APA is a French and Francophone study abroad program provider.

Academic Programs Abroad (APA)

Why choose Academic Programs Abroad (APA)?

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 and Francophone culture. For over 35 years, students from more than 80 US colleges and universities have received a personalized, immersive education abroad in Paris; Dakar, Senegal; Rabat, Morocco; and Fort-de-France, Martinique.

Built on the pillars of academics, culture, and community, each program in the APA portfolio is thoughtfully designed to challenge each student to immerse her or himself in all aspects of the French and Francophone lifestyle. Through this immersion, we have witnessed students grow to become not only more fluent but, mature and globally-minded citizens.



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Yes, I recommend this program

More than a study abroad program

Embarking on an adventure abroad is always a transformative experience, but my time in Paris with the Academic Programs Abroad (APA) was nothing short of extraordinary. From the unique course offerings to the comprehensive cultural immersions, APA provided an unparalleled journey into the heart of French culture, its beauty, its complexities, and its colonial legacy.

APA's curriculum is thoughtfully designed, offering a rich selection of courses that delve deep into French history, art, politics, and society. Each class was an invitation to explore the nuances of French culture, encouraging not just academic growth but personal introspection. The professors and instructors, experts in their fields, brought subjects to life with passion and depth, making learning both engaging and impactful.

What set APA apart was its commitment to cultural immersion. Through various activities and excursions, I was able to experience France beyond the classroom walls. Visits to historical sites, museums, and cultural landmarks offered a tangible connection to France's past and present. Moreover, APA's focus on the country's colonial legacy provided a critical lens through which to understand its culture and societal dynamics. This aspect of the program was particularly enlightening, offering a comprehensive view of France's impact on the world and the complexities of its multicultural identity.

The journey with APA wasn't just about academic enrichment; it was a holistic experience that catered to personal growth and cultural understanding. Living in Paris, navigating its streets, and engaging with its people allowed me to develop a profound connection to the city and its culture. However, immersion in a foreign culture can sometimes be overwhelming. In those moments, APA was a steadfast support system, a "rock" that helped me navigate the challenges of cultural adaptation. The staff's genuine care and guidance ensured that every student felt supported and valued, making the immersive experience more enriching and less daunting.

Even after the program concluded, APA's support did not wane. Their continued encouragement and resources have been invaluable as I further my journey with the French language and my connection to France. This ongoing support underscores APA's commitment to its students' long-term growth and their connection to French culture.

Reflecting on my time in Paris, it is clear that the experience was transformative. The lessons learned, the connections made, and the cultural insights gained have left an indelible mark on my personal and academic development. My time with APA in Paris is not just a memory to be cherished; it is a foundation upon which I will continue to build my understanding and appreciation of French culture.

In sum, my experience with APA in Paris was much more than an academic program abroad; it was a journey of discovery, learning, and personal growth. The comprehensive approach to cultural immersion, coupled with the unwavering support of the APA team, provided a deep and nuanced understanding of French culture. I will forever cherish my time in Paris with APA, and I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of such a remarkable program.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Reflecting on my experience with the Academic Programs Abroad (APA) in Paris, one aspect I'd emphasize for a more profound engagement is the importance of deeper integration with the local student community. Should I have the chance to do it over, joining French college clubs and organizations would be a priority. Participating in these clubs would offer a unique perspective on French student life, allowing for a vibrant exchange of passions, ideas, and cultural insights. It would serve as an excellent complement to APA's already comprehensive cultural and academic offerings, adding a layer of personal growth and intercultural exchange. Engaging with local students in their own environments would provide invaluable experiences beyond the structured academic and cultural excursions, fostering a deeper, more nuanced understanding of French society.
  • class selection
  • language support
  • cultural excursions
  • living selections
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Yes, I recommend this program

Could not recommend more highly!

I can't imagine a better study abroad program than APA. I wasn't even initially planning on studying abroad (I studied hard sciences, and most programs seem geared toward social sciences or humanities). But after taking the leap with APA, I could not be happier. I improved my french enormously, I was able to genuinely integrate into a different culture and country, and I built all of these skills of open-mindedness, resilience, confidence, and others. I was supported at all times, and APA gave me the tools to feel at home in this new city, with constant excursions, shows, and workshops.

The academic options available through APA are also incredible; being able to take courses at any Parisian university ensures that everyone will find what they want (or need), and you feel like a genuine French student rather than a visitor. Claire, Sophie, and Blandine are wonderful people as well as perfect help throughout the program. 3 years later, I now live in Paris, and I thank APA for giving me the base to continue living my dream. I'm so glad I chose APA!

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Yes, I recommend this program


Participating in Academic Programs Abroad - Paris was one of the best decisions I have made during my time as an undergraduate. The team of women behind the program are some of the most capable, supportive, and attentive people I have had the privilege of meeting.
I arrived to Paris relatively advanced in speaking French and left fluent -- all thanks to the program's dedication to giving its participants a fully immersive experience. I had no close ties in the city before arriving and left knowing that I would always have a family to look out for me there (thanks to my fabulous homestay arrangement).
The program's unique mix of program-provided courses and courses provided by local universities (like the Sorbonne!) enabled me to get a feel for what academic life was like in Paris and gave me a nice feeling of independence since we weren't always in our safe little cocoon (as the majority of participants in the program are from US schools). It was such a unique and eye-opening experience!
Overall, I cannot recommend this program enough to responsible students that want to:
1. Ameliorate their French language skills
2. Experience academic culture in Paris
3. Make new memories that will mature them and increase their self-confidence and ability to maneuver independently in the world around them
4. Visit cities and regions outside of Paris (this program includes culturally rich (and, quite frankly, awesome side trips to places outside of Paris).
5. Get out of the cocoon of their home university and experience all that the world has for them!

What would you improve about this program?
I would improve transparency regarding courses taken at public universities in Paris. Some of my courses didn't transfer back and some that I was interested in taking wouldn't (even though I was under the assumption they would). So, some more clarity surrounding that aspect would be appreciated. But it didn't mess me up too much in the long-run.
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Yes, I recommend this program

An amazing semester

APA does a fantastic job at cultivating a fun and stimulating semester for all students. There are countless cultural events meant to better integrate students to french culture. And everyone who works for APA is absolutely wonderful. Each one of them is very supportive and always available to help the students in whatever way they can. From them a very warm and friendly community is built for you in Paris. We got to experience a multitude of different planned events through APA: dances, plays, wine tastings, thanksgiving dinner, french films, football games, and so many more incredible events.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The most surprising experience we has was the week one program orientation held in the south of France. We got to sail catamarans, wake board and wind surf while enjoying the lovely beach.
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Yes, I recommend this program

I loved my semester with APA!

I am a Political Science and French double major, and I studied abroad with Academic Programs Abroad in Paris for the Fall 2019 semester! I absolutely loved my experience. The staff is wonderfully friendly and supportive, so even when I came upon difficult situations or experienced stress, I never doubted that everything would work out. If you're looking to improve your French skills, this is definitely a program for you. Each of my classes were taught in French and my proficiency improved by leaps and bounds over the course of four months. I also loved getting to know Paris, and Europe as a whole; the cultural program that APA puts together is incredible. With a weekend in Normandy, a day in Chartres, a play at the Comédie française, a cooking lesson, several dance performances, a cheese-tasting, and so much more, I felt culturally fulfilled by the time I left the country. If you would like to participate in a program that provides a truly valuable academic challenge along with a cultural education, I cannot recommend APA Paris enough.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Your first few weeks are probably going to be stressful, not only because of the language but because the Parisian school system and expectations (formatting of essays and homework, how to communicate with your professor, etc.) are very unique. Trust that you will get the hang of it and that academics will get easier! Remember, you always have the APA advisors rooting for you.


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Alumni Interviews

These 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.

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

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

Jalyn McNeal

Job Title
Program Specialist
Jalyn works with Academic Programs Abroad (APA) as a Program Specialist. Having studied abroad several times as both a FLAS & Boren Fellow and having served in the Peace Corps, Jalyn draws on his international experiences to help students navigate their time abroad with APA.
Jalyn McNeal


What is your favorite travel memory?

At the conclusion of my Peace Corps service in Morocco, I took a solo trip to Türkiye where I spent a few days exploring the city of Istanbul. I visited the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, the Arasta Bazaar, and the Sultanahmet Square.

As Türkiye is a Mediterranean country that is considered the crossroads of the Middle East and Europe, I really enjoyed getting to know the culture through the food, museums, and people I encountered during my stay.

I had such a good time in Istanbul that it led to me taking a year's worth of Turkish classes and studying a bit of Ottoman history during my graduate studies.

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

Since coming to Academic Programs Abroad, I have become even more confident in using my French skills outside of academic settings as it is now my main language of work and life.

Furthermore, it was through my work with APA that I was able to deepen my connection to the African continent through a work assignment in Dakar, Senegal. This allowed me to better understand different regions in Africa as I had only previously been in Morocco. Being of the African Diaspora from the U.S.A., going to West Africa for the first time was extremely important to me as it allowed me to connect with and exchange knowledge with West Africans face-to-face which had been a goal of mine for the past 10 years.

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

A student who had little to no experience abroad or with the French language took part in APA's semester program in Paris. Upon leaving the program, they had acquired a new sense confidence and overall ease with both France and the French language.

Success stories like those make me incredibly proud of not only what our programs can offer students but also the growth that students experience as they overcome their fears and develop a stronger sense of self while navigating early adulthood in the context of a foreign country.

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

I would really like to take part in the Multi-Country program that offers a semester of studies between France, Morocco, & Senegal. I think being able to conduct francophone studies between each of these countries while also garnering knowledge of the shared and separate histories of each through coursework is a once in a lifetime experience.

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

What makes Academic Programs Abroad unique is the emphasis our programs put on La Francophonie. Our French-immersion programs operate not only in France but throughout other French-speaking countries and regions around the world, offering a wider and more varied experience with the French language and Francophone cultures.

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

Being able to consistently offer a high-quality service/product to clients is what I believe to be one of the biggest factors in being a successful company. This establishes a firm sense of trust among clients, encouraging their loyalty and satisfaction with a company. This bolsters the company's reputation as more people would be willing to consider using the service/product of the company as word of mouth continued to spread.

Professional Associations

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