Musée D’Orsay

It’s our 5th day is France and we’ve been having a blast! Today, we went to the Musée D’Orsay. The museum was originally a train station, but now it is used for the exhibition of famous artwork.

Clock at Musée D'Orsay

This clock is part of the old architecture of the building. From it, there is a panoramic view of the city.


This clock is also part of the old architecture.
The art there is incredible. I really enjoyed the artwork by Édouard Manet because of all the history behind his paintings. It was the controversy during that time period that helped inspire his artwork. His painting style depicted what was happening in the moment and was very two-dimensional.


This painting by Manet is called Le déjeuner sur l’herbe. Many of his paintings were rejected, however this one was exhibited in the Salon des Refusés (Salon of the Rejected).

One of Manet’s other famous painting Olympia, was unfortunately in Moscow… Why? No idea. By the time it gets back most of us will be gone, but we were able to see a small painting of the painting in another piece of artwork.


This painting by Edgar Degas is called La Classe de Danse. This was another painting I enjoyed because of the history behind it: the life of young girls who move to Paris and what they endure.

Musée D’Orsay is an incredible place enriched with history in not only it’s artwork, but it’s architecture as well. Paris is full of exciting history!

Bienvenue à Paris!!

Bonjour à tous,

Au revoir, Boston!!

Au revoir, Boston!!

I am happy to share with you our first two days here in Paris! The professors showed us around the more important places to know where we are staying at…the Cité Universitaire like the bank, the cafeteria and more. After that we received our métro cards, cell phones and we were off and running. Since we had the evening to explore and get acclimated with the city, a few of us went out to dinner and got to know each other. By the time 10:00 PM came however, everyone was ready for bed. Then, the adventure began the next morning!


The train station that goes directly into the airport, Charles de Gaulle.

Saturday morning, the second, most of us made it a point to check a couple of things off of our list (since it was a “free day”): A few major monuments and a crash course on the métro. I thought that it would have been like trying to learn the subway in New York or the T in Boston, but it was effortless. With that, we covered some ground and we made it to Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower today. It is amazing! Notre Dame is absolutely beautiful! The building is in fabulous shape and it is flooded with tourists. I am honestly still in a bit of denial that we are even here in Paris now. After that we visited the Eiffel Tower and I can safely say that I want to go back immediately, especially at night. Both areas themselves are bustling with all sorts of vendors and all walks of life. It is very crowded, but exciting!


Notre Dame… What a beauty!!


La Tour Eiffel towering over me.

To think that we have another 14 days here is going to be awesome! There is so much more to see in this beautiful city that I can hardly contain my excitement. The architecture, the food, the people, the easy way of life here… We’re going to be soaking up every minute of it!

À bientôt!

Paris – On y va! (Let’s go!)


Mandi, Merismar and Hannah (Stanley is hiding behind Hannah) on the double decker tour bus

(Front to back):  Mandi, Merismar and Hannah on the double decker Paris tour bus

For starters, here’s hoping everyone back home had a terrific and safe 4th of July.

While we may be far away from home this Independence Day, our semester in Paris has started off with a “bang” (sorry, couldn’t resist  : )   )

Since arriving in Paris, we have become acquainted with one another, acquainted with our “home away from home”, (la fondation des Etats-Unis) and now, acquainted with Paris – our classroom for the semester.

To start our week off, we took an open bus tour of Paris (green line) where we were able to get a bird’s eye view from atop the bus of some of the most popular Paris landmarks, many of which we will be visiting personally and learning about from our professors, Dr. Carole Salmon and Prof. Jennifer Cadero-Gillette.

On our tour, over 19 landmarks were highlighted, from the Opéra, to the Louvre and Muséee d’Orsay, Champs Élysées and many more, but my favorites had to be l’Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe - historic display of French military might

Arc de Triomphe – historic display of French military might

, la Tour Eiffel

Eiffel Tower (soccer ball in center to celebrate ongoing UEFA soccer cup tournament hosted in France)

Eiffel Tower (soccer ball in center to celebrate ongoing UEFA soccer cup tournament hosted in France)

and Notre Dame.

Notre Dame - at the very heart of Paris

Notre Dame – at the very heart of Paris

At the completion of the bus tour, Dr. Salmon and Prof. Cadero-Gillette gave a fascinating talk about the history of Notre Dame.  We learned a lot about its innovative construction (begun in the 12th century) as well as the stories behind its relief structures.

Notre Dame sculptural reliefs

Notre Dame sculptural reliefs

Its influence has been far reaching throughout time and continues to leave its mark even today.  For example, did you know that Notre Dame, considered the official center of Paris, contains a marker (“Kilometer Zero,”) whereby all distances measured from Paris are taken?

We concluded the day with a walking tour (complete with teaching commentary) through the Latin Quarter and the Sorbonne and completed our tour at the Panthéon.   I am excited to see what’s in store for our “class” tomorrow!

Hello world!

IMG_0363-e1436300578720Modernism in French Art and French Cinema and Society are the two components of a two-course prospectus for Summer 2016 Study Abroad in Paris. Each course will be offered as a 3-credit, Core Curriculum/Gen. Ed. class, and many of the lessons and discussions for both classes will be taught simultaneously or concurrently while visiting various sites in France. Because the two classes are designed to segue into and compliment each other, students will be required to register for both classes for a total of 6 credits.

These two courses offer a unique opportunity for students to study the art and culture and cinema of France while interacting with authentic artifacts and monuments and examining these in situ and in real time.

Paris.Su15 citeIn other words, we will not be looking at reproductions of great art and architecture, we will be discussing them while standing in front of, for example, the actual painting of the Mona Lisa or touring the inside of Notre Dame Cathedral. Likewise, French films will be discussed while students experience full immersion in contemporary French society and visit the neighborhoods features in the films we will analyze. 6 credits, ARHI 4900 and WLFR.3760. Read the blogs from our trips in 2015 and 2014.

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