Paris: Advanced French

Photo of Summer 2016 students on Chinon trip
Final App Deadline: 
Monday, January 22, 2018
Language Requirement: 
Required
Coordinator: 
Dana Currier
Quarter(s): 
Summer

The College’s eight-week Summer Paris program provides undergraduates with an opportunity to study French language, history, and culture at an advanced level in the political and cultural capital of France. Students take three courses: two language courses and an advanced French literature course, “La modernité de Montaigne,” which includes a weeklong stay in Bordeaux. All instruction is in French.

In addition to classroom instruction, the program features a number of excursions to sites of considerable historic and cultural interest both within and in the vicinity of Paris. The French capital and its environs offer numerous opportunities to connect readings, discussions, and lectures with the surviving monuments of France’s past, and it is assumed that students will use their free time to explore this remarkable city apart from program-organized outings.

New Literature Course for Summer 2017
La modernité de Montaigne
(Philippe Desan)

Qu’est-ce qui fait de Montaigne un auteur moderne ? Pourquoi les Essais sont-ils considérés comme le premier grand texte de la philosophie moderne, une œuvre prémonitoire de l’arrivée de Descartes sur la scène de la métaphysique ? Deux questions qui semblent d’actualité en ce début du XXIe siècle, alors que la soi-disant modernité de Montaigne – concept des plus vagues – est de nouveau posée. On pourrait même arguer que la pensée libérale moderne se donne en quelque sorte le point de départ de son histoire avec Montaigne. Ce cours sur la modernité de Montaigne a pour but de questionner le mythe d’une ontologie montaignienne (essence) et de rappeler que s’il existe bien une dimension philosophique dans les Essais, elle passe irrémédiablement et inévitablement par la matérialité d’un corps et est donc profondément existentielle. Le moi et le corps de Montaigne forment à la fois, de façon indissociable, les pôles et la convergence de son universalité. Nous partirons donc de ces deux notions pour voir comment l’hypersubjectivité de Montaigne est peut-être ce qui définit le mieux sa modernité face à un monde de plus en plus objectivé et globalisé. On a même récemment essayé de démontrer que Montaigne était l’inventeur des « blog », des « selfie » et de « tweeter ». La liberté du jugement, en dehors des écoles, est en effet souvent mise en avant dans les Essais afin de prouver que le sujet peut toujours comprendre le monde par lui-même.

Nous lirons les 13 chapitres du Troisième Livre des Essais afin de définir les contours de la modernité d’un texte comme les Essais. Nous aborderons notamment les notions de libre pensée, loi, justice, violence, vertu, éthique, vérité, mensonge, genre, introspection, empathie, amitié, amour, curiosité, imagination, altérité, vieillesse et mort à partir d’une lecture sociologique et philosophique des Essais.

Lors de notre séjour à Bordeaux, nous irons également visiter la célèbre tour du château de Montaigne. Nous consulterons également l’Exemplaire dit de Bordeaux à la Réserve de la Bibliothèque municipale de Bordeaux et étudierons le cénotaphe de Montaigne au Musée d’Aquitaine. Il faut en effet rappeler que Montaigne fut maire de Bordeaux de 1581 à 1585 : nous parcourrons donc la cité sur ses traces.

Lectures :

Montaigne, Essais (Troisième Livre)
Philippe Desan, Montaigne : une biographie politique (Odile Jacob).

Center in Paris

Headquarters for the College’s study abroad programs in Paris is the University of Chicago Center in Paris, the University’s research and teaching arm in Europe. Situated in the thirteenth arrondissement, the Center in Paris is part of an ambitious intellectual project along the river Seine, including the Bibliothèque Nationale and a new home for Université Denis Diderot (University of Paris VII). The Center in Paris features classrooms, offices for faculty and graduate students, computer facilities, a small library and an apartment for the faculty director. For participants in Chicago’s programs, the Center in Paris provides a focus for academic activities, a central meeting place and a continuing Chicago “presence” within one of the major capitals of Europe.

Housing

Students in the Summer Paris program are housed in a residence hall within the Cité Internationale Universitaire (Cité). The Cité, a park-like residential complex in the fourteenth arrondissement, is the international student campus in Paris, though French students also live there. Students reside in single rooms with a private bath and have access to Cité facilities, including a library, theater, laundry and athletic facilities. Students will have access to common kitchens in the residence halls and can purchase inexpensive meals at the Cité’s restaurant universitaire.

Credits and Registration

Participants in the Summer Paris program are registered as full-time summer quarter students. They take and receive credit for three courses: the two French language courses (normally FREN 20500 ECRIRE EN FRANCAIS and FREN 20600 PHONOLOGIE ET PHONETIQUE) and the French literature class. Both FREN 20500 and the literature course have been pre-approved for use in the French major or minor. The use of the program courses in another major or minor must be approved by the undergraduate chair of the respective department. Course titles, units of credit and grades are placed on the College transcript.

Finances

Summer Paris program students pay the regular tuition (at the reduced summer rate) for three courses, a program fee and a non-refundable study abroad administrative fee. The tuition and program fee are paid in conformity with the home campus payment schedule, and the non-refundable study abroad administrative fee is submitted when accepting a place in a program. Precise figures for the Summer 2017 program are listed below:

Summer tuition: as set by the Bursar’s Office for three courses

Study abroad administrative fee: $650

Paris Summer program fee: $2,700
 

Program fee includes: Out-of-pocket expenses include:
accommodation round-trip airfare to and from the program site
instruction transportation on site
student support meals
program excursions course materials
cell phone (device only) personal entertainment and travel
  communications (including cell phone usage)
emergency travel insurance (ISOS) health insurance and upfront payments for care
  other miscellaneous expenses

Previous program participants report spending in the range of $200 to $250 per week on meals and incidentals while on the program, though frugal students may spend less, and others could spend much more. Bear in mind that the cost of living in Paris is relatively high and that, while it is possible to live frugally, it is also possible to run short of money if you are unwary. It is therefore essential that you budget your funds prudently, apportioning your resources so that they last for the duration of the program. If you are planning to travel before or after the program or on weekends, you should budget accordingly.

Students retain their financial aid eligibility for this program.  However, the bulk of University gift aid is restricted to the regular academic year (Autumn, Winter, Spring). Under certain conditions a student may be eligible for gift aid during the Summer quarter. Summer Paris students are also eligible to apply for the College’s Foreign Language Acquisition Grant (FLAG), which supports Summer language study. For more information about financial aid resources, please see our Tuition, Fees, and Funding section. 

Eligibility and Application

The Summer Paris program is open to University of Chicago undergraduate students only. Applications from outside the University are not accepted.

This program is designed for students who have completed at least one year of work at Chicago and who have had at least two years of college-level French (through French 20300) or who demonstrate a comparable competence by examination. While the program stipulates no minimum grade-point average, an applicant’s transcript should demonstrate that they are a serious student who will make the most of this opportunity.

Each application is examined on the basis of the student’s scholastic record, personal statement and academic recommendation. If you are interested in applying for this program please fill out the online application.

Further Information

To discuss the Paris: Advanced French program and the possibility of participating in it, please contact Dana Currier.

Learn more about the
Center in Paris.

What you’ll see: 

Photo of Musee CarnavaletPhoto of game being played, Eiffel Tower in backgroundPhoto of Summer 2016 students on Chinon tripPhoto of Summer 2016 students on Chinon trip