The College’s Winter Cinema and Media Studies program in Paris provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to explore the study of film and related media at the University of Chicago’s Center in Paris.
- CMST 14400: Film and the Moving Image (Jim Lastra)
This course seeks to develop skills in perception, comprehension, and interpretation when dealing with film and other moving image media. It encourages the close analysis of audiovisual forms, their materials and formal attributes, and explores the range of questions and methods appropriate to the explication of a given film or moving image text. It also examines the intellectual structures basic to the systematic study and understanding of moving images. Most importantly, the course aims to foster in students the ability to translate this understanding into verbal expression, both oral and written. Texts and films are drawn from the history of narrative, experimental, animated, and documentary or non-fiction cinema.
- CMST 14503: Cinema in Theory and Practice (Dominique Bluher)
The course proposes an introduction to audio-visual literacy through the analysis of films, selective readings, and short film exercises focusing on fundamental cinematic elements such as shot, framing, point of view, camera movement, editing, and relations of image and sound. Assignments will consist in writing review sheets and a formal film analysis, and in creating three 1-3 minute single-shot movies based on the works seen and discussed in class.
- ARTV 20010: Contemporary Art in Paris (D. N. Rodowick)
In this course, we will explore important institutions and contexts for exhibiting contemporary international art in the city of Paris. Our approach will be ethnographic as well as aesthetic and take place at various scales: from national museums to arts foundations, galleries, artist studios, and alternative spaces and artists’ “squats.” Of special interest will be how different architectures and spaces of installation affect our reception and understanding of art. Video and moving image installation will be a special emphasis where possible. Course work will include presentations and weekly contributions to a public blog. Possible field trips could include the Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris, la Cinémathèque Française, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Galerie Marion Goodman, Les Frigos, and the Paris Art Fair at the Grand Palais.
- student support
- program excursions
- emergency travel insurance (ISOS)
- round-trip airfare to and from the program site
- transportation on site
- course materials
- personal entertainment and travel
- communications (including cell phone usage)
- health insurance and upfront payments for care
- other miscellaneous expenses
This program is open to students of all majors and includes two courses that can be used to satisfy the general education arts requirement (arts core). Any student with an interest in film, particularly French cinema, is encouraged to apply. The program courses will make use of the rich cultural resources of Paris and the French film-making tradition to enhance the educational experience of learning to analyze and interpret films as works of art. Program participants will also take a French language course, which runs at a normal pace through the quarter and is designed to help students connect with French (and Parisian) culture.
Apart from classroom work, the Cinema and Media Studies program offers a series of excursions to sites of artistic and historic interest within and in the vicinity of Paris. Indeed Paris itself, with its wealth of cinemas, museums, libraries, and theaters, its lively art, film, and literary scene, its rich traditions of creation and critique, plays a central role in the program and students will be expected to make full use of its cultural resources.
The following courses were offered in Winter 2022:
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 de Paris (formerly Université Denis Diderot - 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.
Students in the Paris Cinema and Media Studies 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.
Participants in the Paris Cinema and Media Studies program remain registered as full-time students in the College. They receive one credit for each of the four courses offered through this program. The first two courses can be used toward the College’s general education requirement in the arts (arts core), while the third course may be used as either an elective or within the Cinema and Media Studies major. The first two courses may also be eligible for credit within the Cinema and Media Studies major if the arts core requirement has already been fulfilled and with approval from the department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies. The use of these courses in related or interdisciplinary majors may be possible, though students will have to submit a specific petition to the appropriate undergraduate program chair. The language course will normally count as an elective. Course titles, units of credit, and grades are placed on the College transcript.
Study abroad students pay regular College tuition, a program fee, and a nonrefundable study abroad administrative fee. The tuition and program fee are paid in conformity with the home campus payment schedule, and the nonrefundable study abroad administrative fee is submitted when accepting a place in a program. Precise figures for the Paris Cinema and Media Studies program during the 2022–2023 year are listed below:
Winter tuition: as set by the Bursar’s Office
Study abroad administrative fee: $675
Paris Cinema and Media Studies program fee: $5,200
Program fee includes:
Out-of-pocket expenses include:
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.
Study abroad students retain their financial aid eligibility. For more information about financial aid resources, please see our general Tuition, Fees, and Funding section.
The Paris Cinema and Media Studies program is open to University of Chicago undergraduate students only. Applications from outside the University are not accepted.
The program is designed for undergraduates in good academic and disciplinary standing. 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. Because the Cinema and Media Studies courses are taught in English, there is no language prerequisite, although students are encouraged to take French on campus before the program begins.
Each application is examined on the basis of the student’s scholastic record and personal statement. If you are interested in applying for this program please fill out the online application.
To discuss the Paris: Cinema and Media Studies program and the possibility of participating, please contact Damaris Crocker De Ruiter.