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Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction:
Language Requirement:
2 semesters of language, or equivalent
Program Type: Columbia Administered Program
Program Advisor:
Thomas Spencer:
Eligibility - Home School: Barnard College, Columbia College, Columbia General Studies, Columbia Graduate Students, Columbia SEAS, Visiting Students - Graduate, Visiting Students - Undergraduate Summer Program: Columbia Summer Program
Discipline: Arts and Architecture, Foreign Language Learning, Humanities
Program Description:

Thank you for your interest in Columbia's Summer French Studies Program!

Most program information for summer 2017 will be available by the end of fall term. For now, we encourage you to click on "Start an Application" at the top or bottom of this page to register your interest. Once you're registered, we will notify you via email when all application components are finalized and of any upcoming information sessions.

Overview - Summer French Studies in Paris at Reid Hall

  • Choose from a range of courses at the intermediate and advanced levels in French language, literature, art history, and French studies.
  • Learn more about French culture and the city of Paris through participation in program organized excursions and activities.
  • Gain insight in a the French lifestyle by living with a French host family.
Please use the side bar to the left for the most up to date information about this program including requirements. 

The summer program can help prepare you to apply to the academic year program in Paris.


Full application materials will be available by the end of fall 2015 semester. Generally, the full application includes the following:
  • CU Programs Application Questionnaire
  • Official Transcript
  • Language Recommendation
  • Study Abroad Approval Form
  • Application fee, if applicable

Program Eligibility

  • Currently enrolled undergraduate students in good academic standing, graduate students and post-graduates are all eligible to apply.
  • Minimum 3.0 average language GPA (if applicable)
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Intermediate level courses:  A minimum of one year of college-level French, or the equivalent.
  • Advanced courses: A minimum of two or three years of college-level French, or the equivalent. 


Students choose from one of the following modules, depending on their level and goals for the program. The modules are:

  1. Accelerated Intermediate French I and II. 8 points. Full year of Intermediate level grammar in one summer.
  2. Intermediate French I. 4 points. Intermediate French Conversation I. 3 points. Two courses taught in tandem to create an interdisciplinary experience.
  3. Intermediate French II. 4 points. Intermediate French Conversation II. 3 points. Two courses taught in tandem to create an interdisciplinary experience.
  4. Advanced module. 6 points. Students who have taken the equivalent of an Advanced Grammar and Composition course may choose from two content courses taught entirely in French. Students who have not taken an Advanced Grammar and Composition course will take one in Paris and will choose one of the content courses as a second course.

Course Descriptions

FRENO1205 Accelerated Intermediate French I and II. 8 points.
Prerequisites: One year of college-level French or the equivalent.
Instructor: Vincent Aurora

Covering the entire second year of French, this course is highly intensive and requires a high level of commitment from students. Students applying for this course should have a strong background in Elementary French or significant experience with another Romance language.  The course is capped at 16 participants and an additional interview may be required for admission. This module is for students who are strongly committed to working on their French for several hours a day. Syllabus: Accelerated Intermediate I and II.pdf

FRENO1201 Intermediate French I. 4 points.
FRENO1221 Intermediate Conversation French I. 3 points
Prerequisites: One year of college-level French or the equivalent.
Instructor: Karen Santos da Silva

Taught as an integrated course, Intermediate language study on the Columbia in Paris program is organized using an innovative teaching method combining experiential and cultural discovery with rigorous language pedagogy. While appearing on the transcript as two classes, it is taught as one class in which the grammar, culture, and conversation components work together to reinforce both language skills and cultural learning. The classes will be comprised of a mix of classroom time coupled with targeted, small-group exploration in the city, film and theater outings, and weekend excursions.  Students will hone and enrich written and oral comprehension and expression through this dual approach. This course will be organized around the concepts of space and movement: from the very intimate spaces that students will be inhabiting, to the most public ones through which they will be moving, the course will give them the grammatical and cultural tools to describe, analyze, and even shape the spatial relationship to the city that will be their home for 8 weeks.

Students will be working with a variety of French and Francophone primary texts – be they written, cinematic, theatrical, or plastic – however the most important primary text with which students will be engaging on a daily basis is Paris and its diverse inhabitants. They will develop strategic problem-solving competence as they acquire linguistic competence. The course is capped at 16 participants and an additional interview may be required for admission. This course is appropriate for students who have completed Elementary French (or the equivalent) and would like to both improve their language abilities and learn about the culture of Paris. In mid-July, there will be a group trip outside the city of Paris. Syllabus: FRENO1201 Intermed French I - K. Santos da Silva.pdf & FRENO1221 Intermed Conversatn French I - K. Santos da Silva.pdf

FRENO1202 Intermediate French II. 4 points.
FRENO1222 Intermediate Conversation French II. 3 points
Prerequisites: Three semesters of college-level French or the equivalent.
Instructor: Pierrette Sansone-Bares

While appearing on the transcript as two courses, this course is taught as one integrating language, culture and conversation to develop all the skills needed to study and practice French in immersion. The course has a cultural theme: The three legendary areas of Paris (Montmartre, Montparnasse and St. Germain) that have served as the intellectual, artistic and festive centers of the city during a century bookended by two revolutions – 1870 and 1968.

Covering all grammatical structures in Columbia's Intermediate II curriculum, part of the course, based in the classroom, will cover grammar, sentence structure and vocabulary by reading literary and non-literary texts, such as excerpts from novels, newspaper articles, and university essays. Students will write their own essays, short narratives and descriptions and keep a journal. Students will improve their analytic and critical-thinking skills through textual analysis.

The second part of the course will focus on developing aural and oral skills through conversation and  presentations. Students will work on pronunciation and prosody. The course will include singing, poetry readings, watching movies and documentaries, interviews with Parisians and theater workshops. Around Bastille Day, there will also be a three-day trip outside of Paris. Syllabus:  Français Intermédiaire I et II .pdf & FREN01222 Intermediate Conversation II.pdf

The Advanced Module. 6 points

Designed for students to have as full an immersion experience as possible on a summer program, this module allows students to polish their French skills through either an advanced grammar course and a thematic course taught in French or a combination of two thematic courses. Students who have only take the equivalent of two years of college-level French will be required to take the advanced grammar course. Thematic courses focus on Parisian history, society and culture and encourage students to use Paris as a language laboratory by engaging directly with the city and primary texts.

FRENO3405 3rd Year Grammar and Composition Course. 3 points.
Prerequisites: Two years of college-level French or the equivalent.
Instructor: Sarah Lazur

The goal of this course is to help students improve their grammar and perfect their writing and reading skills, especially as a preparation for taking literature or civilization courses. Students who have not yet taken the equivalent of fifth semester French will be required to take this course in Paris. Through the study of two full-length works of literature and a number of short texts representative of different genres, periods, and styles, they will become more aware of stylistic nuances, and will be introduced to the vocabulary and methods of literary analysis. Working on the advanced grammar points covered in this course will further strengthen their mastery of French syntax. They will also be practicing writing through a variety of exercises, including pastiches and creative pieces, as well as typically French forms of academic writing such as "résumé," "explication de texte," and "dissertation". Syllabus: FRENO3405 3rd Year Grammar and Composition Course.pdf

FRSTO3994 Paris in Context courses. 3 points.

All courses are taught in French and focus on culture and society.
 Note: The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary.

Academic Calendar

Summer 2016  
Arrival/housing check-in June 4*
Mandatory orientation June 6
Classes begin June 7
Holiday: Bastille Day July 14
Classes end July 29
Leave housing July 30
* Please note that if you arrive eariler than this date, you will need to make your own housing arrangments.   

Host Institution

The home base of Columbia University in Paris is the Columbia Global Centers|Europe at Reid Hall, a building owned and administered by Columbia It also serves as an educational center for other American universities and for scholars from around the world. For over a century, its long and distinguished past of intellectual, artistic, and cultural exchange has made it significant to the relationship between France and the United States .

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 constructed in the early 18th century, before the French Revolution. Modern additions have enlarged the facility, creating an interior courtyard and private garden. Reid Hall primarily houses administrative offices and classrooms and also has a small reference library, a reading room, lounges, a multimedia lab, and two large conference rooms. Students have access to WiFi in all common areas of Reid Hall.

Visit the Columbia Global Centers Europe Web Site

Faculty and Staff

The instructors listed below teach in the undergraduate Columbia in Paris summer program at Reid Hall.

INSTRUCTOR: Samuel Skippon has been teaching French in the department since 2004. He was the Associate Director at the Maison Française at Columbia University from 2004 until June 2008 where he organized and coordinated cultural events related to the Francophone world. He has also taught French at NYU and at NYU's summer abroad program in Paris. Prior to coming to the United States he was one of three researchers/lexicographers working on the Dictionnaire morpho-sémantique des familles de mots synchroniques de la langue française at the CNRS (Centre National de Recherche Scientifique).

Instructor: Karen Santos Da Silva is a faculty lecturer in the department of French at Barnard College.  She received her Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from PhD, New York University.  After teaching Composition And Conversation at Barnard College in spring 2016, she will be joining the summer semester faculty in Paris. 

Instructor: Pierrette Sansone-Bares is the language instruction coordinator at CUP and holds a Master 2 in FLE language training from the Université de Grenoble III. Pierrette has taught at the Alliance Française of Ottawa and Paris, as well as at the Ecole Américaine de Paris. She also teaches on a regular basis at the Ecole Française de Middlebury.

Instructor: Vincent Aurora has been a lecturer in the French Department since 2001, a position that has allowed him to innovate pre-existing courses (particularly French Literature since 1800 and Intermediate French II), completely remake others (1202 for students of SIPA; Advanced Grammar and Composition I and II) and to create entirely new courses to respond to students' changing needs (the French Cultural Workshop and Accelerated Second Year French). The author of one book of literary criticism (Michel Leiris' "Failles": Immobile in mobili) and translator of Prince Michael of Greece's L'impératrice des Adieux, he has written extensively on the use of metaphor in Surrealist poetry, the intriguing combination of Auguste Comte's Positivism and quantum mechanics in Houellebecq's Les Particules élémentaires, and the method of passages parallèles and its ramifications on the interpretation of poetry. Since 1996, he has been a yearly contributor to the Encyclopedia Britannica's yearbook on trends and events in contemporary French literature.

Instructor: Sarah Lazur, Term Associate in French, joined the department this Fall. She is currently finishing her dissertation, "Modernist Poetics between France and Brazil: Influence and Counter-Influence in the Works of Blaise Cendrars and Oswald de Andrade,” in the French department at Columbia, in association with the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS). In addition to her research in early 20th century modernism in Europe and Latin America, she is interested in translation, cultural studies, and language pedagogy.

Instructor: Séverine Martin-Hartenstein received her PhD in French and Romance Philology from Columbia University in 2014. Her research specializes on 19th century French literature, with a particular focus on questions regarding the representation of the artist, cross-sections between literature and painting, and aesthetic issues linked to the development of avant-garde art. With a background in comparative literature (French/German/Spanish) her scholarship also addresses larger aesthetic concerns that traversed Europe throughout the modern period. She has taught all levels of the French language curriculum and taught various literature seminars both at Reid Hall and Columbia. She is currently writing a monography on Stéphane Mallarmé and the visual arts.

Instructor: Brian O’Keeffe teaches in the French department at Barnard College and he is also an Associate Director of the Barnard Center for Translation Studies. He specializes in 19th and 20th-century French literature, literary theory, Continental philosophy, and translation studies.

Instructor: Fabien Delmas specializes in film Studies and has been teaching film studies at Paris Diderot – Paris 7 and at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Lyon.

Instructor: Catherine Healy specializes in history. Her current research focuses on the efforts of American women in France during the First World War.

Instructor: Nicolas Baudouin teaches “Visual analysis” at the Parsons School of Design and the history of art at New York University in France. He has organized exhibitions on contemporary artists in Paris, Montreal, Netherlands. He is an artist, himself.

Instructor: Cédric Moreau de Bellaing received his Ph.D in Political Sciences from Sciences Po, and is a specialist in urban violence and in the French police institutions. He teaches at the ENS (Ecole Nationale Supérieure).

Program Activities

Activities will be planned by the instructors of each module and will be designed to increase participants’ command of both the language and exposure to aspects of French culture. These may include things like film nights, musical events, wine tasting, cooking classes or excursions in and around Paris. The Columbia in Paris activities coordinator will also be available to help students plan activities and excursions based on their own interest. 

Grades and Transcripts

Grades from the program are entered directly into Columbia's online registration system. Grades are usually available by the end of August.

Columbia students: Your grades will appear on your transcript in the same way that your grades appear for courses taken at Columbia. Your grades from the program are calculated into your GPA.

Visiting students (including Barnard): Once a grade is posted, you will receive an email at your Columbia account. You can request a transcript at any time by logging into your Columbia Student Services Online (SSOL) account. You do not need to wait for all of your grades to be reported in order to request a transcript. However, if you request a transcript before all of your grades have been submitted, you will need to request additional transcripts once all grades are submitted.

You will be able to request transcripts using this system for about a year after the end of your program. After that, you will need to go through the registrar to request transcripts:

There are no fees for additional transcripts.


The program understands that housing is one of the most important elements of your time abroad. The information below is to give you a sense of what our housing options are and more detailed information will be provided once you are accepted.  You should carefully think through your goals for your time abroad and choose the option most appropriate for your goals, budget and personality.  

Host Families in Paris (HFP) is a private housing service that places program students into lodgings located in a variety of neighborhoods throughout the city of Paris. Students should expect to commute between 30-45 minutes to Reid Hall, which is an average commute for Parisiens. Students will be asked to complete a questionnaire about their housing preferences after being admitted to the program.

Below please find a list of the different housing options: 

1. Living with a Host Family

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. Host families may consist of a single person, a couple who may or may not have children, a widow/widower, a single parent with children, or traditional nuclear families (though traditional nuclear families are not a commonly available in the Parisian homestay network). However, the following tend to be true of all housing placements:
  • Students are provided with their own bedroom
  • Kitchen and bathroom facilities are normally available without restriction
  • Internet is always available
A daily European breakfast is included in the stay and students may choose up to five dinners a week. While the housing coordinators makes a concerted effort to match student and host, the extent and quality of the relationship between the host and the student will vary depending on personalities and lifestyles. 

2. Student Residences

Students selecting this option will be placed in various student residences throughout the city. In most cases, there will be few French students living in these residences over the summer, so program students should be prepared for a largely English-speaking environment. Residences will be described in the Handbook upon admission to the program. It is unlikely that there will be more than a handful of program students at each residence.

3. Finding Your Own Housing

Most students will choose program-arranged housing. However, some students prefer to arrange their own housing because they have family in Paris with whom they can live or would like to experience independent living with friends. Please note that short-term furnished housing is very difficult to find and can often require a local person to provide a financial guarantee, and in some case, includes hefty broker's fees. The most expensive housing is within walking distance of Reid Hall and other centrally located neighborhoods. Less expensive options might be available in the outer neighborhoods of Paris.

If you choose to arrange your own housing, please note that you will be expected to:
  • negotiate the terms of living and payment including the setting up of utilities etc.
  • resolve any issues related to the housing situation
  • provide the full contact information of residence to the Reid Hall staff
  • secure the approval of your home school study abroad adviser on the Non-Program Housing Form
  • be completely responsible for your living arrangements and any issues that might arise


Summer 2016 Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees are subject to Board of Trustee approval and may change.

Billable expenses are costs that WILL BE billed by Columbia. Students will either be billed online through e-bill or will need to pay the Office of Global Programs directly for all of these expenses.

The Tuition for the Paris program varies depending on the number of courses/points chosen.
Tuition: 6 points (Advanced Module Program) $8,700*
Tuition: 7 points (Intermediate I & II with Conversation) $10,150*   
Tuition: 8 points (Accelerated Intermediate I & II) $11,600*
Transcript Fee** $105
Withdrawal Fee *** $75

* Covers tuition, program excursions, and course cultural activities. Does not cover housing, airfare, visa, insurance and personal expenses.
**One-time fee for Visiting Students only. Barnard students may be charged this fee if they have never taken a course at Columbia. 
***Required of any student who withdraws from the program once registered. Students who withdraw may also be responsible for a portion of tuition and housing, depending on the withdrawal date.

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Estimated Expenses 2016

Estimated expenses are costs NOT billed by Columbia. The estimated figures in this section provide a basis for students to determine their individual budgets. These expenses are NOT paid to the program.

Rountrip airfare NYC-Paris $1,200
Housing* $1808/duration of program in Homestay option (see note below)
Meals** $950/duration of program
Local Transportation $200/duration of program
Personal Expenses and Travel $1100/duration of program

*The rate is based on living with a host family and eating three dinners with them at an exchange rate of 1.13 dollars per euro.
**The amount spent on meals will also vary depending on the type of housing.

IMPORTANT: All students must have health insurance that covers them overseas.

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Financial Aid and Funding

If you are on financial aid, check to see if it can be applied to your study abroad programs in the summer.

Beesen Global Travel Fellowships

Beesen Global Travel Fellowships were established to provide opportunities for non-native French speakers to study in Paris during the summer.

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
This program is offered through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, and is administered by the Institute of International Education. These grants to study abroad provide assistance to undergraduates who are current recipients of federal student financial aid and Pell grant eligible. Deadline for the Gilman is March 1st 2016.

Graduate students
Columbia PhD students who wish to use the summer tuition credit must apply directly to GSAS. The instructions and guidelines for this award can be found at the following website: 

If there is a comprehensive Program Fee that covers both tuition and housing, please note that you will be responsible for paying out of pocket the portion that is attributed to housing. The summer tuition credit only covers tuition and not housing. 

Graduate students from other schools should check with their home schools and their departments for funding. 

Summer Language Fellowship for International Students

The Summer Language Fellowship for International Students supports international Ph.D. students in the humanities and social sciences who need to study a foreign language (applies to all languages) abroad during the summer. GSAS will endow summer fellowships with a maximum award of $3,000. Students can apply online ( and the deadline is March 4, 2016. Contact with questions.

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. 


Scott Carpenter, Associate Dean of Global Education and Fellowships
Office hours: Mondays, 2-4pm or via online appointment Tuesdays & Thursdays, 1-4pm 

Jodi Zaffino, Program Coordinator for Fellowships
Office hours: Mondays & Thursdays, 1-3pm or via online appointment 

Other resources

Withdrawal & Refund Policy

Students withdrawing after confirming participation, but before the start of the program should discuss applicable fees with the program representative. Depending the date of withdrawal, students who withdraw prior to leaving may be responsible for housing fees. 

Once on the program, a student in good academic standing who is not subject to discipline may be permitted to withdraw at any time. Withdrawal is defined as the dropping of one's entire program in a given term as opposed to dropping a portion of one's program.

Any student withdrawing must notify the Academic Director in Paris in writing; failure to attend classes or notification to instructors does not constitute formal withdrawal and will result in failing grades in all courses. Any adjustment of the tuition that the student has paid is calculated from the date on which the Academic Director receives the student's written notification.

Only tuition is refunded. Fees (application, transcript, housing, etc.) are never refunded, either in full or in part. All students who withdraw will be charged a $75.00 withdrawal fee.

Withdrawal and Adjustment of Fees

For the summer term, the refund schedule is as follows:

Withdrawals processed will be refunded
1st week 100%
2nd week 60%
3rd week 50%
After 3rd week 0%

Contact Information

New York Office

Office of Global Programs
606 Kent Hall
Columbia University
1140 Amsterdam, Mail Code 3948
New York, NY 10027
Fax: 212-854-5164

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.

Columbia Dates & Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline/Columbia Clearance Deadline Decision Date & Deadline Note Start Date End Date
Summer 2017 02/15/2017 03/01/2017 TBA TBA