Kylie Greenwood

Major: Apparel, Merchandising, and Design (Fashion)
Class: Senior
Timeframe: Summer 2023
Type of Experience: Summer
Program: Paris American Academy
Destination: France

Overall Experience

My time at Paris American Academy was wonderful. Paris itself was breathtaking, and I loved how laid-back the schedule was. We had plenty of time to explore the city and soak up the atmosphere. The faculty at the academy were amazing. They made sure our classes fit around our Paris adventures, and they even brought in professionals to give us informative and fun lectures about different sectors of the industry. It felt like they really cared about us and wanted us to have a great time. This trip has been a highlight of my life so far. It opened my eyes to a whole new world, and I'm so grateful for the experience.

Learning experience

The most valuable learning experience during my time at the Paris American Academy was realizing the time and dedication required to excel in the creation of authentic couture work. The process revealed itself to be exceedingly slow and meticulous, demanding a lot attention to detail at every step. The intricacy and delicacy in couture work left a lasting impression on me. Each stitch, each embellishment, and every intricate detail contributes to the creation of a garment that makes it much more than just a garment. What I initially perceived as excessive or unnecessary techniques were really important elements in achieving perfection in couture work. The hands-on experience allowed me to appreciate the uniqueness and individuality imbued in each piece. The meticulous attention to detail elevates the garment to a level of artistry that is unmatched in the industry. Overall, I learned that the practice of these couture techniques not only ensures the creation of incredibly crafted garments but also instills a sense of pride and craftsmanship that is truly invaluable. This experience taught me that achieving such pride requires unwavering dedication and commitment throughout the creative process.

Memorable experience

Among all my experiences in Paris, the unforeseen tragedy of the explosion on campus stands out the most and has deeply impacted my life. Despite the sadness, witnessing the strength and solidarity within the community, as well as among fellow students, was both touching and motivating. However, amidst the challenges, there were also moments of beauty and inspiration. Immersing myself in Parisian culture, exploring its vibrant streets, and learning from industry professionals were unforgettable experiences that shaped my journey at the academy. In hindsight, these experiences, both the challenges and the triumphs, have taught me invaluable lessons in resilience, empathy, and the power of community. They have profoundly influenced my perspective on life and learning.

What did you not expect?

One surprising aspect of my time in Paris was the laid-back culture of the Parisians. Their relaxed approach has inspired me to adopt a more relaxed attitude towards work and daily tasks. I now prioritize enjoying the process and focusing on the little details. This mindset shift encourages me to tackle challenges with calmness and positivity, fostering a more enjoyable and meaningful work environment.

What advice would you give?

My advice to other students considering studying abroad or seeking a similar experience is simple: go for it. There's truly nothing quite like immersing yourself in a new culture and environment, especially if you're from Iowa. Stepping out of the Midwest and into the fashion capital was an eye-opening experience. If you have a love luxury fashion, stunning architecture, and iconic landmarks Paris has it all and much more. I can't imagine anyone regretting the opportunity to explore and learn in such an incredible setting if given the opportunity.

How has this experience impacted your life?

This experience at Paris American Academy has profoundly impacted every aspect of my life. Firstly, it has provided me with a newfound perspective on fashion, particularly the intricacies and delicateness of couture. Immersing myself in the heart of the fashion capital, Paris, allowed me to witness firsthand the artistry and craftsmanship behind each garment, sparking a deep appreciation for the industry's nuances. Moreover, the tragedy that befell the school instilled in me a profound sense of gratitude for every moment. It reaffirmed my commitment to seize every opportunity for growth and learning, cherishing the gift of life and pursuing my aspirations. Paris, with its rich tapestry of history and culture, served as a backdrop to my transformative self-journey. Navigating its cobblestone streets and iconic landmarks, I embraced new experiences and fostered connections. Looking ahead, this experience has strengthened my determination to pursue a career in fashion, specifically in couture, fueled by a desire to innovate and bring my creativity to the industry. My educational and career goals now reflect a commitment to continuous learning, creative expression, and a dedication to honoring the legacy of couture.

How did you learn about this experience?

I first discovered this international opportunity through the study abroad website and by reaching out to an instructor who had previously participated in the trip during his undergraduate studies. Their insights and recommendations encouraged me to explore this enriching experience further.

International Connections