Advance your French language through classes and cultural immersion. Find inspiration while visiting the world’s most celebrated art museums in Paris and go on a quest to capture the city’s charm under the guidance of a French photographer.
Embark on a creative journey through French language, culture, and art as you experience Paris and Brittany in the north, as well as Nantes, a creative and amazing city that cultivates astonishment. In Paris, take in the art at galleries and world-renowned museums such as the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay. Develop your photography skills and art appreciation through workshops and projects with formal direction from professional photographers or local artists. Learn about photo composition and explore The City of Light through the lens and practice your darkroom skills by developing and sizing photos and creating your own photogram.
During your homestay in Brittany, you will have continual opportunities to enhance your French language skills and knowledge of French culture. Take classes with a local teacher while immersing yourself in la vie quotidienne, or daily life, of a French family. Delight in the regional food and try your hand at making some favorites through a cooking and crêpe making lesson. Take day trips to nearby places of interest, such as breathtaking Mont Saint Michel. After your homestay, get the opportunity to explore a new area including a visit to Nantes, a city which keeps reinventing itself, renowned for its vitality, culture and also named European Green Capital in 2013.
You will rendezvous in Paris to reflect on your journey and capture some final snapshots.
Note: Prior knowledge of photography is not required, but participants should bring a working digital camera.
The Experiment’s programs are designed to build skills that will help you succeed. In France, you will learn:
My experience with The Experiment was more than anything that I could have imagined. I returned home as a more confident, independent individual and I highly recommend that anyone and everyone should take part in this program. Not only did I learn about a new culture, I met the most incredible people and had the time of my life. Going on this trip showed me that I am capable of anything and made me want to study abroad in college. No matter which topic you chose, you will come home a different person!
HILDA, The Experiment alum, France
This itinerary is only a sample and is subject to change. Because of factors such as group size and availability of in-country offerings such as festivals, your experience — including sites visited and the number of days spent in each location — may differ somewhat from the one presented below.
Orientation in Paris
During the orientation period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.
During this period, you will stay in the home of a family. Sample host communities: St. Malo, Pierrelatte, Les Baux-de-Provence.
During this period, you and your group will stay in a hotel.
Program Reflection and Wrap-up in Paris
During the reflection period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel or hostel.
The Experiment’s group leaders go through a rigorous selection process and have extensive experience with youth education, local expertise in the country or region of their program, language abilities, knowledge in their program theme, travel logistics and management know-how, and experience with health, safety and risk management.
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Education: University of Colorado
Experience in: France, Italy
Lia Bendix was born, raised, and currently lives in Cleveland, Ohio. She grew up attending AFS meetings with her grandmother and loved meeting all the foreign exchange students. She spent her junior year of high school in Italy and studied abroad in France and Mali during college. She enjoys traveling to new countries, experiencing the culture, and identifying her favorite foods in every one (hint: the more cheese or carb-focused, the better). Lia holds a degree in French and francophone studies from Carleton College, and in choral music education from the University of Colorado. She has held a vast number of job titles, including but not limited to: AmeriCorps volunteer with College Possible, English teacher, ice cream scooper, sandwich maker, camp counselor, gift basket assembler, research assistant, choir director, elementary school music teacher, and Experiment leader (France 2016 and 2019, Italy 2017). Lia currently works as a Financial Aid Specialist with College Now Greater Cleveland and teaches virtual French and Italian classes on the side. In her spare time, she enjoys making sassy cross-stitch samplers, doing crosswords with friends via Skype, playing guitar, and cooking new recipes.
Experiment programs are led by accomplished and experienced faculty and staff who typically live in the country of study. Program leaders are responsible for instructional content, classroom and field experiences, and daily program operations.
Hélène Alix Mourrier is a graphic designer & artist, committed to queer identities. It was during a complete course in applied arts in Etienne from 2006 to 2011 that she committed to transidentities, and carried out OPÉ-TRANS, in collaboration with the association OUTrans, a project relating to the various operations feminizing and masculinizing for trans* people. In 2012, she joined the Beaux-Arts de Paris, and specialized in ceramics, installation, and performances. At the same time, Hélène responds to graphic design orders for feminist circles and collaborators and belongs to several collectives fighting for LGBTQI + people.
In 2018, she completed her course by following the Ateliers des Horizons training course at the Magasin de Grenoble. Hélène now teaches graphic and editorial design, while continuing her transdisciplinary practice, and is part of the inclusive typographic research collective Bye Bye Binary. She made her first short film in 2021: HERMAN @ S (Les Adelphes).
From 2014 to 2018, Hélène worked with CEI & The Experiment to teach plastic art to young people in Paris, Arles and Aix-en-Provence. The program focused on the discovery of Impressionism and contemporary photography.
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