International First-Year Student Program in Paris

Final App Deadline: 
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Language Requirement: 
Kylie Poulin

Autumn 2020: International First-Year Student Program in Paris

Due to the uncertainty associated with recent guidance from the federal government along with ongoing travel restrictions and visa uncertainties related to COVID-19, the College recognizes the challenges many first-year international students may face in coming to Chicago for Autumn Quarter 2020. To support our students, the College’s Office of Study Abroad is working with faculty members and international partners to establish on-site, in-residence academic opportunities in Paris, specially designed as an option for international first-year College students.

The currently planned International First-Year Student Program in Paris (IFYS-P) is intended to offer students certain courses that satisfy College requirements, all while building community with University of Chicago peers abroad. International student participants in this program will live and study in Paris during Autumn Quarter 2020, hosted at The University of Chicago Center in Paris.

As with our on-campus planning, these programs may need to be adjusted or revised based on regional conditions, including local college and university operations and trends in the pandemic. Our planning is guided by the distinctive qualities and values of our academic community while prioritizing the health of the University and local communities.

Academic Programming

Program participants will enroll in Chicago coursework, intended to be offered through a hybrid of in-person and online modalities, supported by the University of Chicago Center in Paris. All participants will take three (3) or four (4) courses during the Autumn Quarter. Special sections of the courses below are being developed for IFYS-P participants:

  • Course offerings toward the Humanities Core requirement (required for all participants)
  • Course offerings toward the Social Sciences Core requirement
  • Course offerings toward the Mathematical Sciences requirement
    • Math 13100  |  Elementary Functions and Calculus I
    • Math 15100  |  Calculus I
  • French language elective courses at varying levels

As with all first-year College students, participants will be required to enroll in one section of the Humanities Core. Most students will also enroll in a Social Sciences Core sequence, unless their planned major (e.g. Biology/Pre-medical) includes other required first-year sequences. A student’s remaining courses may include selections from the offerings above, or other online selections from the College’s Chicago-based course catalog for Autumn Quarter.

Since admission decisions will not be made before the First-Year Humanities Core pre-registration period concludes, students applying to the International First-Year Student Program in Paris should participate in the First-Year Humanities Core pre-registration process via the Registrar’s office, ranking sections designated as online offerings. Students interested in the Social Sciences Core sequence should also indicate that preference during First-Year pre-registration. Students who accept a place in the IFYS-P program will have their Humanities Core (and, if applicable, Social Sciences Core) assignments adjusted accordingly.

Center in Paris

The program is planned to be based at the University of Chicago Center in Paris, the University’s research and teaching arm in Europe. The Center in Paris features classrooms, offices for faculty and graduate students, computer facilities, a small library, and student lounge. The Center is led by a full-time staff of bilingual University of Chicago employees.

For program participants, 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 IFYS-P program would be housed in a residence hall within the Cité Internationale Universitaire (Cité). The Cité, a park-like residential complex in the fourteenth arrondissement, is the primary international student campus in Paris.

All students would reside in private, single rooms with a private bath, desk, bureau, and refrigerator. Students would have access to common kitchens in the residence halls. The Cité Universitaire has introduced COVID-19 precautions to address the health and safety of the residential community.

In exceptional circumstances, the College will review and approve requests for independent student accommodations that may already be established in the program city.

Credits and Registration

Students in the International First-Year Student program would be registered as full-time students in the College. They would take and receive credit for three or four courses as outlined in the “Academic Programming” section above, all of which would count toward either the College’s Core requirements or act as elective credit for students. Their use in any other program of study must be approved by the undergraduate program chair of the relevant department. Course titles, units of credit, and grades are placed on the College transcript and contribute to the student’s GPA.


Participants in IFYS programs abroad would pay regular College tuition and a program fee in support of housing, instruction, and on-site student support in Paris. The tuition and program fee would be paid in conformity with the home campus payment schedule. Precise figures for the 2020-21 year are listed below:

Autumn tuition: as set by the Bursar’s Office

International First-Year Student program fee: $4,950

Program fee includes: Out-of-pocket expenses include:
Accommodation Round-trip airfare to and from program site
Instruction Ground transportation
Student support Meals
Program activities Course materials
Emergency travel insurance (ISOS) Personal entertainment
  Communications (including cell phone usage)
  Health insurance and payment for health care
  Other miscellaneous expenses

UChicago students in Paris report spending in the range of $200 to $250 (USD) per week on meals and incidentals while in the program, though some 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.

Students in the IFYS program would retain their financial aid eligibility. For more information about financial aid resources, please visit our general Tuition, Fees, and Funding webpage.

Eligibility and Application

The International First-Year Student Programs are open to incoming first-year undergraduate students who would be eligible to travel to and stay and study in the country of their intended program. Students applying to the IFYS-P Program should review the information and guidance from the French Government regarding travel to France ( and bear in mind that these conditions are subject to change.

Students must enroll in at least three (3) and no more than four (4) Chicago credit-bearing courses during the Autumn Quarter to qualify as a full-time student. Because the courses are taught in English, there is no language prerequisite for participation.

Students should apply by July 15 at 12:00 p.m. CDT through the Study Abroad Application Portal. Selection will be based on location eligibility and site capacity. If selected to participate, students commit to participating for the duration of Autumn Quarter, including in-residence living, course enrollment, and any required program activities.

Personal Health and Safety

Admitted students will also be required to adhere to the University’s student health insurance requirements and maintain a health insurance plan that is valid in the program country. For more information about health and insurance considerations, please visit our general health, safety, and insurance webpage.

In addition, while in Paris, students will be required to follow local and University-specific COVID-19 public health requirements, such as self-monitoring, wearing face coverings, and following university protocols if symptomatic or diagnosed with the virus. The Center and its staff are implementing health and safety protocols to responsibly support programming and help protect students, faculty, and staff visiting the Center. Additional details and guidelines will be provided to program participants.

Further Information

To discuss the International First-Year Student Program in Paris and the possibility of participating, please contact Kylie Poulin.

Photo credit: “The Centre Pompidou (Paris, France)” by Kyle Tingling, ’21

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