Thanks for chatting with us, Brian! Let’s dive in. How did you become a licensed local guide?
I’m originally from the United States, so my undergraduate studies focused on languages and literature. And to become a licensed local guide in France, you have to have a master’s degree in one of several subjects—it can be art history, history, languages, etc. So I came to France to study art history at the Sorbonne for my master’s.
From there, you’re required to complete another year-long program here in France. Some are more professionally oriented around tourism, but then you also take a deeper dive into history and art. For my final exam, I was given three postcards—one of a French sculpture, one of a French piece of architecture, and one of a French painting. I had to complete one dissertation in two languages on each postcard, totaling three dissertations.
What brought you to Paris, specifically?
As I was finishing up my undergraduate program in the United States, I went to visit my sister at the University of Maryland. I met her roommate, who was from Paris, and she’s who ultimately brought me here. And since I was passionate about art history and wanted to study it, this was the perfect city to move to. I moved here in 1994 and have been a licensed local guide since 2000.