Courtesy of Rachel Hanada
Hi, my name is Sandra Kim and I am a sophomore in Fashion Design. I've always wanted to immerse myself in the culture of Paris and explore the fashion capital of the world, but that has always been on the side burner for me since school is already hectic enough and the expenses are crazy. However, I've come across multiple posters and emails about the Paris Trip Otis offers for sophomores, juniors, and seniors in Fashion Design. It obviously sounds amazing; I mean who wouldn't want to go, but I can’t help but wonder if it is worth the money to go during the school year. I’m very curious and I’m sure a lot of other students have many other questions, too! That’s why I interviewed one of my friends who had the opportunity to go on this trip. 

This week I interviewed Rachel Soojin Lee, who is a Junior in Fashion Design. I was lucky enough to receive first hand knowledge about her experience and many details/insight about the pros and cons of the Paris trip. I hope this is helpful for many students who are interested in going on the trip in the future. 

SK:How much did you pay for the trip? What about other expenses?

RL: $3,000 plus another $500 for meals, shopping, and souvenirs.

SK:How was the hotel situation and how were the services?

RL: The services were so good. Everything was clean, the breakfast there was ample enough to get us moving in the morning and they had so many croissants that I failed to eat only one.

SK:How was the experience? What did you get out of it? 

RL: Through this Paris experience, I realized that exposure to culture, art, history, and style within different groups was something that would help me expand my creativity and thinking process. It is through understanding people and their values of all sorts of cultures that I can draw inspiration from when designing clothes. After all, I am designing for people.
Courtesy of Rachel Hanada

SK:Was this beneficial to your major and work? Would you recommend others to go on this trip? If so, why?

RL: It was through Otis’s connections that allowed this year’s group to literally enter into some of fashion’s history. We had the honor to personally go into Yves Saint Laurent’s studio and see his old sketches, walk through a Dries Van Noten exhibition with a collection of his inspirations, admire art at the Louvre, Musee Rodin, Centre Pompidou and more. This trip wasn't something that made me immediately want to design something from a certain architecture in Paris and what not, but it more so excited me to try to understand a culture, to observe people more, and to appreciate details of Paris’s character. I know in the future I will be referencing back to my experience here—whether it be their architecture, or something I saw in the museum, or that super chic woman that rode her motorcycle right pass me. So YES YES, I RECOMMEND IT TO EVERYONE. I applied for more loans for this trip but I don’t regret it at all.

SK:Were there any downfalls with the trip? Did you have any complaints? Could there be things done/changed to improve the overall experience?What would you rate this trip out of a 4?

RL: Because we only had a week to explore this city, our schedule was tightly packed with museums after museums, which eventually and unfortunately tired out some of the students mentally and physically. If the trip was extended for a longer period of time, I think it might have been the best for students to appreciate and soak in the city more. But other than that, I would rate this trip a solid 4. 

If you’re planning on going to the Paris Trip next year, you can also attend the presentations they show and also ask the rest of your questions there.

Courtesy of Rachel Hanada


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