Study Abroad in Paris, France

Quick Facts | Why Paris? | City Description | Host Institution | Housing | Excursions

Course Offerings | Costs & Dates | What’s Included | Program Itinerary | FAQs


Quick Facts

Host Institutions:
Semester/Academic Year programs:
  • Universite de Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) – for Advanced level students
  • Institut Catholique (for Advanced level students)
  • French Language and Civilization Courses at the Sorbonne (for Beginner and Intermediate level students)
Eligibility Rules: click here
Language/Academic Focus: Courses are available in advanced level French in a variety of subject areas at Universite de Paris-Sorbonne & Institut Catholique. Courses geared toward Beginner and Intermediate French students are available through the French Language and Civilization Courses at the Sorbonne, where students are required to take French Language & Phonetics as well as 3-4 elective lectures.  (Click here for Course Offerings)
Housing: Students may select ASA housing with a French host family or find separate accommodations on their own. With ASA host family housing, rooms are double or single occupancy, and homestays include Internet, breakfast and dinner every day but Sunday. Students who choose to arrange their own accommodations will be credited the housing portion of their program fee.  (For further information about living with a host family, please click here!)
Sample Day Excursions: Chartres, Versailles, Fontainebleau, Reims, Malmaison
Sample Overnight Excursions: Vallée de la Loire, Normandy

Why Paris?

  • Capital of France and the “City of Lights”
  • Study at some of Europe’s most prestigious universities
  • Countless museums, gardens, and historical sites
  • Easy access to other French and European destinations
  • Diverse shopping and dining
  • One of the world’s most fashionable cities

City Description – large city of 2.1 million

Paris is the most popular city in the world, based on its number of foreign visitors. With over 30 million visits per year, Paris attracts 15 times more visits than it has residents! Paris both the capital of France, as well as the country’s largest city. While the city has about 2.1 million people, the total population of the metropolitan area is about 12 million. Its location in northwestern France affords students easy travel to other major European cities such as Barcelona, Madrid, London, and Brussels.

Paris sites on the Vier Seine and is divided into essentially 2 islands, known as the Left Bank and Right Bank. It is also divided in 20 different districts, which in French are called Arrondissements. Each Arrondissement has a number, so for instance, the Louvre is located in the 1st Arrondissement, while the Avenue des Champs-Elysees is in the 8th Arrondissement.

The history of Paris goes back over 2,000 years to sometime between 250 and 200 BC, when a tribe of Celtic fishermen settled there. The city as we now know it didn’t really begin to take shape until 1163 when construction on the Notre Dame began. The late 15th century was the beginning of the Renaissance, during which Paris became a center of technology, science, art, and architecture. It was at this time that Louis XIV built his country estate, known as Versailles.

The 19th century really turned Paris into what it is today. Baron Haussmann, under the direction of Napoleon III, designed the wide boulevards that Paris is known for. Then in the late 19th century, the third Republic was declared, which began democracy in France. The 20th century made Paris a very fashionable place to live, with famous writers such as Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce, and artists such as Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso.

The rest, as they say, is history. Those who visit Paris fall in love with its elegance, charm, attitude, cuisine, and culture. There is a very good reason that Paris is the most popular tourist destination in the world!

Host Institutions

ASA offers its students 2 main study options in Paris: direct enrollment at the Université de Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) with optional classes at the Institut Catholique, or French Language and Civilization Courses at the Sorbonne. The main difference between these options is the following. The French Language and Civilizaton program focuses on French language and culture and is geared toward Beginner and Intermediate level students, while the Université de Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) and the Institut Catholique offer a wide range of courses for Advanced level students. Courses are taught in French by regular professors from Paris IV or Catholique.

Universite de Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV)

Located on medieval foundations dating back to the 13th century, Université de Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) was one of the first universities in the world. Often referred to as “the Sorbonne,” this renowned university is dedicated to excellence in Literature, Languages, Civilizations, Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. It is also known for its top-quality scientific research.

The ASA direct-enroll program at the Université de Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) is open to students with an Advanced level of French. Courses are available in French Literature, French Language, Latin, Greek, Philosophy, History, Geography, Art and Archaeology, English and North American Studies, German Studies, Spanish and Latin American Studies, Catalan Studies, Italian and Romanian Studies Slavic Studies, Applied Foreign Languages, Arabic and Eastern Studies, Music and Musicology, Applied Human Sciences, and others.

Students may supplement their classes at the Sorbonne with one or two classes at the Institut Catholique de Paris, as follows.

Institut Catholique de Paris

Advanced level students attending the Sorbonne may choose to take one or two courses at the Institut Catholique de Paris. The Catho, as it is known, was founded in central Paris in 1875 and currently enrolls 6,000 students, 2,000 of whom are international students from over 70 different countries. While founded by the Catholic church, the university is now religiously and ethnically diverse.

The campus is ideally located in the 6th Arrondissement in central Paris, near Luxembourg Park. The 6th Arrondissement is on the south bank of the River Seine and was once where artists such as Delacroix and Manet would meet. It is a charming area with a large number of outdoor cafés and shops. Courses are available in Theology, Philosophy, Teaching, Literature, Economics, and Social Sciences.

French Language and Civilization Courses at the Sorbonne

In French, this program is called “Cours de Langue et Civilisation de la Sorbonne,” which translates to “French Language and Civilization Courses.” This language institute at the Sorbonne is known worldwide for providing French language and culture instruction to foreign students.

The French Language and Civilization Program is an excellent choice for Beginning and Intermediate level students, as it helps foreign students learn the basics of French language or improve their current level. All students will take a French placement test after arrival, which will determine their class level. All students in this program are required to take the French Language & Phonetics course, as well as 2, 3, or 4 elective lectures from the choices at your language level. A few examples of lectures are: French Civilization and Literature, History of French Art, The Regions of France, Approach to Current Affairs in France, and Myths & Modern Thought.


Students can live with French host families, who will provide breakfast and dinner every day but Sunday. All ASA student housing includes Internet access and is located in safe neighborhoods, within a reasonable distance from your university. Or, you may opt out of program housing and make your own housing arrangements. Students who choose to arrange their own housing will be credited the housing portion of their fee. Full details about ASA housing, as well as answers to commonly asked questions, can be found on our Housing page.


To encourage students to immerse themselves in the rich cultural life of Paris, ASA includes an exceptional sequence of events. Every week or two, students attend a play, concert, or opera, visit a museum or art gallery, or go on an excursion to a site of interest outside Paris: Chartres, Versailles, Fontainebleau, Reims, or Malmaison. Each Fall, there is a weekend trip to the Valleé de la Loire and grands chateaux, and each Spring a weekend trip to Bayeux, the D-Day landing beaches at Normandy, and the magnificent Mont Saint Michel.

Costs & Dates

Please CLICK HERE for Costs and Dates.

 What’s Included  

  • ROOM & BOARD:  With a French host family.  Homestay includes breakfast and dinner every day but Sunday, as well as one load of laundry per week. Students may opt out of housing to find separate accommodations if desired.  (For full details about living with a host family, as well as answers to commonly asked questions, please click here!)
  • EXCURSIONS: Every week or two, students attend a play, concert, opera, visit a museum or an art gallery, or go on a day excursion to a site of interest outside of Paris.  Each Fall there is an overnight excursion to the Vallée de la Loire and each Spring to Normandy.
  • TUITION at one of the following host universities: Universite de Paris-Sorbonne/Institut Catholique/Cours de Langue et Civilisation Francaises de la Sorbonne
  • ACADEMIC CREDITS: Students who receive pre-approval from their home institution can transfer the credits they earn to their home institution.  Students will take a full course load while abroad.
  • OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT: At the conclusion of the program, an official transcript from your host university will be sent to your home institution.
  • INTERNET ACCESS: available at Reid Hall and in your homestay.
  • PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION PASS: ASA provides a monthly public transportation pass for each student.
  • AIRPORT PICK-UP: at the Paris (CDG) airport for students who arrive on the official arrival date by the designated time.
  • MEDICAL INSURANCE: for a Description of Coverage, please visit our Information Library.
  • SITE DIRECTOR: on-site to assist students with any academic or cultural difficulties they may encounter.
  • VISA ADVISING: While students are ultimately responsible for obtaining their visa (if required for their term/host country), ASA will provide detailed, helpful information upon acceptance as to which visa students will need and how to go about applying for one.  Please click here and scroll down to “Student Visa Information” to find out if a visa is required for your program.

Not Included:

  • Airfare
  • Books & materials
  • Personal expenses
  • Student visa, if required
  • Daily lunch and all meals on Sundays
  • Meals on excursions (breakfast may be provided on overnight trips)
  • Return transport to airport on last day of program

Click here for Billing Information and Cancellation/Refund Policy

NOTE: Above estimated costs are subject to change. If you need a “Costs of Attendance” budget for your financial aid office, or simply need more details about the additional costs listed above, please email lee (at)

Program Itinerary

Please CLICK HERE for detailed semester program itineraries.


If you have questions about HOW TO APPLY and make sure your credits transfer back to your home university, please CLICK HERE.

We encourage both prospective students and parents, as well as those who have already been accepted to an ASA program, to visit our INFORMATION LIBRARY. Here you will find tons of helpful info to help you know what to plan for and what to expect, such as: