APA Paris provides Parisian study abroad programs to American students.

Academic Programs Abroad (APA)

About

APA is a boutique program provider in Paris, France with a passion to provide a first-rate study abroad experience that unites academic excellence with the beauty and richness of French culture. For 30 years, students from over 80 US colleges and universities have received a personalized, immersive education abroad in the City of Lights.

APA challenges each student to immerse her or himself in all aspects of the French lifestyle: academically, culturally, and socially. Students take courses in any discipline alongside their French peers at our Paris partner institutions and can choose from our in-house electives. A rich cultural package is bundled into our programs, including performances at renowned venues as well as day and weekend excursions to other regions of France. Students live with carefully selected French hosts or in French student residences and are offered many opportunities to be involved in the community through volunteering, sports, music, and more.

Founded
1987
Headquarters

42 St. George Avenue
Stamford, CT 06905
United States

Reviews

Evan
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I highly recommend APA! The academic program offers probably the most flexible and diverse set of options possible, with access to multiple universities, in-house courses, and self-study. The APA staff was incredibly helpful with all aspects of student life, really going above and beyond to make sure we were comfortable with our courses, host family, and general life in Paris. One aspect of the program that I really underestimated before coming here was the cultural program. Getting (essentially) free weekly tickets to shows across Paris was an amazing way to engage with the cultural side of Paris in a way that I wouldn't have thought to do or wouldn't have been willing to spend the money on (don't miss the shows at the CentQuatre!). The program offers a great deal of independence while still fostering a tight-knit community between the students and staff (especially through the group trips). My language skills improved a lot and I overall gained confidence and independence.

My advice to future students is to speak French as much as possible (even when only among Americans) and go out as much as possible! When choosing classes, prioritize scheduling and finding classes that seem manageable/ professors that seem chill. I'm really academically oriented, but go for the 3- (or 4-) day weekend - you'll learn so much from taking classes in French within a new system, so focus the rest of your energy on cultural and social opportunities! Also, just be aware that your host family (or other living arrangement) will almost certainly not be in the center of the city, and that you'll sometimes have long commutes to classes. This is just realistic and part of life in Paris, but it's something I didn't think about before.

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Julia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

As an African Studies and French Language student, one of my biggest complaints was the lack of French-language study abroad programs outside of the Western world, until I found APA Senegal. The program's course content gives students an in-depth experience in a rich culture and the opportunity to make connections to locals (many of which I keep in contact with and miss very much). Living with a host family was a very effective way to improve skills in speaking French, and I felt much more comfortable with the language after completing the program. Academics are very rigorous but students will learn a LOT of new information in their classes, not only in French language but about local culture, economics, and analytical skills. I highly recommend this program and definitely do not regret choosing APA or Senegal.

What would you improve about this program?
As one of the students who participated in the first year of the program, we were very involved in giving constructive criticism to the APA staff as well as the professors. One of my biggest concerns was that the neighborhood was a 20 minute walk away from the university, which I was assured would not be the case in the future. I also requested that following programs incorporate a bit more Wolof (the main local language).
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Lindsey
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The thing I loved most about APA was the flexibility of the academic program. Students are capable of taking classes at multiple universities on multiple subjects. There are plenty of opportunities for independently seeking experiences as well.
Classes are held in different French universities, but APA offers personal and group language support, as well as language buddies and complimentary courses. I'm not sure the program could have done much more to provide additional academic support.
If you are looking for an immersive language program to improve your French, APA provides all the necessary tools to achieve your goals.

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Samantha
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had a great semester abroad with APA! I came into the semester very insecure about my French speaking abilities and unsure whether or not I would be able to take a full course load completely in French! With all the support and guidance APA provides it was completely doable and I learned so much. I only have good things to say about the ladies in charge of the program: Claire, Sophie and Blandine. The culture program and the museum passes were great as well!

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Jamie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

APA is a really wonderful program. Its greatest strength is the flexibility/options it provides - if you come to Paris wanting to take certain courses or do certain things, APA will give you the support to make it happen! You can really make the semester your own.

Claire, Sophie, and Blandine, who run the program, are compassionate and genuinely caring folks who go out of their way to provide a great experience for their students. I felt very supported by them throughout the semester.

I liked the courses I took in Paris more than many of my Princeton courses. Each one was fantastic. The in-house art class is not to be missed!

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

Alumni interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Mary Devlin

Mary Devlin is a 2014 graduate of George Washington University. After graduating, she spent a year teaching English in France before returning to D.C. to pursue a career in international development.
Travel in France

Why did you choose this program?

I chose APA Paris after doing a lot of research. One of my major goals going into my undergrad was to study abroad in France and to learn to speak French fluently. That being said, I was looking for a program that would provide me with the most immersive experience possible. I ultimately decided on APA because of its cultural program, its option to live with a host family, and its location in Paris.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

APA Paris is designed for more independent students. I had to get my own visa, book my own flights, and find my way to my classes at different local universities. APA organized my housing, put together the entire cultural program, and checked in periodically to make sure I was adjusting to life in Paris. I think that they have struck a great balance in that they trust their students to be autonomous adults but they are also always available to provide support and help when needed. And because it's a small program, students really get to know the three women who run the program, who are among the kindest, most attentive people I have ever met.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

I would say to go into the semester/year with an open mind. Don't let your expectations about what you think your experience should be like get in the way of enjoying the experience you actually have. Everyone will come back with a different story to tell. While you might not be able to travel to every place on your list, and you might not make a bunch of French friends, you will probably have an amazing time anyway.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

An average week for me consisted of attending classes, going to at least one theater/dance show, visiting museums, and eating dinner and watching soccer with my host family. The beauty of studying in Paris is that you don't have to go very far to have fun: the weekends were great opportunities to explore the museums by day, and restaurants and bars by night.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it and/or how did your views on the issue change?

I studied abroad for two semesters, so my biggest fear was being off-campus for an entire year (FOMO, if you will). And while I'm sure I missed out on some things in D.C., I'm also sure that I wouldn't have been able to take a weekend trip to Amsterdam or visit the Louvre in between classes. I also wouldn't have met some of the people who I still consider to be among my closest friends. Everything on campus was still waiting for me when I got back. In other words, I would make the decision to go abroad again in a heartbeat.

How has studying abroad affected your career?

I most definitely would not have the job I have right now if I didn't spend time in France. First, because I have to speak French daily in my position. Second, I developed a lot of skills abroad that I wouldn't have otherwise that I think employers see as really valuable. When you learn how to navigate the ins and outs of a different culture, you learn a lot about working with other people, respecting cultural differences, and functioning as an independent person.

Staff Interviews

Staff interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Monika Markley

Job Title
University Relations & Marketing Manager
Hailing from Charlotte, NC, Monika joined the APA team in 2016 and is the point-gal for all things pre-departure, marketing, and student outreach. Diehard Pittsburgh sports fan, total Francophile, aerial silk student, pretends she knows things about fancy craft beer.
female photo in front of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

What is your favorite travel memory?

When I arrived in Lyon, France for my study abroad back in the day, it was my first time traveling by myself. I was sad, homesick, alone, and luggage-less (my bags didn't make it on the plane with me!).

Rather than stay in my hotel room and mope (infinitely more depressing), I spent the day walking around the city, trying to get my bearings. I eventually found myself at the Rhone River and saw the Hôtel Dieu on the other bank with the basilica perched atop Fourvière Hill in the background. Seeing that beautiful sight for the first time on that cloudy, overcast day reaffirmed that I wasn't making a horrible life decision and that I had so much wonder and opportunity before me.

What makes this my favorite travel memory [now] is that I now LOVE traveling by myself! I've been to 5 countries and many more cities in the U.S. and abroad traveling solo. I'm entirely convinced that I would have never grown so much personally, without my time in Lyon.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I'm naturally a creature of routine and organization and in the world of study abroad, you can be certain to expect the unexpected! I'll probably always be a work in progress but my ability to adapt and roll with the punches has increased considerably.

I'm also super great at planning six months ahead now but, don't ask me what I'm cooking for dinner tonight.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

It's so fulfilling to hear stories of students who have had such a great experience in Paris, to continue their French for academic and professional goals.

We have had students return to France on Fulbright grants, for the TAPIF program (Teaching Assistant Program In France), and even to gain citizenship! Perhaps one of the coolest -- one of our alum is currently working at CERN's Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland as a Ph.D. student.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Paris will always have a hold on my heart! APA recently expanded with a summer program to Dakar, Senegal. Experiencing a completely new culture and section of the world would be such a treat!

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

While the landscape of study abroad is evolving, for the vast majority of students, they will likely study abroad once in their undergraduate careers. Which makes choosing the right program so important! In study abroad we talk about immersion and cultures and language--it's all about human interaction! You will not find a more caring, sincere, knowledgeable, attentive team than at APA.

As I was at a study abroad fair this fall, we had a few alumni volunteer at our table. My colleague Lindsay casually mentioned that our Paris Assistant Director, Sophie, was going to be in town next month for a conference. They were so excited, it was like Lindsay said a celebrity was going to be there, their reaction. How are you supposed to properly convey that on a brochure?!

Whether it's talking with a student at 9 p.m. because she can't find a visa appointment or hearing about how one of my colleagues in Paris comforted a student after she missed her flight home, it's those little things that may seem trivial but make the world of difference.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Communication! One of the best pieces of advice I've heard is that "you can't change what you don't know". We listen to our students, ask for feedback from our affiliate institutions, and are constantly in contact with our colleagues on the other side of the Atlantic.

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