Hello, Paris! Business students take on the City of Light

Several students are taking business classes in Paris through a summer program sponsored by the David Eccles School of Business, exploring the city, its culture and its business landscape. We’ll be sharing several of their experiences here.  We start with student Ashley Teter, who writes about starting the trip, and exploring one of the 20 unique districts making up the French city. 

Ashley writes:

Here I am in Paris for my two-month study abroad trip with the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business. I’m still having a hard time actually believing that I’m here even though it’s already been two weeks. For the first month of my stay I’m taking an independent study class where I will be traveling around to the 20 different arrondissements (aka “districts”) of Paris and writing this blog about my experiences in each one. I’ll be documenting some of the top tourist attractions and architectural structures that are specific to each neighborhood. Other points of interest I’ll be covering as apart of the assignment are how much cost of living differs between the districts. Prices for hotels and basic groceries can vary a lot even within a few blocks of each other.

In addition to this blog being used for the assignment I described above I’ll also just be posting pictures and some fun things I’ve done to keep family and friends up to date. I feel so grateful to have this experience to be just a tourist in Paris. I have two months to really explore the culture and meet the people instead of just a quick stop to see the Eiffel Tower. Even after two weeks I already feel like I’ve seen another side to Paris than I expected and I can’t wait to share the rest of my trip with you all!

Demographics and Prices

  • Total Population: 17,614 in 2009
  • % of Residents Born in Metropolitan France: 77.80%
  • % of Residents that are Non-EU immigrants: 9.70%
  • Two Star Hotel Rate for Double Room: 124 € a night
  • Price of Dozen Eggs: 3.49
  • Price of a Liter of Whole Milk: 1.34
  • Price per Kilogram of Rib-Eye Steak: 29.99/kg

The 20 districts of Paris spiral out from the center numerically. That’s why I’ll start with the first arrondissement, because it is right in the center of all the activity in Paris. The place is flooded with tourists, helped of course by the famous Louvre museum being the prominent tourist attraction in the area, averaging about 30,000 visitors per day.

The "Mona Lisa," or "La Jaconde"

A lot of Parisians flock to this area as well to try and make money off of the endless crowds of tourists. They sell huge rings full of Eiffel Tour figurines (which I’ve never actually seen anyone buy), and some try to get you to sign petitions–“if you speak English.” It’s all a bit overwhelming. Luckily, when I went to see the Louvre we decided to go early in the morning to beat the crowds. There was still a ton of people there but I was actually in the first row of people around the Mona Lisa or “La Joconde.”

Jardin des Tuileries

Jardin des Tuileries

My favorite spot in the first district was the Jardin des Tuileries. These gardens decorate the walk between the Pont de la Concorde and the front of the Louvre. It’s definitely not a park that you would be used to in the states. People do come there to play games and relax, but you are not allowed on the grass. Children bring their own little wooden boats to push around the man-made ponds. I even saw a goat that was just randomly eating grass off to the side. Apparently being on the grass is okay as long as you are a goat. Most people were sitting by the fountains or in the shade reading. Before I leave I definitely want to spend a day there reading. All of the paths are tree-lined and it makes for quite the pleasant stroll. It makes me think of the quote by Victor Hugo, “To err is human, to stroll is Parisian.”

Le Carrousel du Louvre is an underground part of the area surrounding the Louvre. It is a mall, basically just for tourists. It sold expensive souvenirs that were slightly set apart from the mass amounts of plastic Eiffel Tours and I “heart” Paris t-shirts. It also had a high-end department store called Printemps that sold the fanciest purses I have ever seen. It actually had an inverted pyramid coming down into the center of the mall and an entrance to the museum.

Business Scholar Ashley Teter.

Student Ashley Teter. All photos courtesy of Ashley Teter. You can read more about her trip here, or at AshleyTeter.blogspot.com

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