SBCC Rome and Paris: Parting Words

SBCC StudyAbroadLogoContact404_404Spring has come and gone, and the students who embarked on the SBCC Rome and Paris Film Studies Program have returned home. After spending three months abroad, the irreplaceable memories they made will carry them through the rest of their lives. Ready to take on any challenge, they are taking their new perspectives, friendships, language skills, and more to their next journey, off to a new College, into the job world, or back on the SBCC campus to share with their new classmates. To commemorate their fantastic adventure, SBCC Professor Michael Stinson and student Nicole Montague have been cataloging their experience through photos and videos. Below are some of the many adventures of “the best group we’ve had so far” (Prof. Michael Stinson)

Continue reading

A Visit to the Boulangerie Basso

This week’s post focuses on a visit Purdue University students made to the local independent bakery Boulangerie Basso. There, they learned how to make delicious baguettes, buttery croissants, and other traditional French treats. Programs Coordinator Charlotte Munn describes the visit.

This week, students from Purdue University got the opportunity to visit the wonderful Boulangerie Basso in the 17th arrondissement of Paris. Portrait-1Boulangerie Basso was founded 6 years ago by two women named Florentine and Camille, both mothers, boulangères, and managers of the business. Another particularity is that, unlike many other boulangeries, they make their own sourdough. These factors are what makes the Boulangerie Basso so special, as well as the many workshops they offer for students and children.

Continue reading

An Excerpt from Insights: Internship – Réseau Sentinelles in Paris

The Insights newsletter highlights innovative programs with ACCENT. Today’s excerpt comes from our November 2016 edition. For more Insights, visit our newsletter at:

Nargis Aslami studies Economics at the University of California, Merced and intentionally chose the Spring Quarter in London and Paris to add international internship experience to her résumé and explore course topics unrelated to her major. “I wanted to dip my toes in a different field and see what that was like,” she recalls. While she may have charted unknown waters, Nargis is right on course.Nargis-e1479121835468 Continue reading

Paris Picks…!

In this week’s Paris Picks…!, ACCENT Paris’ Housing Coordinator Jennifer Talevi describes the advantages of Paris’ bike-sharing system, Vélib. Jennifer shares with us the wonderful journeys Vélib allows her to take as she ride along the banks of the Seine and enjoys the culture and beauty of Paris.

JTaleviSince its creation in 2007, 286,000 people have joined the urban bike-sharing program Vélib. I recently joined and cannot imagine doing an activity in Paris now without a part of it spent pedaling. With 1,256 Vélib stations located in Paris, renting a bike is convenient and a great way to see the city. Annual membership is not mandatory; one can rent a bike for a day or even obtain a week-long membership! Continue reading

Bordeaux: La Cité du Vin

Today’s post comes from ACCENT Paris Study Center Director Melissa Smith-Simonet, who recently visited La Cité du Vin, a new museum in Bordeaux specializing in wine. La Cité du Vin teaches us about wine’s history, its cultural significance, its creation, and the art of wine tasting.

When one hears ‘Bordeaux’, one immediately thinks not only of the city in the southwest corner of the Aquitaine, but of the world class wine of the entire region. Bordeaux has been shaped and defined by the wine trade and traces of this history are visible today in its many wine cellars, shops, and trading houses, as well as its vineyards and chateaux throughout the region.routes-du-vin_filtre_0 Continue reading

SBCC Rome and Paris: Weekend Trips and Independent Travel

SBCC StudyAbroadLogoContact404_404Today’s post rejoins the SBCC Rome and Paris Film Studies group as they venture out across Europe, from the well-trodden cobblestones of historic cities to the little-known, far flung corners of the continent. Student Blogger Jeffrey Leaf describes how travel and adventure have brought the group closer together and helped forge lasting friendships.

Amalfi Coast, Assisi, Barcelona, Brussels, Bologna, Capri, Casablanca, Cefalù, Florence, Malta, Madrid, Marrakech, Milan, Lake Como, Palermo, Pompeii, Venice. arab prince 2One of the best parts of Study Abroad is undoubtedly the weekends, whether one chooses to spend one’s time in their host city or go out and see new places. There is no shortage of places to travel in and around Italy. And for such a short time in Rome, the members of our group have surely been around. Rome’s central location at the bottom of Europe and in the middle of the Mediterranean guarantees a buffet of places to choose from, whether you are an experienced traveler or completely new to the experience. Continue reading

Arrivederci, Roma! Mid-Program Reflections from the SBCC Rome and Paris Program

SBCC StudyAbroadLogoContact404_404This Spring, ACCENT has teamed up with Santa Barbara City College for a multi-city Film Studies program in Rome and Paris. SBCC student Jeffrey Leaf has been selected as the program’s Official Student Blogger, and we are very pleased to publish his reflections as he and his classmates explore the wonders and challenges of the study abroad experience. This week, we check in with Jeffrey as he reflects on his experience studying abroad in Rome, and his feelings as he and his classmates move on to their time in Paris.

As the Rome leg of our study abroad program comes to an end, it feels necessary to take this time to reflect on how amazing the past six weeks have been. Right from the start, the trip has been a whirlwind of excitement, culture, education, and fun. Most of us cannot think of a time in recent memory when we have had this much enjoyment and stimulation in so short a period. Consequently, a bizarre feeling and sense of time has emerged from all that activity; we feel as if we have been in Rome for months, while also sensing that our program has also been flying by.HipstamaticPhoto-512068099.950594

Continue reading

Paris Picks…!

Today’s edition of our “Live Like A Local” series rounds out our look at notable Parisian theaters. Paris Center Cultural Activities Coordinator and Excursion Leader Mirek Siedliski describes his favorite places in Paris to take in a film.

Bienvenue à Paris—the city of cinema! Not only was Paris used as a film set in hundreds of films (and still is), it’s also the town where you’ll find an amazing number of movie theaters and a mind-blowing selection of films, ranging from the most recent ones, to the great classics of the 1950’s and 1960’s, to jewels from the silent film era.

Continue reading

ACCENT Paris: Le Grand Musée du Parfum

IMG_4460This week’s post comes from our ACCENT Paris Study Center, where Cultural Activities Coordinator Mirek Siedliski describes the newly-opened Grand Musée du Parfum, a museum devoted entirely to the history and art of perfumery.

Paris already has an unparalleled palette of museums, but the recently opened Grand Musée du Parfum is the only place where one can learn about the first perfume known to mankind, how smells and emotions are connected, and how the sense of smell works with olfactory memory.

Continue reading

Study Abroad and the Spirit of Giving

One of our favorite things about the ACCENT Blog is the abundance of uplifting stories that come our way. There is nothing more affirming than hearing a student tell us how Study Abroad contributed to their personal growth and breadth of experience.

ACCENT student Matilda Mead is no exception. When asked about the most rewarding experience of her time in Paris, Matilda told us a story about how she and other foreigners in Paris met up and prepared a massive Thanksgiving meal for a refugee camp in Saint-Denis, contributing to not just the spirit of the holiday season, but to the very real necessity of treating others with love, respect, and generosity all year round.

Without a doubt, my most rewarding experience while living in Paris has been working with new friends to aid the refugee population in the city. It all started when my flatmate told me about a new-french-friends-via-facebook-groupsFacebook group where you can meet fellow foreigners living in Paris and grab lunch or drinks with them, work out or go to museums together, practice French together, etc.

I wanted to branch out and meet new people, but I also really wanted to do something to give back to the community. After the US election results, I was quite down and depleted and felt the need to go out in the world and help people less privileged than myself. Continue reading

98 Steps

Today’s post comes to us from ACCENT San Francisco’s new Programs Assistant, Samantha Proteau. Sam participated in an 11-month exchange program in Paris, living, studying, and working for nearly a year among native Parisians. In her first post for the ACCENT Blog, Sam tells us about how overcoming stress and shyness allowed img_0633her to achieve a whole new sense of independence and personal growth.

In a very last minute decision, I extended my college experience to participate in an exchange program in Paris.  I was hesitant in the beginning, eager as I was to transition into the professional world; but then I remembered how remarkable my first study abroad experience in Florence, Italy had been and became certain that another study abroad trip would meet such great expectations.  How different could this new experience be? Continue reading

An Excerpt from Insights: Fluctuat Nec Mergitur

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of the November 13, 2015 terrorist attacks on Paris and the nearby suburb of Saint-Denis, which resulted in the deaths of 130 people. In the wake of international turmoil caused by events such as these, questions of national identity emerge: who are we, and who do we want to become?

ACCENT is dedicated to the broadening of hearts and minds, to the importance of looking beyond ourselves, and appreciating our vast and ever-changing world. It is easy to withdraw into ourselves when we are hurt and afraid, but it is true courage to reach out to others and work together to rebuild.

In our May 2016 edition of ACCENT’s Insights Newsletter, Paris Center Director Melissa Smith-Simonet published the following response to the attacks, detailing what ACCENT is doing to help students combat fear and better understand the vibrant and diverse city that heroically emerged from the rubble and refused to sink under terror.

fnm-1024x683Fluctuat Nec Mergitur – Tossed but Not Sunk – is the motto of the city of Paris and has appeared on the city’s coat of arms for centuries. These three Latin words have never been truer than in the weeks and months since the events of November 13. Continue reading

Celebrating ACCENT’s 25th Anniversary!

October 31st, 2016 marked ACCENT’s 25th birthday! To celebrate, our Study Centers in Europe have been throwing parties in appreciation of 25 years of successful cooperation with schools, students, and our partners abroad. ACCENT Paris’ Lily Mac Mahon describes the festivities that took place at our Paris Study Center.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of ACCENT, and all 5 Study Centers — spread across 4 different countries — have been celebrating! The team and students in Florence got to enjoy some delicious ACCENT-themed cookies and here in Paris, we tucked into a classic French fraisier (strawberry cream cake) and a chocolate layer cake! screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-14-09-44 Before the celebrations began, Ray Vernon, the Executive Director, gave a wonderful speech about the history of ACCENT, from when it started as a small company with only a few programs in Paris and Florence, to its current status as a successful study abroad program provider for schools across America. In a world where learning foreign languages is becoming perceived as seemingly inessential, and people are experiencing fear and uncertainty, Ray explained why it is so important for students to “take back the message that it’s still a fantastic experience and that study abroad is still very special!”screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-14-04-48The celebrations were a great way for our students to get to know the staff and ask them questions about their experiences at ACCENT. When Adrien (our academic liaison in Paris), who started as an intern and has been with ACCENT Paris for over 12 years, was asked to describe the best thing about working at ACCENT, he said: “Having contact with students keeps you young inside; and as a French person, it’s really nice to see the students making Paris their home after only a few months, learning how to adapt to another culture, some actually become quite French themselves!”

During the last 25 years, ACCENT has helped 50,000 students (over 10,000 in Paris alone) facilitate their study abroad experiences and has partnered with over 100 universities on  2,450 programs. In the words of Ray, the ACCENT team would like to “thank all the students from the bottom of our hearts for coming this semester.” This semester, and semesters moving forward, ACCENT is thrilled to continue to support and encourage students in their intellectual pursuits, personal growth and cultural understanding.

~Lily Mac Mahon, ACCENT Paris

Click through our gallery to see how other ACCENT Study Centers have been celebrating our 25th anniversary!



Paris Fashion Week

Last week saw the finale of Paris Fashion Week, which took place from Tuesday, September 27th to Wednesday, October 5th. In today’s post, ACCENT Paris’ Lily Mac Mahon discusses the Chanel and Lanvin shows, as well as the changes that occur within the city during this international celebration of a thriving art form.

For any fashionista, Paris Fashion Week is one of the most anticipated and exciting events of the year. However, if you aren’t a journalist or celebrity, there isn’t much chance of getting in to see any of the shows! Like many of us, you have to experience the glitz and glamour from the sidelines.

The line outside the Lanvin show at Hôtel de Ville. Photo taken by Janie Connelly.

Our very own ACCENT student Janie Connelly, from the University of Southern California, went to the Lanvin show at Hôtel de Ville to do some celebrity-spotting and managed to get snapshots of the supermodel Karlie Kloss and some famous fashion bloggers whose job it is to report on the latest trends.

Supermodel Karlie Kloss. Photo taken by Janie Connelly.

It’s not just outside the fashion shows where you get to feel the buzz of Fashion Week: even walking through the trendy Marais district, you’ll be able to spot all of the beautiful and fabulously dressed people sitting on the terraces of cafés or hopping from boutique to boutique.

Every inhabitant of Paris feels a shift in the city over these 9 days; we’re reminded that Paris is the fashion capital of the world. It’s easy to become cynical when the city is so inundated with fashion news and events. However, I recently saw a quotation from Coco Chanel which challenged my mte5ndg0mdu0ote5nzqyotkxprejudice toward what some call a modern art form:

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

There is art in fashion and fashion in art. You only need to visit the Palais Galliera: Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris to see that fashion goes beyond just sewing pieces of fabric together. There is artistry, skill, and talent in every design and stitch.

sewing-machine-1369658_1920Karl Lagerfeld, the outspoken savior of the Chanel maison, staged his Spring/Summer 2017 show at the Grand Palais, and it wasn’t just about clothes: it was a commentary on the dystopian and technologically advanced society that the we live in. Models wore stormtrooper-esque helmets and the backdrop was a circuit-board of colorful cables, which echoed the woven thread of the classic Chanel tweed suit.

picture2As the final days of Paris Fashion Week came to a close, the crowds began to thin out. As quickly as the fashion world descended on the city, it quickly disappeared, and Paris became once again the catwalk of its civilians.

~ Lily Mac Mahon, ACCENT Paris

Did this post inspire you to study abroad in Paris? Research your study abroad options at



Paris and the Canvas of Life

This week’s post, the first of two discussing the many unusual movie theaters of Paris, comes from Programs Coordinator and Academic Liaison Adrien Fropos at our ACCENT Paris Study Center.

“Hey, why don’t we go get a canvas?” is a question you may someday be asked if you ever find yourself in France. While to a native French speaker this phrase would make perfect sense,  someone less experienced with the language might be completely puzzled. What could it mean? Could it be referencing painting, or weaving, or maybe even sailing?

While all very sensible guesses, “Se faire une toile” is actually a common expression in French that means “going to the movies” (the “toile” refers to the screen upon which the movie is projected, the canvas of cinema, if you will). Movie-going is a popular pastime among Parisians, and for good reason: it is less expensive than going to the opera or the theater, the rooms are air-conditioned (which is a quite a rare thing in France, especially in Paris!), and one is almost always guaranteed to have a good time.

Paris boasts 85 movie theaters within the city, 404 movie screens, and over 75,000 seats. Among these movie theaters, most are rather modern, offering movies in 2D or 3D, playing foreign films in their original language with French subtitles, or alternatively, dubbed in French.  There are also, however, a number of highly unique theaters to be found in Paris, suitable for those who are seeking a more rarefied movie-going experience.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most unusual places to see movies in Paris:

Le Louxor
This cinema is located in the 10th arrondissement. Founded in 1921, the theater was built in a stunning Egyptian Revivalist architectural style. The building has belouxor-1en through many iterations, ceasing operations as a cinema in the early 1980s, functioning as a nightclub until 1988 when the doors were finally shuttered. The building was later deemed a national heritage site, undergoing a massive renovation and restoration, reopening as a fully functioning cinema in 2013.


la-villetteCinéma en Plein Air à la Villette
The La Villette park is the third-largest park in Paris and plays host every year to a great free outdoor movie festival. Up to 1,000 movie-lovers can relax while sitting comfortably on deck chairs, enjoying a wide selection of movies, both French and foreign.


MK2 Bibliothèque
This recently built multiplex located in the 14th arrondissement (near the François Mitterrand public library) is mostly sought after by cinephiles looking for a comfortable venue to attend with their ‘special someone’. The MK2 Bibliothèque is peculiarly equipped with “love seats,” where the armrest can be folded into the seat in order to allow couples to lie in each other’s embrace while watching the latest romantic (or scary!) movie.


The vast array of movie theaters in Paris assures that moviegoers of all kinds will be sure to find what they are looking for. Regardless of the kinds of movies you enjoy (action, fantasy, adventure, romantic, or classic, to name but a few), whether you’re a fan of French New Wave, Italian Neorealism, or Film Noir, Paris will always be able to satisfy your thirst for novel cinematic experiences by offering out-of-the-ordinary venues, specializing in a wide variety of films.

If you are still hesitant about studying abroad, consider this: in the great movie that is life, why would you patiently sit aside and watch other people in the spotlight, when you could have the lead role and follow your own storyline?

Silence! Moteur! Action!


~Adrien Fropos, ACCENT Paris

Did this post inspire you to study abroad? Use the ACCENT Program Finder to discover your next great adventure: