With its grand boulevards, world-famous monuments, unparalleled literary and artistic history, and its simple joie de vivre, Paris is a city that will change you forever. The Paris of today is a multifaceted and multicultural metropolis that offers a doorway to the cultures of the world. It teems with populations from former French colonies like Senegal and Morocco, with Asian and European immigrants, and with business people and scientists from around the globe.
This program combines rigorous study of the French language at an advanced level with a broad range of classes taught in French by accomplished faculty. You can also experience what life is like for French students by taking one or more courses at a local university—we have five options you can choose from. Free tutoring is available if you need help with the transition to higher education in France.
You can also add international work experience to your résumé while earning credit by participating in an internship placement and accompanying academic seminar.
Paris will also be your classroom. This program facilitates full immersion in the French language and French society through a varied and dynamic academic program, excellent homestays, cultural activities, internships, and conversation clubs. In addition, faculty members integrate course-related excursions into all courses.
We organize many cultural events around Paris to help you familiarize yourself with the city and its culture. Enjoy plays at the Comédie Française, visits to the Louvre and Picasso museums, performances at the Opéra Garnier, and classical music concerts at Salle Cortot and other local theaters.
We want you to feel at home in Paris, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences.
We offer unique courses that explore French Language, History, and Culture through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class professors and course options at prestigious local universities enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class. Meet one of these professors, Dr. Anaïs Frantz de Spot, in this faculty spotlight interview.
You take 15 to 19 credit hours per semester; all courses are taught in French, and are worth 3 credits each unless otherwise specified. You create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional components:
This is a list of planned course offerings. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings in your MyIESabroad account.
To learn more about IES Abroad’s innovative theoretical and pedagogical approaches to teaching language abroad, refer to the IES Abroad MAP for Language & Intercultural Communication.
Université de Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV)
From the time it was founded in the Middle Ages through its restructuring in the late 1960s, Paris IV has attracted scholars from around the world. Most courses at the Sorbonne are 3 credits. You can select from courses in:
Courses are offered in different departments: Unités de Formation et de Recherche, or U.F.R. Click here to see the university's various U.F.R.'s.
Location & Commute Time
The Sorbonne is located near the Gare Montparnasse train station in the Latin Quarter, which is within walking distance of the IES Abroad Center; however, depending on whether you are studying art history, literature, philosophy, or history, you may be taking courses in three different neighborhoods (Métro: Malesherbes, Porte de Clignancourt, or RER: Luxembourg).
Institut Catholique de Paris (ICP)www.icp.fr/fr
Founded in 1875 for religious training, the Institut Catholique de Paris offers a full curriculum to a diverse student population. As a small, private university that enrolls 5,000 French students each year, the ICP gives you the benefit of small classes where you can study and interact with French students and professors. Most courses at ICP are 3 credits. You can select from French-taught courses in:
Students with a high level of French may also elect to take courses at the Institut de Langue et de Culture Françaises (ILCF) which is housed by the ICP. Courses include: Business French, Phonetics, Composition, and French Civilization.
Location & Commute Time
Located in the 6th arrondissement, the Institut Catholique de Paris is about 15 minutes from the IES Abroad Center by Métro or bus, or about 30 minutes by foot.
Université de Paris 8 - Vincennes - Saint Denis (Paris 8)www.univ-paris8.fr
Paris 8 was founded in 1968 to offer students a less traditional, more open teaching environment than what was offered by traditional French universities. Since its creation, Paris 8 has continued to evolve and to attract notable professors from a variety of fields. With a current approximate enrollment of 20,000 students, Paris 8 is best known for its Women's Studies Program, directed by Hélène Cixous, a prominent French feminist philosopher.
Most courses at the ICP are 3 credits. You can select courses in:
Location & Commute Time
Paris 8 is located in the town of St. Denis, northeast of Paris and right outside of the city limits. Commute times from Paris 8 to the IES Abroad Paris French Studies Center range between 30-45 minutes by Métro.
Académie de la Croix Nivertwww.dessin-peinture-sculpture-paris.com
The Académie's studio workshops allow you ample opportunity to interact with French students and faculty. You are not required to submit a portfolio with your application.
Courses offered are 1.5 credits and include
Location & Commute Time
The Croix Nivert is located in the 15th arrondissement, about a 20-minute commute using public transportation from the IES Abroad Center.
Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris / Alfred Cortot www.ecolenormalecortot.com
Classical music students who wish to benefit from high quality, demanding instruction may audition for the prestigious Ecole Normale de Musique/Alfred Cortot (ENM). Founded in 1919 by the renowned pianist Alfred Cortot, the Ecole Normale is the private-school equivalent to the National Conservatory, and educates about 1,100 students.
The Ecole Normale is located in a stately mansion (designated a historical monument) in the 17th arrondissement, about 40 minutes by Métro from the IES Abroad Center.
The Ecole Normale has requested that interested students contact their IES Abroad Advisor with any questions. Please do not contact the Ecole Normale directly. Music study in Paris through IES Abroad is limited to the Ecole Normale; IES Abroad cannot customize music study at other institutions in Paris.
Students who qualify may take up to four 3-credit courses at the École Normale, in addition to French language and other courses at the IES Abroad Paris Center. Instrumentalists may study teaching or performance, while vocalists focus on performance only. Course offerings are limited in the spring semester, and certain specialties, such as percussion, are not taught at the École Normale. Admissions decisions are made by the École Normale de Musique.
Instruments taught at the École Normale include:
Upon admission to the French Studies protram, you will be asked to submit an audition link and music resume. If accepted, you will also audition once on-site, in order to be placed in the correct level. All admissions decisions are made by the Ecole Normale.
Location & Commute Time
The Ecole Normale is located in the 17th arrondissement, or about 40 minutes by Métro from the IES Abroad Center.
Paris Marais Dance Schoolhttp://www.paris-marais-dance-school.org/
The Paris Marais Dance School is a part of the Marais Centre Dance, established in 1970. This private institution offers student-centered classes to beginning and experienced dancers alike.
The Paris Marais Dance School is located in a former hôtel particulier that dates from the 1600s in the stylish 4th arrondissement. The institution boasts three recently renovated dance studios—all named for famous composers—that are still decorated with the original wood-beamed ceilings.
Both full-year and semester students can take classes at the Paris Marais Dance school. Classes are held once a week, and IES students have the right to attend certain seminars and other extra-curricular events at the school.
The Paris Marais Dance School offers instruction in the following styles:
The dance school welcomes students of all backgrounds, from the beginner to the advanced level. Once on site your IES Paris advisor will make an appointment for you to meet the school’s professors, who will then place you in the proper classes for your level.
Location & Commute Time
The Paris Marais Dance School is located in the heart of the historic Marais district in the former Belize palace built in the 17th century. The School is located about 15 minutes by Métro from the IES French Studies Center and is surrounded by cultural institutions, historic sites, shops, cafés and more!
Registration & Advising
Course offerings vary from semester to semester. Exact course availability is determined shortly before the start of each semester.
For this reason, it will not be possible for you to officially register until your arrival in Paris. Shortly after your on-site orientation sessions, you will meet individually with an Academic Advisor to carefully select courses based on your preregistration form, course schedules, academic needs and interests, and eligibility.
Interning abroad as part of your study abroad experience will help distinguish your application for graduate school or a job opportunity in today’s competitive market. It’s an exhilarating challenge, and we’re here to help guide you in securing your placement and succeeding in your internship.
Participating in an internship abroad helps you:
All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. You participate in a seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship.
Past students have interned in the following fields. Don’t see your field listed here? Just talk to your IES Abroad Advisor—new internships are always being added.
Your internship is complemented by a required seminar that offers contextual support to your practical work experience.
We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Paris, it will feel like home.
Homestays - Stay in a French home in Paris or its surrounding banlieues (suburbs). You eat breakfast daily and three evening meals per week with your hosts; other meals are available at university cafeterias and inexpensive restaurants. You have the option to request a typical homestay placement or a placement in a chambre de bonne (a separate room in the building of a homestay apartment).
Apartments - A limited number of apartments are available for an additional fee. Apartments include kitchen facilities and shared bathrooms. An IES Abroad Resident Assistant lives on-site. Meals are not included. Wi-Fi is available.
Part of making you feel at home in Paris is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it’s the orientation program that prepares you for what’s ahead, your housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.
Our orientation introduces you to the IES Abroad Paris French Studies staff, your fellow students, and the city of Paris. It continues with an overnight trip to a destination such as the Loire Valley, Normandy, or Provence.
CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.
Following orientation, you engage in a one-week language-intensive program called the propédeutique, which prepares you for classes taught in French.
Redefine the way you live and learn in Paris through our cultural events, such as:
Even though your adventure starts in Paris, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of your host country. The orientation trip and two additional field trips are included in your program fee. You can go on more field trips for an additional fee. Here are a few possible destinations.
Visit the inspiration for Monet's water lily paintings.
Take a guided tour of the Cathédrale Notre Dame and visit Champagne Pommery for a tour and Champagne tasting.
Visit Lille, the fourth largest city in France, and discover the architecture of the old town, remarkably restored with its famous grand palace and old stock exchange. You can also see the fantastic collections of one of the first museums built in France. Don't forget to taste some local specialties at the Christmas market!
Visit the Château, the gardens, and the great stables.
About the Center
The IES Abroad Paris French Studies Center is located on a bustling market street near the Cimetière du Montparnasse. A thriving business district, the area is filled with restaurants, food shops, boutiques, and cafés.
Dr. Scott Lyngaas has been the IES Abroad Paris French Studies Center Director since 2014. Scott came to IES Abroad from Beloit College, where he was Associate Dean and Associate Professor of French. He received his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he wrote his dissertation on Francophone historical fi ction. Dr. Lyngaas previously served as the Resident Director of study abroad programs in both Brussels and Paris.
IES Abroad Staff
Anna ShoemakerAssistant Director and Internship Coordinator
Olivia AuzouAcademic and International Exchange Coordinator
Celine ChataingHousing Coordinator
Seth FisherStudent Affairs Coordinator
What is it really like to live in Paris? Check out our virtual tour of all the places you’ll come to know and love when you study abroad there—GO!