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.
Paris: European Civilization (in French)
The core element of the College’s francophone European Civilization in Paris program is a three-course “Civilisation Européenne” sequence, compressed into the ten weeks of autumn quarter and devoted to the history of Europe with some emphasis on France. The distinctive feature of this sequence, unique among all civilization programs, is that all coursework is conducted in French. In addition to the civilization sequence, program participants take a French language course, pitched at an advanced level and running at a normal pace throughout the quarter. This program thus weds elements from Chicago’s civilization-based and language immersion programs. For the student with sufficient French language preparation (see “Eligibility and Application” below), it represents a valuable opportunity both to study European history and culture intensively and to hone language skills. This civilization program is one of four such sequences in Paris. English-language European Civilization in Paris programs are offered in the autumn, winter and spring quarters.
The civilization courses are enhanced by a number of excursions to sites of historic and cultural interest both within and in the vicinity of Paris. The French capital itself offers numerous opportunities to connect readings and lectures with the surviving monuments of France’s history and artistic patrimony, and it is assumed that students will go beyond program-organized outings in exploring this remarkable city.
Center in Paris
Students in the European Civilization in Paris (in French) 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 European Civilization in Paris (in French) program remain registered as full-time students in the College. They take and receive credit for four courses: the three courses in the civilization sequence and the French language class. The civilization sequence meets the College’s civilization requirement. If a student has already met this requirement, he or she may use these courses as electives. The civilization courses have also been pre-approved for use in the French major or minor, assuming a student is not using them for the civilization requirement (a course cannot “double count” for both Civ and major/minor credit). Their use, partial or total, in a program of study (major) must be approved by the undergraduate chair of the respective department. The language course will normally count as an elective. Course titles, units of credit and grades are placed on the College transcript.
Optional French Language Pre-Session
The European Civilization in Paris (in French) program includes an optional September pre-session devoted to intensive French language instruction for students eager to make significant progress in their French. While there is a surcharge for the pre-session, program participants are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to hone their language skills and to get the most out of the Civilization program. Students who attend the French Language Pre-session will not receive a separate grade for that segment. Instead, the evaluation of the pre-session work will be folded into the grade for the autumn-quarter language course.
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 European Civilization in Paris (in French) program during the 2020-21 year are listed below:
Autumn tuition: as set by the Bursar’s Office
Study abroad administrative fee: $675
Paris Civ in French program fee: $4,950
|Program fee includes:||Out-of-pocket expenses include:|
|accommodation||round-trip airfare to and from the program site|
|instruction||transportation on site|
|program excursions||course materials|
|emergency travel insurance (ISOS)||personal entertainment and travel|
|communications (including cell phone usage)|
|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.
Study abroad students retain their financial aid eligibility. For more information about financial aid resources, please see our general Tuition, Fees, and Funding section.
Eligibility and Application
The European Civilization in Paris (in French) 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 standing who are beyond their first year in the College. Because all work—lectures, discussions, readings and assignments—is conducted in French, applicants are expected to have taken, with excellent grades, at least two years of college-level French (French through 20300) as well as French 20500. Students with questions about their French preparation should contact Alice McLean, Director of the French Language Program.
This minimum prerequisite aside, applicants are strongly encouraged to take French language courses beyond the second-year level; indeed most participants will have had one or more courses at the advanced level. In some cases, an offer of admission to this program is made contingent upon summer language work or participation in the French Language Pre-session. 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 of the considerable demand for the Chicago civilization programs abroad, no student may participate in more than one of these programs. Each application is examined on the basis of the student's scholastic record, personal statement and academic recommendation.
To discuss the Paris: European Civilization (in French) program and the possibility of participating in it, please contact Kylie Poulin.