A Guide to Paris’s Best Museums

  1. The Louvre

Musée du Louvre, 75058 Paris 
Open Mon, Thurs-Sun 9:00am – 6:00pm and Fri 9:00am – 9:45pm
Admission*: €16 (*Free on the first Sunday of each month from October -March)

While in Paris, you simply can’t miss the chance to explore the world’s largest and most visited museum. Attracting a staggering number of visitors each year, the Louvre is a magnificent space filled with rich galleries and passageways. Approximately 35,000 pieces of art and artifacts are on display, all split into different areas. Collections include art from all over the world ranging from Egyptian, Greek and Roman to Middle Eastern, French and Dutch art.  Visitors will not be disappointed in the number of paintings, sculptures and treasures to discover.

 

  1. The Centre Pompidou

Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004

Open Sun – Mon and Wed – Sat  11:00am – 10:00pm

Admission*:  €13 – €11 (*Free admission on the first Sunday of every month)

With its brightly colored, exposed pipes and unique architectural design, the Centre Pompidou is a well-known site in Paris. The building not only houses the largest museum of modern art in Europe, but also a vast public library, a center for music research, and the Public Information Library. Though initial reactions to the building were far from enthusiastic, Centre Pompidou now holds a special place in the hearts of many locals and is a must-see for any visitor in Paris.

Musée d'Orsay / Photo: via Flickr

Musée d’Orsay / Photo: via Flickr

  1. Musée d’Orsay

Musée d’Orsay, 62, rue de Lille, 75343

Open Tues, Wed, Fri-Sun 9:30am – 6:00pm and Thurs 9:30am – 9:45am

Admission*: € 11 (*Free admission the first Sunday of every month)

Originally a train station, Musée d’Orsay is now home to a variety of works from France’s national collection, including pieces from the impressionist, postimpressionist and art nouveau movements. The museum boasts the world’s largest collection of impressionist and postimpressionist art– a part of the museum visitors will not want to miss. Some notable pieces include: Monet’s Gardens at Giverny, Van Gogh’s self-portraits, Starry Night, and Degas’ ballerinas.

 

 

  1. Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais

3 av du Général Eisenhower, 8e

Open Mon, Wed – Sun 9:00am – 10:00pm

Admission*: €13 (*Prices and times can vary for individual exhibits)

Designed by three different architects for the 1900 World’s Fair, the Grand Palais features a variety of changing exhibits and attracts more than 2.5 million visitors every year. During wartime the Palais played an entirely different role, serving as a military hospital during World War I and a truck depot for Nazi soldiers during World War II. With its gorgeous glass roof above the central hall, the museum is now a vibrant, dynamic center for numerous art events and exhibits. Be sure to make a stop at this beautifully crafted building filled with wondrous works of art.

 

 

  1. Musée de l’Orangerie

    Musee L'Orangerie

    Water Lillies at L’Orangerie / Photo: Patrick (via Flickr)

Jardin des Tuileries, 1e

Open Sun – Mon and Wed – Sat 9:00am – 6:00pm

Admission*: € 9 (*Free admission the first Sunday of every month)

Situated in the heart of Paris, the Musée de l’Orangerie offers two major collections for visitors to enjoy. Two larges rooms feature Claude Monet’s Water Lilies. Visitors can spend time gazing at the paintings, which Monet was inspired to create after the horrors of World War I. The second collection is The Walter-Guillaume Collection, which displays creative works from Paul Guillaume and his wife, Domenica. Musée de l’Orangerie is a great place to get your fill of postimpressionist works.

 

  1. Musée National du Moyen Age

6 place Paul Painlevé, 5e

Open Mon, Wed – Sun  9:15am – 5:45pm

Admission*: €8 (*Free admission the first Sunday of every month)

The National Museum of the Middle Ages— as it translates to in English — serves as a unique example of 15th century secular Gothic architecture.  Decorated with Gothic doorways, a hexagonal staircase and a vaulted chapel, the rare structure of the building will pique the interest of those visiting. Known for its collection of medieval art, specifically the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries, the museum also showcases Roman-era bathhouses and four beautiful medieval gardens. For an exciting trip back to the Middle Ages, make sure to add Musée National du Moyen Age to your itinerary.

 

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24 Hours in Paris

Paris is often considered to be the cultural center of Europe. This city boasts multiple museums, and has attracted artists from around the world for centuries. Also known for its world-renowned culinary scene, the city boasts many wonderful restaurants and one of the world’s most prestigious culinary institutes. For its visitors and inhabitants, the City of Light is ripe with possibility and opportunities for adventure.

 

8:00 a.m. – Gear up for the busy day ahead by enjoying breakfast at a local café. Holybelly is a delicious little restaurant located in the 10th arrondissement. This funky spot serves classics like pancakes, bacon, and eggs, as well as an extensive assortment of locally roasted coffees and teas.  Fresh bread is baked daily and served with each meal. If you prefer to eat your breakfast on the go, visit any French boulangerie where you can grab a chocolate croissant or a strawberry crepe to satisfy your hunger.

 

Louvre Museum

9:00 a.m. – Admire the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Eugene Delacroix, and Johannes Vermeer displayed in the famous Louvre Museum. The museum –  itself a work of art – is approximately 60,000 square meters and boasts more than 35,000 artifacts, drawings, paintings, and sculptures. Try to determine which exhibits you would like to visit prior to your arrival, and don’t forget to include masterpieces like the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.

Note: Pre-order your entrance tickets online to avoid long queues.

 

11:00 a.m. – Continue walking along the Seine to the Île de la Cité, home to the iconic Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. This Catholic cathedral is a fine example of French Gothic architecture. The exterior is decorated with flying buttresses, stained glass windows, and stone gargoyles.

 

1:00 p.m. – Shop at the boutiques located in Paris’ premier shopping district, the Avenue des Champs-Elysées. The Champs-Elysées hosts couture designers like Louis Vuitton, Cartier, and Hugo Boss, as well as a variety of other smaller boutiques. Once you’ve finished your shopping, relax with a heavenly lunch at Ladurée. This enchanting bistro offers an array of tasty options, including mini vegetarian burgers, gourmet club sandwiches, and bountiful salads with homemade dressings. Whatever you do, be sure to save room for dessert. Ladurée is best known for their delicious pastries and sweets, including exquisite macarons. Choose from simple flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and lemon, or a more exotic flavor like rose petal or orange blossom.

 

4:00 p.m. – Prepare to navigate the tunnels of the metro as you proceed on your journey to the artistic hub of the city, Montmartre. Various artists have occupied studios around this bohemian neighborhood including Monet, Picasso, and Van Gogh. Wander the cobbled streets and you might stumble upon the famous Moulin Rouge, the birthplace of the can-can dance. Montmartre is also home to the famous Basilica of Sacré-Coeur. This basilica, sitting high above the city, was built in a unique Roman-Byzantine style to counter the neo-Baroque designs popular in French architecture during the 19th century. Sip a quick cup of coffee or tea at the Café des Deux Moulins and stroll the streets of Paris’ 18th arrondissement.

 

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Eiffel Tower

7:00 p.m. – Hop on the metro to the 7th arrondissement and make your way through the streets towards the iconic Eiffel Tower. On your way, pick up a baguette at a nearby boulangerie, fresh fruit and produce from the market, and some cheese from the fromagerie to enjoy in the Parc du Champ de Mars.

 

 

9:00 p.m. – As the sun finishes its gradual descent, spend time appreciating the breathtaking views of the Eiffel Tower. Stroll across the Pont d’Iéna to the Trocadéro area where you will have even more incredible views of the city. The Place du Trocadéro is brimming with street performers and other entertainment. Hungry for a midnight snack? Try a Nutella banana crepe sprinkled with powdered sugar at any of the crêperies in the vicinity. This is the most splendid way to end a mesmerizing day and enchanting evening in this magical city.

New Program: Intern in France

It is with much excitement that we announce the newest addition to our already amazing list of programs: Intern in France! We could not be more thrilled to announce the arrival of this new program, as well as the two wonderful locations in which we’ll be offering internship placements: Paris and Nice.

Interns participating in our program in France will have the opportunity to choose between the two locations, each of which offers the opportunity to gain a unique perspective on French culture. Paris, a major metropolitan city and top tourist destination, provides participants with an unforgettable experience soaking up the culture, history, and inspiring art of the “City of Light”. In Nice, interns experience life on the Mediterranean, complete with delicious regional dishes, seaside shops, and plenty of adventure.  Interns in both locations will be able to choose from a wide range of available professional fields:

  • Advertising
  • Architecture and Landscape Architecture
  • Coaching & Sports Management
  • Communications
  • Culinary Arts
  • Education
  • Event Management
  • Fashion
  • Government
  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality Management & Tourism
  • Information Technology
  • International Business
  • International Relations
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Media Studies
  • Museum & Cultural Management
  • Non-Profit Management
  • Physical Therapy
  • Public Relations
  • Social Work
  • Web & Graphic Design

For more information about this new opportunity, including the available professional fields and the two locations, please contact a World Endeavors Advisor or visit our website. Be sure to follow us on social media as well to stay up-to-date on what’s happening at World Endeavors!

www.worldendeavors.wordpress.com/contact-us/

Why You Should Stay With a Host Family

When most people travel abroad, they stay in hotels or resorts and don’t get the chance to immerse themselves in the culture of the country they are visiting. If you choose to do a World Endeavors intern, study or volunteer program that offers a home stay with a native family, you will have the opportunity of a life time. Here are some reasons a home stay is such a great experience.

1. The family will most likely cook local and delicious food for you daily.

2. In some cases they might even do your laundry for you!

3. You can ask them about their culture and gain an understanding of your surroundings and why people have certain customs or how they came about.

4. You can see how people live day-to-day.

5. They can make suggestions for local places to eat. This will give you a chance to go to these places and mingle with the locals.

6. If there are any interesting places to visit in the area, such as caves, beaches or castles that not many people know about, they will probably give you tips on where it is and how to get there.

7. If you have doubts about how to do daily tasks in a foreign country, especially one that speaks a different language, such as catching the bus or setting up your cell phone, they will also be able to help.

8. It’s nice to have a home away from home in a foreign country. Often, you will be able to do activities with them or go on trips with them.

9. You can stay in contact with the family after you leave. This may increase your chances of going back to visit!

10. You can greatly improve your language skills if the family doesn’t speak English.

Homestays Stay with You

With my host parents in France

With my host parents in France

Throughout my travels abroad I have had the privilege of staying with host families and I can honestly say that these homestay experiences have never left me. They made my trips what they were – enjoyable to the utmost.

I have been to France three different times and each time I had the opportunity to stay with a French family. The first two times I stayed with the same family for weeks at a time; and then the third time, when I was studying in France for 4 months, I stayed with a family in a different city. Both of these families had the most positive impact on me and I will never forget their kindness. I was truly welcomed into their family and felt like a part of it. It helped me to feel like I had a real home in France and it fulfilled the dream I had always had of becoming a part of the French way of life. I was not simply a tourist; I was a part of the French culture.

My French host nephew

My French host nephew

My homestay families and I got along great and bonded in ways that I will never forget. For example, drinking tea and speaking French every night with my French mom became one of my favorite pastimes while living in France. Taking walks with my host sister, visiting my host brother in Paris, playing with my host sister’s three year old son, having four hour Sunday dinners in the countryside of France at my French grandparents’ home, and having a huge soirée full of music, delicious French food, and my host family’s friends make up my most beloved memories of being in France. Yes, visiting the Eiffel Tower and the beaches of Normandy was unforgettable, but bonding with the people of France, rather than just the places, is what I will always remember.

My host family's cheerful kitchen

My host family's cheerful kitchen

I think that homestays are truly life-changing and they make learning a new language and culture so much easier. I learned the French language so much more quickly through being able to speak it everyday. A day did not pass without me learning a new word from my French family. More than that, I also learned about the culture of France and I know that I would not have been able to do this by staying in a hotel. I am so grateful that I was able to live like a local and become truly immersed in a foreign language and culture.

Now, I am able to call my host families my French families and they truly do feel like family to me. We continue to stay in contact today and that helps me to still feel connected to a country and culture I love.

Musical soiree with my host family and friends

Musical soiree with my host family and friends

Homestays are an integral part of many World Endeavors volunteer and study abroad programs. Experience France through World Endeavors for a summer, semester, or full academic year!

Contact World Endeavors by e-mail (info@worldendeavors.com) or by phone at 1-612-729-3400 to learn more. Or, visit World Endeavors online at www.worldendeavors.com.

Taking a Gap Year

The concept of a “gap” year is very popular in Britain, but is just starting to catch on in the United States.  Taking a gap year means that you don’t go directly from high school to college, but take a year off in between in order to travel and ‘find yourself.’  Princeton University and other prestigious colleges are starting to promote a gap year as a great way to make the transition into college and adulthood.

Think about it- before you spend thousands of dollars on your education, doesn’t it make sense to find out why you’ll be going to school in the first place?  A gap year gives you perspective on your goals, your interests, and your life. 

Sure, gap years aren’t for everyone, but we here at World Endeavors think they should be more common!  We have lots of exciting ways for you to spend a year abroad, whether it be volunteering in several different countries, or doing an international internship.  You could even do a long-term language study program in France or China, and gain credit that could transfer towards your degree!

There are lots of options for your life; make sure you make the choice that is right for you.

Tourist, Student, or Work: Which Visa is Right for You?

The topic of visas (aka entry clearance) can be very confusing for the first-time traveler. And I’m not talking about credit cards! A ‘visa’ is a stamp or sticker that is placed in your passport by an immigration official of another country. World Endeavors’ participants mainly choose 1 of 3 kinds of visas:

Tourist visas

Student visas

Work visas

Tourist visas are usually the easiest and cheapest kind of visa to get. Most of the time, you simply arrive in a country (like Costa Rica or Ecuador) and the customs official stamps your passport as you get off the plane. The stamp is good for a certain amount of days – usually 21, 30, or 90 days. Many times the stamp can be renewed if you would like to visit for a longer amount of time. Some countries, like India, Brazil, Ghana, and Tanzania, require that US citizens get a tourist visa in advance. This usually involves filling out an application form, and sending it along with your passport and a fee to a consulate or Embassy. Yes, you do have to send them your passport in the mail! Don’t worry, they’ll send it back to you in a couple of weeks.

Student visas are required for most semester and year-long study abroad programs and some internship programs. Obtaining a student visa requires that you apply well in advance. Some countries, like Italy, Spain and France, require that you go to the consulate in person. Considering that the consulate for your area may not be right in your city, this is something to consider and plan for. Additionally, student visas may take a few weeks to process. You should start the process of obtaining your student visa as far in advance as possible. This might mean that you call the consulate to make an appointment 2 or more months before you plan to start your program. You may also need special paperwork in addition to your application form and passport, such as: original acceptance letters from a foreign university, a letter from your bank indicating sufficient funds, a round-trip flight itinerary, health insurance, and other documents. Please consult with a World Endeavors representative before you start your application for a student visa – we’ll help you get started!

Work visas allow individuals to obtain a job in a country of which they are not a citizen. Most tourist visas and student visas bar you from getting paid employment. Long-term or permanent work visas aren’t easy to get, and for some countries it is nearly impossible. However, some short-term (6 months – 1 year) work visa options are available to students or recent graduates. Check out programs like BUNAC for more information about getting a work visa. Work visas are required for World Endeavors’ Intern in England and Intern in Australia programs.

In short, visas can be complicated business, but all it takes is a little advance planning! For the best results, if you’re not sure what kind of visa you need for your World Endeavors program, just ask one of our friendly Enrollment Advisors (like me). We have lots of experience and we’re always ready to help.