, experiential program will help a student from any major develop a general knowledge of cultural history, and an understanding of the theories and application of various forms of the creative arts. This sequence assumes no prior knowledge and is intended to make the creative arts interesting, accessible, and valuable for all majors.

Instruction will provided by a multi-disciplinary team of faculty from the School of Creative Arts. For 2013, this team includes Peg Faimon (Art/Design), John Weigand (Architecture/Interior Design), Julia Guichard (Theatre), and Harvey Thurmer (Music). We look forward to getting to know you, and to sharing our love for the arts, and the city of Paris.


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