Live in theVille Lumière: Immerse yourself in the vibrant and cosmopolitan atmosphere of
Drawing upon the resources of the city, gain both the knowledge and the confidence necessary to live and communicate in a French-speaking environment. Refine your French language skills while pursuing your own academic and personal aspirations in a program that is both flexible and supportive.
one of the most storied capitals in the world.
Program Structure and Costs
By providing the support you need to realize your ambitions for your time in Paris, the program encourages you to challenge yourself both academically and personally. Depending on your linguistic proficiency, academic and personal goals, and personal initiative, the program offers individualized experiences with differing levels of immersive possibility.
All students take a total of 5 courses which combine advanced language training with electives in the arts, sciences, social sciences and humanities. Depending on your French level and academic background, you may pursue classes that contribute towards requirements at your home school in a variety of disciplines. By offering both linguistic and methodological support, the program is designed to be flexible so that you can determine your own balance of program involvement and immersion within the French system.
This level of flexibility extends to where you will live. An especially important and popular option for students wishing to deepen their experience with Parisian life is the option to live with a local family. Students who want more independence can opt for a dorm room or can choose to opt out of program housing and find their own lodging.
Tuition: Columbia, Barnard and Penn students pay the regular tuition at their home school and pay their school directly as they would if they are on campus. Visiting students pay tuition directly to Columbia.
Program Costs: Fall 2017
Program Costs: Spring 2018
Program Costs: Academic Year 2017-18
Financial aid and scholarships
Financial aid normally applies for study abroad during a semester or an academic year. Please meet early with your Financial Aid office to begin planning for your time abroad.
Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
Other Financing Opportunities:
For current Columbia University students and alumni, reach out to the Office of Global Programs and Fellowships to explore and apply for internal, national, and international fellowships. The Fellowships team will inform students about a full range of opportunities and help them determine which programs best meet their goals.
- Must be a currently enrolled undergraduate student and in good academic and disciplinary standing
- Must have completed at least two years of college-level French or the equivalent
- Minimum 3.0 average language GPA
- Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
- It is expected that you will be enrolled in a French language course in the term preceding your enrollment in Paris. Grammar, composition, or literature courses will better prepare you for a semester in Paris than conversation courses. Failure to continue French language training may affect acceptance to the program.
How to apply
Want to apply? Click the “Start an Application" button at the top of this page. You will be asked to set up a short profile, which will allow us to send you relevant information about your application. Once you’ve created a profile, you will see a checklist of items that you will need to submit. These generally include:
- Application questionnaire(s)
- Letter of recommendation from someone who has recently taught you French
- Letter of recommendation from someone who has taught you at the university level
- Official transcript(s)
Note: The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary.
All students are required to take one or two required language courses while on the program, depending on your language level at the start of the program.
Outside of the language course requirement, you will select 3 or 4 electives from a number of different options, including:
- Specially-developed courses through the program designed to use the city as a primary text
- Courses at some of the most renowned universities in Paris in most disciplines
- Columbia Core courses, including Art Humanities, Music Humanities and Global Core options
- Directed research projects developed in accordance with your academic focus
All students are supported in the improvement of their French language skills in both academic and informal ways.
Upon arrival in Paris, students take a language assessment to determine their current level and placement into program language courses. Depending on the results of this assessment, students take either one or two language courses with the program.
The Language Practicum – This course, taken by students who place into Level I or II, is a language course at the intermediate and upper intermediate to advanced level and deepens the linguistic skills needed for life in France as a student. It meets twice a week for five hours over 12 weeks. The course finishes before the final work for other classes becomes due. The course content is different for each level.
Academic Writing – The course is mandatory for every student, but differs in schedule for students in Levels I and II and those Levels III and IV. For Levels I and II, the course introduces students to some of the major differences between the French and American ways of approaching academic analysis and production. This intensive introduction finishes after the first 3 weeks of the semester and students continue to practice the material in the Language Practicum as needed. For students in Levels III and IV, the course is divided into five classes per week for the first three weeks, then two classes twice per week over the next 3 weeks. The course finishes mid-semester, allowing students to pursue their academic work with the 4 additional electives.
In addition to the language courses, students enrolled in French University courses benefit from the help of both linguistic and methodological tutors.
All students take the Test de Connaissance du Français (TCF) after Academic Writing has finished. This test, a standardized exam similar to TOEFL, is recognized in 39 countries as an objective evaluation of one’s French language ability.
Taught by French faculty in French specifically for program students, these courses focus on topics not available in the French university system. Writers, government leaders, and scholars are invited as guest speakers and several courses take place in the city itself, in museums, and around monuments. For recent courses and descriptions please see the local Columbia in Paris website.
Fall 2017 Courses:
Columbia in Paris: Syllabus: Black Paris
Columbia in Paris: Syllabus: Issues in 19th Century French Painting
Columbia in Paris: Syllabus: Joint Seminar Migration Diversity Racism
Columbia in Paris: Syllabus: Paris in Context: History
Columbia in Paris: Syllabus: Paris in Context: Film
Columbia in Paris: Syllabus: Political Life in France
Columbia in Paris: Syllabus: Sex Trade Economy
Study at the French Universities
All students will take a minimum of one course at the French universities. Like at your home university, you will have course choices in many different disciplines. You will choose the university in which you’ll take classes before you get to Paris, but then choose your exact course(s) once you arrive in consultation with one of the on-site advisers. In most cases, your major/concentration department will need to review the courses to determine if you can apply credit towards your major/concentration.
Columbia University works with the following universities in Paris:
Institut d'Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po): The program offers a limited number of opportunities to enroll in classes at Sciences Po. Enrollment at Sciences Po is reserved for students who major or concentrate in Political Science or International Relations, who intend to take courses in their major while in Paris. Depending on availability, students with other majors who show a strong engagement with fields strongly represented at Sciences Po may be considered for enrollment. Students are restricted to taking courses offered in French and within their major fields of study. Admission to the Columbia in Paris Program does not guarantee admission to Sciences Po and students who wish to be considered must undertake an additional application process upon admission to the Columbia in Paris Program. Students who are not admitted to Sciences Po have the opportunity to take challenging courses in related disciplines at the other universities and through the program's own offerings.
University of Paris I (Panthéon Sorbonne): The University of Paris I is a leading research and education institution in France, which ranks among the best 100 universities worldwide. It is known for having strong departments in art history and archeology, history, law and philosophy.
University of Paris IV (Sorbonne): Located in the heart of the Latin Quarter, the University of Paris IV - Sorbonne is the oldest university in France and one of the first universities in the world. Characterized by a rich culture and tradition, it is especially renowned for its excellent academic programs in literature, languages, arts and the humanities.
University of Paris VII (Denis Diderot): Paris VII is the only multidisciplinary university in Paris to offer a wide range of courses in the humanities, medicine and science. In 2007, its administration and departments relocated on the South banks of the Seine, near the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. The new campus attracts hundreds of international students each year and houses the largest university library in Paris.
Directed Research: Highly-motivated students who enjoy working independently will find this option challenging and rewarding. Under the supervision of a French scholar they explore a specific topic in depth and acquire both the methodological and analytical skills necessary for academic research. Students can also select to do a translation or French creative writing project. Students meet with their mentor weekly and complete a mémoire, a research paper of at least 25 pages, for the semester. While all the research is conducted in French, students may write their mémoire in English if they do not want French credit for their work.
Students have recently completed mémoires on the following topics:
- L'éducation sexuelle en France, 1968-2014
- Global South Conditions in the Global North. The "Roma Issue" in France
- Benjamin Millepied, George Balanchine : deux stars de la danse à deux époques différentes. Quelles influences respectives dans la politique culturelle de la danse classique ?
- Ni Putes ni Soumises: Maghrebine Women and the Banlieues in Faïza Guène's Kiffe Kiffe Demain and Abdellatif Kechiche's La Graine et le Mulet
- Paris, ville égyptienne
- Au-delà de Babel, ou la tâche de l'auto-traducteur: la cas de Samuel Beckett
- Le Corbusier et l'effet Berlin : du disciple au prophète
- L'art brut et la face cachée de l'art contemporain
- Le guide illustré des fromages français pour les débutants enthousiastes
- Les constructions de l'Autre Africain dans les expositions au Musée National de l'Art Moderne à Paris
- Le rapprochement entre la gauche et la droite en France : le clivage gauche-droite a-t-il encore un sens ?
- Les Béguines du sud de la France
- Perec, espace et montage
- Hip Hop, une langue globale
- Visions Across the Gates: The Tympanum of Saint Foy at Conques and Perspectives on the AfterlifeResearch Internship at the Pasteur Institute
Institute Pasteur: Science students have the unique opportunity to work with a ground-breaking research team at the Institut Pasteur in the laboratory of "Biochimie et Biophysique des Macromolecules", headed by Deshmukh N. Gopaul. Students are expected to work on experiments and assist researchers with their work. They present their findings in both oral and written reports.
Visual Arts at Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne: Visual Arts majors at Columbia can apply to study studio arts at Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. This option allows students to participate in the Reid Hall program and take a studio art courses in the L'U.F.R des Arts plastiques et Sciences de l'Art.
Life in Paris
A highlight of this program is the opportunity to live with a francophone family, giving you the opportunity to live like a true Parisian. Homestays are located throughout Paris and the nearby suburbs, allowing you to get to know a less touristy version of Paris. You’ll have your own room and share common spaces with your host family. You will choose the number of meals to share with them (0-5 per week), giving you the chance to practice your language skills and to learn about the French perspective on the world. About 85% of program students choose to live with a host family in order to experience firsthand the daily rhythm of French life, learn about Paris from an insider's perspective, and be immersed in a living situation that encourages conversations in French rather than English
You can also choose to live in a dorm in Paris. This is different than the residential dorm experience at a college in the United States, offering greater independence and fewer amenities.
Finally, you can choose to your own housing outside of the program. Resources for doing so will be provided in the program handbook, but you should be aware that the program does not offer support for housing once students opt out of program housing.
No meals are included in the program fee and there is no meal plan, unless you have chosen meals with your host family. There are grocery stores, boulangeries, fromageries, and charcuteries where students can buy food supplies for casual dining.
There are several low-budget travel guides that give information about where to eat in Paris. In addition, there are many blogs devoted eating in Paris. It is recommended that you research beforehand if you aren’t sure what to expect.
The program offers many activities that will help students engage with the cultural life of Paris including:
In addition, the Columbia Global Center has many activities throughout the summer that are open to students on the program at no charge.
- social and cultural activities with French university students
- excursions with French student groups to the Loire Valley, Vaux le Vicomte, Mont Saint Michel, and Belgium
- French cuisine and wine workshops
- local concerts, plays, and performances
- student teaching and volunteer opportunities
Daily Living and Schedule
The daily schedule will depend on where you have your classes and will change throughout the semester. At the beginning of the semester, you will likely be at Reid Hall almost every day. Later, you may only come to Reid Hall a few times a week.
You will need to allow extra time for getting to class since you will likely commute 35-45 minutes from where you live.
Located in the lively Montparnasse (sixth) district of Paris, near the Luxembourg Gardens and within walking distance of the Latin Quarter and several branches of the University of Paris, Reid Hall was built in the early 18th century, before the French Revolution. Modern additions have enlarged the facility, creating an interior courtyard and private garden overflowing with trees and flowers. Reid Hall primarily houses administrative offices and classrooms and also has a small reference library, a reading room, lounges, and two large conference rooms. Students have access to WiFi in classrooms and all common areas of Reid Hall.
The program is hosted by Columbia's Global Center in Paris. The Global Center is animated by many events both from students and the Columbia and local community and provides the sense of a campus community in Paris for many students.
For questions about, please contact the following staff members:
The program: Lindsey Schram
The online application: Megan Friar
Registration and billing: Maryann Borgognone
Student feedback on the program:
In the event of an emergency after office hours, please contact Columbia University Emergency at 212-854-5555 or Columbia University Security at 212-854-2796.?