“A walk about Paris will provide a lesson in history, beauty, and in the meaning of life.” - Thomas Jefferson
As a student at ESSEC, there are a multitude of attractions and places to visit just a 40-minute train ride into Paris, and even despite all the deadlines and obligations we have back in Cergy-Pontoise, we are able to find time to explore and enjoy the City of Lights. From museum exhibits to restaurants, IMHI students can benefit from a number of unique experiences that the city has to offer.
Here is a glimpse into a week of exploration for an IMHI student:
In celebration of the Chinese New Year, the Grand Palais, an exhibition hall located on the Champs-Elysées, hosted “Nuit de Chine.” This international soirée featured performances from a Franco-Chinese DJ and a number of up-and-coming food trucks that shared their Chinese delicacies with attendees. The exhibition hall, originally built for the 1900 Universal Exposition, was magnificently draped in linens that also served as projection screens for videos presenting Chinese landscapes and the everyday lives of Chinese people.
We truly enjoyed this modern perspective on China set in such an emblematic and grandiose venue. Fellow IMHI student, Alexandra Apaclla, who is studying Introduction to Mandarin, also relished the chance to further her interest in this particular language and culture.
We embarked on another museum visit, but this time on the other side of the Seine. Particularly known for its collection of works from famous artists including Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet, the Musée d’Orsay extends its opening hours to 9:45 PM every Thursday evening. (This is just one of the many museums that offers free admission to students, a benefit to be taken advantage of!)
Walking through the museum that was once a railway station in the early 1900’s, we saw a multitude of paintings offering a view into different times, places and realities. Along the north side of the building, windows revealed the ebb and flow of the Seine and further beyond, the many lights of the city. After spending some time in the museum, we decided to take a stroll along the river and stumbled upon the Pont des Arts, one of the Seine’s 37 bridges offering yet another unique view of Paris.
After a long day of Managerial Accounting and Strategic Marketing classes, we were famished. We took the train back into Paris and racked our brains for possible dining options. One of us had recently heard of a trendy new burger place located in the 9th district, and so we made our way there in the rainy Parisian evening.
Upon arrival at Le Big Fernand, we saw a long line of customers waiting to order their hamburgés and fries. We finally sat down at the restaurant’s communal tables, rubbing elbows with people from all over the world. Local Parisians and international visitors alike had flocked to Le Big Fernand to try their delicious burgers.
We walked back out in the night with full stomachs, reveling in the many things the city has to offer and putting aside all thoughts of papers, exams and homework assignments… If only for a few moments.