Study Abroad in Paris, France

H o W

Being a Student in Paris: 101


184 Study Abroad Programs in Paris, France

Knowledge Exchange Institute (KEI)

Study abroad in Paris with KEI. Students can take part in programs such as European Business and Politics, French Language and Culture, and Fashion Styling and Merchandising. The program accepts students of any nationality, and participants study at the Institut de Gestion Sociale in the American Business School.

View of the Eiffel Tower from below
Summer in France with Forum-Nexus!

Study abroad with Forum-Nexus in Paris, the city of lights. Students can spend the summer studying a range of courses with other international students. Available courses include International Policy and Diplomacy, Culture, and Travel and Tourism.

Girl posing in front of the Eiffel Tower
Marist-Mod'Spe Paris Fashion Program

Marist College offers a program designed to meet the specific needs of Fashion Merchandising students. The students benefit from the cutting-edge fashion curriculum as they work with key industry players in Paris, France, one of the world's fashion capitals. Semester and full year programs are available.

Gray and yellowgreen thread for fashion class
Study in France with API

Study abroad in Paris with API. American and Canadian students can study alongside local and international students at the Institut Catholique or Cours de Civilisation Francaise de la Sorbonne. Participants can develop fluency in the French language, participate in excursions, and earn academic credit.

New York University

Study in France with New York University's Paris program, get the chance to learn French while delving deep into the history of art, culture, and literature of France. Spend time in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower and the Trocadero, and take courses in French or English.

ELI-Experiential Learning International

Study abroad in Paris, the City of Lights, with ELI. Students can spend a semester studying European Studies, Economics, Political Science, and more, alongside international and local students. ELI accepts American and Canadian students with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and strong French language skills.

Inspiring Summer and Semester Programs in France

Immerse yourself in the French culture and lifestyle by studying abroad with SAI Programs. Hosted by the American University of Paris and the Paris American Academy, students can spend up to 15 weeks and gain a maximum of 15 academic credits. Discover the beauty of Paris through weekly cultural activities and excursions provided by SAI Programs.

ESMOD Paris Fashion Design and Business School est. 1841

ESMOD Paris opened its doors in 1841 and has remained at the forefront of French fashion. For the last four years ESMOD has been the single most recommended school by the fashion industry in “L'etudiant” magazine. The unique combination of traditional methods and cutting edge techniques produces unparalleled graduates with an employment rate of over 90%. ESMOD’s curriculum offers degrees in Fas...

CUPA - Center for University Programs Abroad

Study abroad in Paris, France with CUPA. This program is open to American participants and offers courses in Fashion Design and Merchandising, International Policy and Diplomacy, and Studio Arts at 11 different institutions including the Universite Paris- Sorbonne, Ecole du Louvre, and Universite Pierre et Marie Curie. Students are required to have taken at least five semesters of college-level...

Spend Your Semester or Summer in France with AIFS

Indulge in the City of Lights while studying abroad with AIFS. American students can study and earn credits from the prestigious La Sorbonne, the Catholic University of Paris, or at the University of Paris IV. The programs are open to students of any degree level, with a minimum of 2.5 GPA. Both universities also accept students with no previous French language experience. The universities prov...

Cultural Immersion Through Study Programs in France

Develop a higher fluency in French and study abroad in Paris with IES Abroad. Students can take part in programs in Business & International Affairs, French Studies, and Language for a Semester or a whole Academic Year. IES lets students participate in optional field trips, live with a host family, and study at the Sorbonne, Institut Catholique de Paris, Universitie de Paris VIII, and other not...

Academic Studies Abroad

Academic Studies Abroad offers a wide range of courses in the city of Paris. American and Canadian students can have the chance to study at the Université de Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV), the Institut Catholique, or the Cours de Langue et Civilisation Françaises de la Sorbonne. This study abroad program offers Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Music courses.

Budget Academic Programs in Paris with CSA!

Experience city life in Paris through CSA's Budget Study Abroad programs. Students can study at the University of Paris-Sorbonne and the Catholic University of Paris, two of the city's notable schools. Aside from French language and culture, students can study a wide selection of other courses such as History, Political Science, and Sociology.

Syracuse University Abroad in France

Take part in this five week summer study abroad program offered by Syracuse University in the City of Lights, Paris. This opportunity allows participants to experience a different side of the city while learning about the diverse interpretations of the Paris Noir theme. Participation is limited to American citizens.

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Institut d'art at the Sorbonne

How to Study Abroad in Paris

Being a Student in Paris: 101

Just thinking of Paris conjures up scenes of charming cafes, delicious baguettes, long strolls along the Seine, and visiting the Eiffel Tower at night. It’s no wonder it is a popular study abroad destination for many students. This beautiful city is rich in culture, world class museums, entertainment, great food, and home to Ivy League universities, such as the Sorbonne and SciencesPo. Its central location in Western Europe makes traveling easy and affordable to neighboring European and African countries. From the art student to the history buff and every major in between, this city has something for everyone to enjoy.

Subjects & Courses

You can find study abroad programs in Paris for practically any major in both English and French classes. The most popular areas of study are fashion, art & art history, history, international relations, architecture,  women's studies, literature, political science, mathematics, and French language studies.

Everything about the French university experience is different from the American one, especially when it comes to courses. The majority of French courses are divided into two sections or séances; each one meets about one to three hours a week. These séancess are the cours magistral (CM) and the travaux dirigés (TD), and range from three to five credits. At the beginning of the semester, your “prof” (what French students call professors) will give you the syllabus called the programme or calendrier des séances. This will outline when you will have your assignments which are usually devoir sur table, an essay written in class using your texts for reference and support.

Expect one to three redactions, or term papers, per class. There is usually one term paper per semester, per class. Depending upon the class, you may have to complete weekly lesson summaries as homework or complete an oral presentation. These assignments make up 15 percent of your grade typically. The other 85 percent will be reserved for a huge test that local students have to take at the end of the semester. If you are not directly enrolled in a French university, you may be exempt from taking this test, in which case, your program will count the initial 15 percent as 100 percent to determine your final grade.

Paris is home to a variety of institutions, such as French universities, foreign universities (ex. American University of Paris), and numerous language schools. (Insider tip: Did you know that your university might have a study abroad office?  If so, this is a great place to start asking about study abroad).

Life in Paris

Paris is a beautiful city, but it’s not always as easy as one, two, oui. For a major city, Paris is pretty small. Public transportation and bicycle rentals make it easy to get around town. Don’t concentrate on the dreamy aspects of living in Paris. The life of a student in Paris is similar to life in your home country- you’ll have to go grocery shopping, to school, do laundry- these things aren’t exciting but are a very real part of life. It’s better to be prepared for the everyday aspects of life and then be pleasantly surprised by the beauty and charm of Paris, than to plan on its attractive qualities and be disappointed by real life. 

Just remember too, Paris is the capital of France. It is very hustle and bustle, but a quick stop into any public park or garden on a sunny afternoon will show you how the French enjoy the simple things in life, like good food with a friend in the sunshine.

The French are very proud of their language and culture. Even if you choose a program with courses taught in English, you need to know French. When you leave the classroom, everyone will be speaking French. Being able to speak and understand it will not only ease your daily interactions with Parisians, but it will also help to enrich your study abroad experience. It’s also important to adopt French customs and culture to not stick out and to more easily make friends.

Accommodation & Visas

Summer study abroad programs do not require a visa. However, study abroad programs for one semester require a visa de court séjour étudiant, which lasts from one to ninety days. Study abroad programs for an academic year (two semesters) require a visa de long séjour étudiant, which is for more than ninety days and for students who are eighteen years of age or older. If you need to get a visa de long séjour étudiant, you must file for the carte de séjour with the préfecture de police after 90 days in Paris to obtain a residency card.

If you aren’t careful in your preparations, getting a visa can be tricky. Your program will not necessarily help you get a visa, but they will give you the needed documents to start the process. The first step is going to the Campus France website, where you can create a dossier (file) and complete essays regarding your education and why you want to study abroad in France. When you’re finished you will need to mail a copy of your acceptance letter from your home university and an attestation statement from the French university you will be traveling to, along with a $60 USD check to Campus France.

Once everything is cleared, you’ll get an email which allows you to go to the French consulate. There may not be a French Consulate in your city or maybe even your country, so you may have to travel to obtain your visa (Check out GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory to locate your nearest consulate). Before you go to your visa appointment, make sure you have ten copies of all your paperwork and have a valid, current passport.

Benefits & Challenges

You’ll have lifelong memories of spending more than a week in the most beautiful city on Earth. For French majors or minors specifically, this experience will improve your language skills by leaps and bounds.

Cultural immersion and language fluency are key to a successful study abroad in Paris. French culture is not always accepting of new people so it’s important to embrace their way of life.

Another thing to look out for is strikes. They can really mess up your day when the metro is on strike or worse, university students! Best way to get around them is to always wear comfy shoes and follow the news to see when they end.

One last major challenge is making friends. French culture is about quality- this goes for food and friendships. It will be hard to make friends but keep at it! Once you make a French friend, you have one for life.

Andrea Bouchaud

Having studied abroad in Paris for a year, Andrea Bouchaud understands that living in the City of Light isn’t always easy. Her hands on experience with French culture and language immersion as an American student inspired her to write two books: Twenty in Paris: A Young American Perspective of Studying Abroad in Paris (2013) and The Paris Diaries: The Study Abroad Experience Uncensored (2014) both on Amazon’s Kindle Store.