Study Abroad in Paris: Semester/Year Program for Undergraduates

Overview | Curriculum | Extracurricular | Orientation | Housing | Dates | Fees | Apply


The American Graduate School in Paris hosts study abroad programs for undergraduate students wanting to study in Paris to gain international experience while earning credits towards their degree at their home institution. These programs are accredited in the United States through Arcadia University's College of Global Studies. They take place at the American Graduate School in Paris, located between Luxembourg gardens and the traditional artists' district of Montparnasse, in the heart of Paris. Classes are in English, and these programs are open to students from all countries.

A range of options are available: Summer, Fall/Spring Semester, or Academic Year. More information on the summer program can be found here.

The semester study abroad program features a cross-disciplinary curriculum with a two-fold focus:

  • Courses on "International Relations, Politics, and Business" of France and the EU

  • French language courses at the world-renowned language school Alliance Française, a partner of the American Graduate School in Paris.

Taking full advantage of its setting in Paris, the program includes a number of field trips and visits alongside classroom lectures taught by recognized scholars. It also comprises two trips every semester (see below for details). The coursework, fieldwork and extracurricular activities all combine to provide students with a comprehensive cultural and academic experience of Paris and France with an approach to learning that is both rigorous and fun.

The program is offered every year in the Fall (End of August-Mid December) and in the Spring (End of January-Mid May). Each session lasts 15 weeks. The curriculum is designed so that students can attend two consecutive semesters and spend an entire year studying in Paris, if they choose the Academic Year option.


The curriculum of the semester study abroad program consists of:

A core seminar on the History, Politics and Diplomacy of France and the European Union:

The core course provides students with a thorough understanding of France and Europe's governmental institutions, diplomacy, and foreign policy formulation. The Fall course focuses on France while the Spring course focuses on the European Union.

Several class field trips are organized, taking advantage of the proximity of many historical and cultural sites as well as French, European and International institutions to supplement the knowledge acquired in the classroom with firsthand observational experience.

A major component of the core course is the capstone project that enables students to do research on topics of current events in Paris and Europe.

Two courses from a choice of six electives:

  • Current Issues in International Relations

  • International Public Law

  • Clashes of Cultures in Paris and France

  • Politics in Francophone Africa

  • International Financial Management and Policy

  • International Marketing and Economic Development

Please note that depending on enrollment, course offerings cannot be guaranteed every semester; however, every attempt is made to satisfy students' preferences.

French language courses:

Included in the program are nine hours per week of French classes. Classes are organized in three-hour long sessions taking place in the mornings at the world-renowned language school Alliance française.
Students take an online assessment test prior to starting the program as well as a short oral examination upon arrival in order to be assigned to the class that is best fitted to their level.

Optional graduate courses

In addition to the undergraduate course offering, AGS in Paris provides the option for undergraduate students to follow a graduate course selected from its US-accredited International Relations and Diplomacy Master's program (see Graduate Course Offering).This option is open to students in, or about to enter, their senior year and demonstrating outstanding academic performance. Admission to these courses is not guaranteed and will depend on space available.

Credit policy

Students can earn 16 credits per semester toward an undergraduate degree according to the American credit system. Credit breakdown according to the US credit system is as follows:

  • 6 credits for the core seminar

  • 3 credits for each of the two electives (graduate-level courses count as an elective, if applicable)

  • 4 credits for the French language courses

Note that credits transferring into other educational systems will be at the discretion of the student's home institution. A dedicated counselor at the American Graduate School in Paris is available to assist international students in the transfer approval process at their home institution.

Trips and Extracurricular activities

Two student trips are organized every semester:

1. A two-day trip to one of the important political cities of the European Union:

  • Fall semester: Brussels, Belgium

Students do a private tour of the European Parliament and meet with an MEP (Member of the European Parliament). They also visit Brussels, see its famous Grand Place with its small bustling shopping streets, and get a chance to taste Belgium's famous chocolates and waffles.

  • Spring semester: Strasbourg, France

Students visit the Council of Europe where they get to see firsthand what they learn about in the classroom. They experience the distrinctive cultural identity of the Alsacian region of France, with its picturesque architecture and famous "terroir" cuisine.

2. A four-day trip to Nice on the French Riviera:

Located on the French Côte d'Azur (Riviera) along the Mediterranean coast, Nice is France's 5th largest city. Students explore the historical center (Vieux Nice) and the city's neighboring Louis XIV former castle site, medieval village and antique Roman ruins site. They get a taste of the French Provence cuisine and way of life.

In addition to the program trips, students often take advantage of their weekends and breaks to travel on their own time.


Each semester starts with a four-day orientation designed to help students to get familiarized with Paris and introduced to the program. This is also a time for students to get to know each other before the start of classes.

The orientation consists of:

  • An orientation meeting providing practical information on Paris (transportation etc.) and security guidance, as well as general and academic information about the program

  • A welcome dinner

  • Site visits of Paris, including museum tours, cultural walks and sightseeing covering Paris's famous landmarks as well as some off the beaten track sites


Accommodation is offered along with the AGS in Paris/Arcadia study abroad programs. Housing options include:

Private studio, shared or single

AGS provides student housing in a dedicated building, fully renovated, in the upscale 16th arrondissement. See more details on the AGS dedicated student housing

Students choosing the standard housing option will be placed with another student in a shared studio apartment with bunk beds, an en-suite bathroom and small kitchenette. This housing option is included in the standard program fee. There is an extra fee for a single studio.

Homestay with a French-speaking family

This option offers the advantage of enhancing the student's cultural and linguistic experience. This homestay option includes direct placement in a French-speaking home, where the student have their own room. Breakfast and dinner are provided every day. Host families are selected by Alliance Française's housing services based on strict selection criteria and former student reviews. AGS in Paris strongly recommends this option as a way to fully experience French culture and make progress on French language skills. There is an extra fee for this housing option (note that this extra fee includes breakfast and dinner).

Students are welcome to decline the pre-arranged housing placements. It would then be their responsibility to arrange for their own housing.

Note: depending on the date of arrival, studentsas a group usually spend their first two nights in a Paris hotel (coordinated by the program) before moving to permanent semester housing.


  • Fall semester: End of August to mid-December

  • Spring: End of January to mid-May

  • Academic Year: Combination of the Fall and Spring semesters with a break in-between

For precise dates please contact us at info@ags.edu

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Chrissie Graham USA
M.A., School of International Relations
Class of 2007

quote leftThe people that I met at AGS will remain my friends forever, despite the fact that they are now all over the world. I know each one of my professors personally and keep in touch with them. I don't think that I would ever have been as involved in my grad school if I had gone to a larger institution.quote right

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