Admissions Blog: My first time in Paris with Sweet Briar’s 3-week art history class

Shay and Eiffel Tower
Sweet Briar sophomore Shay Finch in front of the Eiffel Tower

One of the most exciting things about Sweet Briar’s 3-week classes is that you can use this time to do an internship or study abroad. You can also take a class that takes you off campus, and maybe even out of the country. In my case, I took an art history class with Prof. Kimberly Morse-Jones, and for our final week, we all headed to Paris. Yes: Paris, France. During that trip, I discovered three favorite places.

Louvre statue
“The Winged Victory” at the Louvre

The Louvre

I loved visiting the Louvre because I got to see one of my favorite pieces ever. “The Winged Victory” is this beautiful statue that is placed at the top of the stairs in the Ancient Greek section of the museum. When I first laid eyes on this piece, it almost brought me to tears. The piece is so breathtaking in person because when you first enter the hallway, you can only see the stairs. As you keep moving forward, the statue slowly comes into view. The figure shown is a powerful and fierce headless woman. Her wings are big and beautiful and her garment is elegantly clinging to her skin. The piece, while frozen, creates a sense of motion. In a way it reminded me of Sweet Briar women.

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower was my second-favorite place we visited on the trip because it made the experience so surreal. Standing in front of the tower was the moment it actually sunk in that I was in Paris. I was able to sit between the tower and the Seine while enjoying a crêpe.

The Marais

Chez Marianne
Chez Marianne, a café in the fashion district Le Marais. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

My third-favorite experience was spending the day in the Marais district in Paris’s 4th arrondissement. Also known as SoMa (South Marais), this area is filled with hip boutiques, galleries and cafés. This was a wonderful experience because I had the opportunity to learn a little more about myself. I learned to appreciate myself more and to do things that make me happy. That day, I fell in love with the fashion in Paris. The way Parisians dress is the way I have always dreamed of dressing. I was able to buy a few items of clothing I liked to take a little piece of Paris home with me.

Overall, the experience is one that I am truly grateful for. I would have never imagined having this chance to leave the country and go to one of the most beautiful places in the world. With the help and support of Sweet Briar faculty, I was able to try something new that I will remember forever.


Want to travel with Sweet Briar? Learn more about our study abroad programs.

All Sweet Briar students are eligible for up to $2,000 for research, study abroad or internships. Learn more about our Grants for Engaged Learning.


Shay FinchShay Finch ’22 is an art history and psychology double major and vice president for the Class of 2022. She is involved in several clubs, including the Black Student Alliance, GLOW (Gay, Lesbian or Whoever) and Indoor Field Hockey.