Paris! The City of Lights! The Capital of Fashion! Home to some of the world’s greatest thinkers, scientists, writers, musicians, and artists! Most people dream of traveling to this incredible city, and many international students dream of living and studying in Paris (it is one of the best places in Europe to study abroad, after all!).
And why wouldn't they? There are hoards of benefits to Paris study abroad. Not only do you get to shake out the "norm" of your everyday routine for a bit, but you'll also get to see what every day life looks like for millions of people thousands of miles away. If you need more convincing, check out these five reasons why studying abroad in Paris would be the adventure of a lifetime—and should be YOUR adventure of a lifetime.
5 fabulous reasons to study in Paris 🇫🇷🌹🍰
1. It’s Actually Cheaper Than You Think!
Paris is an expensive place to live, and most study abroad programs reflect this reality, but students with small pocketbooks can still afford to study in this amazing city. A majority of programs include tuition, housing, insurance, cultural activities, and several excursions (which vary by location) in their program fees, which means your money goes a long way. If an entire academic year of study in Paris is out of your price range, many study abroad programs offer semester, summer, winter, and even month-long sessions. In addition, these companies also provide scholarships and financial planning services to their participants.
2. You Can Study Any Subject You Can Think Of—and Then Some
No matter what you’re studying in college, whether it’s art history, education, or economics, you’ll be able to locate programs in Paris that match your interests and will fill academic needs. You can spend a summer studying contemporary music and composition or a semester focusing on international business. If you’re looking for something that’s more comprehensive, a number of companies offer specialized programs in French culture, with classes on everything from French cinema to immigration issues. You should have no problem finding programs that work with your own study plan, whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student.
3. Paris Universities are Some of the Best in the World
Yes—you can take classes at universities that even your parents may've heard of. After all, studying in Paris means studying at world-class educational institutions! There's the University of Paris, Paris-Sorbonne University, École Normale Superieure Paris (ENS Paris), École Polytechnique (ParisTech)—and that's just scratching the surface. Think how bright your resume will shine when you study abroad in Paris at a reputable, cosmopolitan institution like one of these!
While studying at universities in Paris, take advantage of everything the programs have to offer, from student clubs to internships, to guest lectures and day-trips. Program excursions often take students to places like Versailles, Giverny, and Fontainebleau. Weekly activities usually include outings to art galleries, museums, or the opera.
4. Learn to Speak French Firsthand
Thanks to globalization, the ability to speak multiple languages is an important skill and a huge asset for most careers. As one of the most widely-spoken languages in the world (not to mention an official language of international diplomacy), the ability to speak French is a wonderful advantage in countless disciplines. The best way to learn a language is to completely immerse yourself in it through a French-language focused study abroad program. It also doesn’t hurt to immerse yourself in tasting French cuisine as well! 🥖😋🧀
Many study abroad programs in Paris require previous knowledge of French, but nearly every program has classes at all levels to help students improve their French. Some organizations will have intensive French language and culture summer courses for beginner, intermediate, and advanced speakers.
5. You'll Be Enlightened by the City of Light
Paris is revered by many for its wonderful art, architecture, fashion, food, and entertainment. Window-shop at the high-end fashion boutiques located along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Sample freshly-baked bread and pastries from corner patisseries, or savor some delicious crème-brulee and coffee at a street-side café. It is different than what you're used to—and this unfamiliarity is fertile ground for growth and change.
Travel not only makes us capable of handling ourselves, it empowers us to accomplish what we put our mind to, too... Traveling reacquaints us with the joy of learning and opens us to new experiences.
It is through the whole of the experience studying in Paris—from every missed train, to every croissant, to every flirtatious smile with a local, to every meaningful interaction with a Parisian—that we learn more about ourselves, our goals, and what we aim to accomplish. Travel has a funny way of clarifying our path, evolving you into a more mature, focused version of yourself. Your best souvenir from
Next steps to study in Paris
Don't pack your beret juuuust yet. There are a few items on your study-abroad-to-do list you should check off first.
How to Study Abroad in Paris in 5 Easy Steps
Decide where to go. Figuring out where to study abroad in Paris isn’t easy. The Latin Quarter? By the Sacre Coeur in Montmarte? At the Sorbonne? Don't let anything hold you back—choose a place that's right for you.
Your major courses or something more fun and experiential? You don't only have to take classes that pertain to your major back home (though it never hurts to knock out some credits towards graduation). Look at your course options and decide what combination of required classes and just-for-fun-or-because-you-want-to-learn-it classes are out there. Choose from French, literature, the sciences, psychology, and more!
Choose from the best study abroad programs in Paris. Pay attention to past participants’ reviews, program/university reputation, location, and your ease of getting credits. Some schools or providers may even provide contact info for student ambassadors or past international students if you want the REAL dirt. Here’s our guide to choosing between study abroad programs in Paris.
Plan your finances. Sort out funding before you go to afford daily essentials and splurge in travel (in addition to program costs and airfare). Do your research to have an idea of how much your study abroad program in Paris will cost.
Talk to your home university. Getting all your ducks in a row is largely dependent on what your home university requires. Talk to a study abroad advisor or the equivalent at your university to see what choices are available to you.
Paris study abroad is on the horizon 🌅🙏✈️
Admire some of the world’s greatest paintings in the city’s countless museums, including Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Mona Lisa at the Louvre and Édouard Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass at the Musée d'Orsay. Explore the soaring bell towers and chapels of some of the world’s most beautiful cathedrals. Catch a performance at one of the city’s infamous cabarets. You may not have time to do it all, but you can certainly try!