Paris - French Studies


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Earn U.S. Credits Virtually This Summer

Get ahead! Earn extra credit through a globally recognized U.S. education program this summer on our Virtual World DiscoverIES program.

Just picture it: one day you're exploring business ethics with a professor in London and the next it's Japanese pop culture from Tokyo, studying alongside classmates from the U.S.’s highest-ranked colleges and universities. This is what it's like to take a course or two (of your choosing!) from IES Abroad’s most popular centers around the world this summer.

Learn more about how you can discover the world through IES Abroad.


Why Paris?

With its grand boulevards, world-famous monuments, unparalleled literary and artistic history, and simple joie de vivre, Paris is a city that will change you forever.

Paris is a multifaceted and multicultural metropolis that offers a doorway to the cultures of the world. It teems with people from former French colonies like Senegal and Morocco, Asian and European immigrants, and business people and scientists from around the globe.

What You'll Study

This program combines the 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 six options you can choose from. Tutoring is available if you need help with the transition to higher education in France.

Paris will be your classroom. This program facilitates full immersion in the French language and in French society through a varied and dynamic academic program, excellent homestays, cultural activities, internships, and conversation clubs. In addition, faculty members integrate local course-related trips 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.

You can also add international work experience to your résumé while earning credit by participating in an internship placement and accompanying an academic seminar at no extra cost.

Daily Life

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.


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.

Create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional components:

  • IES Abroad French Language Course (required, 4 credits)
  • French-taught Area Studies Courses (optional, 3 credits)
  • French-taught Courses at Local Universities (optional, credits vary)
  • Internship placement & seminar (optional, 3 credits)

Language Pledge

Our Paris faculty take great pride in the quality of their language training. In order to create a French-language environment, you are required to observe a rigorous language pledge while at the IES Abroad Paris French Studies Center.


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.

  • Paris Museums
  • The French Artistic Milieu in the 19th and 20th Centuries
  • History of Photography
  • From Impressionism to Surrealism: How Japan, Africa, and Islam Influenced Major 19th and 20th Century French Art Movements
  • Paris Cinema-City
  • Rebellious France
  • From Impressionism to Surrealism: How Japan, Africa, and Islam Influenced Major 19th and 20th Century French Art Movements
  • Immigration and Diversity in Paris
  • French Language in Context: Emerging Independent Abroad
  • French Language in Context: Independent Abroad
  • Phonetics
  • French Language in Context: Emerging Competent Abroad
  • Translation: Thème et Version
  • French Language in Context: Competent Abroad
  • Paris Cinema-City
  • The Poetics and Politics of Gender in France: From French Feminism to Gender Studies
  • History of France: Keys to Understanding the Nation
  • Histories and Legends of Paris
  • France and Francophone Africa
  • Democracy in France
  • The Maghreb and the Arab World
  • Internship Seminar
  • Terrorism and Security: A European and American Perspective
  • Introduction to French Literature
  • French Women Writers: Women In French Literary History 1880-1950
  • Paris in 19th and 20th Century French Literature
  • Rebellious France
  • The Poetics and Politics of Gender in France: From French Feminism to Gender Studies
  • France and Francophone Africa
  • Terrorism and Security: A European and American Perspective
  • French Foreign and European Policy
  • Democracy in France
  • The Maghreb and the Arab World
  • Immigration and Diversity in Paris
  • Twenty-First-Century France: A Sociological Approach

Partner Institution(s)

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:

  • Applied Foreign Language: Croatian, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish (advanced offerings only)
  • Arabic and Hebrew Studies
  • Art History and Archeology
  • Comparative Literature
  • French Literature
  • Geography
  • History
  • Iberian and Latin American Studies
  • Latin
  • Music and Musicology
  • Philosophy
  • Polish Civilization
  • Slavic Studies

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)

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:

  • Art History
  • Economics
  • Education
  • History
  • International Relations
  • Law
  • Literary Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociology

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.

École Normale de Musique de Paris / Alfred Cortot

Classical music students who wish to benefit from high quality, demanding instruction may audition for the prestigious École Normale de Musique/Alfred Cortot (ENM). Founded in 1919 by the renowned pianist Alfred Cortot, the École Normale is the private-school equivalent to the National Conservatory.

The École 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 École Normale has requested that interested students contact their IES Abroad Advisor with any questions. Please do not contact the École Normale directly. Music study in Paris through IES Abroad is limited to the École 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 the 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:

  • Alto violin
  • Bassoon
  • Cello
  • Clarinet
  • Double bass
  • Flute
  • Guitar
  • Harp
  • Oboe
  • Piano
  • Piccolo
  • Violin
  • Voice

Upon admission to the French Studies program, 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 École Normale.

Location & Commute Time

The École Normale is located in the 17th arrondissement or about 40 minutes by Métro from the IES Abroad Center.

Paris Marais Dance School

The Paris Marais Dance School is a part of the Marais Centre Dance, established in 1970. This private institution offers student-centered classes to the 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 4tharrondissement. 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 Abroad 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:

Classical ballet

  • Classical ballet technique
  • Partner work classical and neo-classical
  • Pointe work
  • Strengthening

Contemporary dance

  • Floor-barre
  • Improvisation
  • Martha Graham Technique
  • Techniques flow, release, contact

The dance school welcomes students of all backgrounds, from the beginner to the advanced level. Once on-site, your IES Abroad 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.

Paris School of Business

Founded in 1974, the Paris School of Business is a Grande École management school located in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. The school is known for its academic excellence and international preparation. Students attending classes at the Paris School of Business will be able to take advantage of the many clubs and vibrant energy on campus. Most courses at the Paris School of Business are 3 credits. You can select from courses in the following areas:

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • International Relations
  • Management
  • Marketing

La Villa Bastille

La Villa Bastille is an art school (drawing and painting) where students have the opportunity to work freely and independently while benefiting from the instruction of an experienced artist. At La Villa Bastille, students can put into practice the principles needed to depict live models or can learn the different painting techniques (watercolor, oil painting, acrylic painting). Small groups enable individual guidance by the instructor.

The courses offered include:

  • Painting (free subject and technique)
  • Drawing (live models)

Classes are about 2-2.5 hours long.


Interning while you study in Paris gives you a rewarding job experience with a wealth of long-lasting career benefits. You will

  • Gain a better understanding of the real-life, everyday culture of your host country
  • Add global work experience and skills to your résumé or your application for graduate school

Improve your confidence

A high level of French is needed to be successful in an internship. All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. You participate in a 3-credit seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship.

Placement Examples

Past students have interned in the following fields. Don’t see your field listed here? Just talk to your IES Abroad Advisor—we are always seeking out new opportunities for our students.

  • Art Galleries
  • Business & Marketing
  • Education
  • Non-Governmental Organizations

Field Trips & Events

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 field trips are included in your program fee. Here are a few possible destinations.


2 Days | Fall

Visit the D-day beaches, the Mémorial de Caen, and the American Cemetery.

Loire Valley

2 Days | Spring

Visit famous châteaux, such as Chambord and Amboise, and local restaurants with regional specialties.


1 Day | Fall & Spring

Visit artist Claude Monet’s home in the beautiful village of Giverny, and walk through the spectacular gardens that gave him so much inspiration. Monet’s water lily paintings and many others were painted here.


1 Day | Fall & Spring

Take a guided tour of the Cathédrale Notre Dame, and visit a Champagne producer for a tour, to learn how the wine is made, and to enjoy a tasting.

Fontainebleau & Vaux-le-Vicomte

1 Day | Fall & Spring

Spend a day in two of France’s largest and most beautiful palaces. Known for their history and gardens, and for housing kings, emperors, and popes, both châteaux have been named as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Daily Life

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.


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 or Normandy.

Our Comprehensive Orientation & Re-Entry Experience (CORE™) begins right when you arrive and continues through the semester with activities focusing on academic and cultural adjustment. Detailed information about housing, public transportation, culture, health and safety, and other important topics are also covered.

Following orientation, you engage in a one-week, language-intensive program that prepares you for classes taught in French.


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.

Apartments - A limited number of apartments are available for an additional cost. Apartments include kitchen facilities and shared bathrooms. An IES Abroad Resident Assistant lives on-site or nearby. Meals are not included.

Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events

Redefine the way you live and learn in Paris through our cultural events, such as:

  • Listening to guest speakers, including local filmmakers and journalists
  • Participating in the Weekly Conversation club
  • Attendance at plays at the comédie française and other Parisian theaters
  • Visits to museums like the Louvre, the Picasso museum, the Georges Pompidou center, and the Musée d'Orsay
  • Winning tickets to local events with the Question du Jour, a favorite activity where students compete for prizes by responding to questions about Paris and France


Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Spring 2020

Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Spring 2020 $15,140 $3,650 $230 $18,970

Academic year

Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Academic year $26,705 $7,050 $455 $34,210

Scholarships & Aid

Program-Specific Scholarships

Dr. William Louis Gaines Need-Based History or International Relations Scholarship

Up to $1,875; awarded to 4-6 students each year.

This scholarship is named in honor of Dr. William Louis Gaines, President of IES Abroad from 1974-1992. Dr. Gaines was dedicated to strengthening IES Abroad's academic framework, broadening the scope of IES Abroad locations, and securing the financial foundation of the organization.

Open to students majoring in History or International Relations.

Kathleen Kervin Diamond Endowed Scholarship

Up to $2,000 each; awarded to 4-6 students each year.

Kathleen Diamond is a consultant, entrepreneur, and business leader in the language services industry. In 1979, she founded Language Learning Enterprises, Inc. (LLE®), a full-service language company based in Washington, D.C. She is recognized as an early pioneer in Telephone Interpreting, launching LLE-LINK in the early 1990s. Over the next 20 years, under her leadership, the company grew into a dynamic, multimillion-dollar corporation, serving a wide range of clients, in both the private and public sectors, across the United States, and worldwide. In 2009, Ms.

Our 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.

Features include:

  • High-speed Internet, WiFi, and printer access
  • Classrooms
  • Student foyer
  • Library
  • Garden
Last updated May 2020

About the School

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectation ... Read More

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectations. Our goal is to rock the world of some 6,000 study abroad students every year. Read less
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