Paris Study Tour

At DIS, every Core Course goes on a trip somewhere outside of Denmark for a week. My section of Globalization and European Economies got to go to Paris, where we spent five days exploring, walking (a LOT), learning how to navigate the metro, and eating super yummy food (see my blog on this trip’s food highlights here). Below are the activities we did as a class and some trip highlights!

Academic Visit: La Defence

Our first academic visit of the trip was to see La Defence, Paris’s business district located to the west of the city center. Sky scrapers are probably not what you picture when you think of Paris and its quaint streets lined with Gothic architecture, but this area has become a center of innovation and development in France. It was the first real business district in Europe, designed to rebuild the French economy after the first world war. It is a commercial center home to over 500 businesses (15 of which are Fortune Global 500 company headquarters), 180,000 employees, several large shopping centers and dozens of restaurants (including Chipotle, which we did visit). Today La Defence is ranked 4th in the world’s most attractive business districts. It was interesting to see a side of Paris that I did not know much about, especially because so many people live and work there. We also got lucky and had a super sunny day for our walking tour of the area, which was so nice!

Academic Visit: Pawel Zerka

We also got to hear from Pawel Zerka, a policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. He is originally from Poland but now lives and works in Paris, studying European public opinion on economic and political issues, among other topics. He had lots of interesting insights into how the EU economy functions and what the future holds for Europe, which was really interesting to hear about as an American citizen! We spent a morning with him discussing the EU and asking him questions.

Montmartre Food Tour

The food and wine tour that we got to take in beautiful Montmartre near Moulin Rouge was certainly a trip highlight! Owner of Le Petit Moulin took us to local boulangeries, fromageries, and patisseries before we headed to his restaurant for traditional french food, wine, and cheese. Read more about everything we ate on my post here.

Bike Tour

Our class also went on a bike tour around the major sightseeing spots of paris including the Louvre, Les Tuileries, and l’Ecole Militaire. I was a little nervous since I have not taken part in Copenhagen’s biking culture yet this semester, but it came back to me fast and we all made it through the tour without getting hit by any French drivers, which was a feat on its own. We got to see so many beautiful buildings and views, and our guide taught us a lot about the history of Paris. It was very cool to hear all of her stories about the French monarchs who once inhabited all of the beautiful buildings we saw.

Academic Visit: CEPII

Our final visit was to hear from Vincent Vicard at the Centre d’Etudes Prospectives et d’Informations Internationales, or CEPII. They are a think tank-like organization and database that works to provide data and publish research related to the world economy. Vincent told us all about the research he is currently working on related to everything from tax havens to labor costs and how different factors and policies affect the economy on a macroeconomic scale. I have actually cited CEPII data in some of my papers before, so it was cool to hear about where those numbers came from and the topics that CEPII is working on now.


We went to the top of the Eiffel Tower one morning as a class and had plenty of time to explore on our own over the course of the week, so we definitely checked off a lot of Paris bucket list items! Enjoy some sights below.

This trip was a ton of fun and full of so many once in a lifetime experiences. From tasting cheese in Montmartre to biking around the Louvre to eating on the Seine, I can definitely say that I will never have another Econ class like this!

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