APA Paris: Advanced Program

Video and Photos

About

Become a true Parisian and take classes in French amongst French students with APA Paris' Advanced Program. Build your schedule by choosing 4-5 classes, in any field of study, at our schools of higher learning and University of Paris partner institutions, in-house electives, or replacing a class with an independent study. Receive weekly one-on-one language help with one of our professors and teaching assistants. Ongoing, personal academic support is also available by our APA Paris team so that you feel confident and successful during your time studying abroad.

Experience French culture with weekly tickets to the performing arts, exclusive day and weekend excursions, and more. Students live with carefully selected French hosts to facilitate a truly immersive experience and many opportunities are available to be involved in the community through volunteering, sports, music, and more. Consider extending your stay with a two month, full-time professional internship during the summer.

Highlights
  • Build your own schedule and take classes alongside French students in the field of your choice.
  • Receive weekly one-on-one language support with a French professor and teaching assistant.
  • Take part in French culture with tickets to the performing arts, excursions, cooking workshop, and free entry into museums.
  • Live with a host family, stay in a foyer (French student residence), or choose completely independent living.
  • Study for a semester or full academic year and extend your stay with a summer internship.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

92%
based on 20 reviews
  • Academics 8.1
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 8.8
  • Safety 9.1
Showing 1 - 15 of 20
Default avatar
Lindsey
9/10

APA Paris

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Samantha
9/10

Semester in Paris with APA

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!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Jamie
9/10

Highly recommend APA

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!

Yes, I recommend this program
Madi
10/10

I'm glad I chose APA!

The three women who run the program are amazing. Unlike other programs study abroad programs, APA is completely immersive. The classes offered at APA are great, and the classes at the university are challenging, but with the support of APA it's totally doable! I would definitely recommend APA to anyone thinking about studying abroad in France, and my only regret is doing a semester instead of a year!!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Sophia
9/10

Paris holds the key to my heart

It was my childhood dream to go to Paris and when I was applying to study abroad programs I was looking for a structured program with enough guidance to feel safe leaving the country for a semester but also enough leeway for me to enjoy free time in this new city. I wanted to get the most bang for my buck and APA delivered. I loved that we had could decide what Parisian universities to attend, our metro passes were included in the program fees, we got weekly tickets to all different kinds of shows across Paris (dance, traditional theater/avant garde, concerts), tutoring for French language. Sophie, Blandine, and Claire are very sweet and are genuinely concerned with how we were getting along with the program.

Things to note: 1) Beware of pickpocets! I can not stress this enough. Tourists/Americans are huge targets... even locals are frequently stolen from. Never leave your phone in your pocket. 2) You meet such amazing people through APA it's easy to stick to your new American friends and speak English. It's imperative to make French friends to learn slang and informal speech. 3) As a woman-of-color it can be a bit more of a culture shock to navigate being a minority in another country, make French friends you think might share the same experiences as you, they will have a lot of tips. 4) Some host families love it when you cook American meals to share with them at dinner 5) Explore the city even when you don't feel like it. A lot of times when I felt down and lonely cause I missed family and friends back home I'd go out to a part of the city I had never been before and discover something new to lift my mood.

All in all, this was an incredible experience and I'm so glad I chose APA. I felt so supported and I met some really amazing people and made lifelong friends!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
K
9/10

Really special in-house courses

One of the highlights of this programme is its two in-house courses. When I took the programme, the two in-house courses were Contemporary Politics of France and 20th Century French Art. These courses were both taught by local teachers in the field who had worked with the programme before. They were both extremely well researched and were patient with the different levels of french in the classroom. They came to the programme's centre to offer private classes to the programme's student, and it felt like a great luxury.

How can this program be improved?
It would be great if we had the opportunity to study at Sciences Po as well
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Rachel
10/10

Wonderful Study Abroad Experience!

I really enjoyed my study abroad experience with APA. Claire, Sophie, and Blandine who ran the program were very approachable and helpful. Their goal was to make sure students succeeded academically and had a great time in Paris. There were only ten students in the program which made the experience very personal. It was just what I needed to improve my French. Each week, we went to some sort of show which was wonderful. There were also visits to nearby towns and attractions. I really appreciated these outings because I most likely wouldn't have done these things on my own. The two classes that they offered were very interesting and included weekend study tours to other countries. They were taught by dedicated professors who enjoyed working with international students. APA did a fabulous job matching each student with a host family. I am very happy that I chose to attend APA's program because they made Paris feel like home.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Katherine
10/10

amazing immersive experience!

APA Paris was the best program I could've asked for for what I wanted. Coming from a small liberal arts college, I really appreciated that the program was small (only 10 students in my cohort) and that the small but extremely dedicated, approachable, and available staff really cared about each of our individual needs and voices. I became really close to the program staff in Paris and had lots of fun with them on the weekly outings that they organized for us! Each week, we saw a different artistic performance, whether it be a circus, dance, cabaret, musical, play, or other work! It truly allowed me to get to know a side of Paris that I would have never seen unless it was organized for me! The French university system is also radically different from my experience in the U.S., but luckily the staff spent three weeks with us at the beginning of the semester teaching us about the university system through an orientation program. That support continued throughout the semester through tutoring sessions to learn the methodology of our course work or meetings with professors. The two in-house courses were also absolutely incredible and allowed us to get to know French professors while still having a small, intimate class where discussion was highly encouraged. We also got to go on a study-tour to a different country for each of the in-house classes! Those trips were weekend-long trips organized by the program that helped expand what were were learning in the classroom. The host family I was set up with was super caring as well. APA Staff are very particular in their process of matching a student to a host family so that the best match is possible. I lived in a great area with a mother and her daughter and had dinner with them 5x a week. APA did a great job at helping us really get to know Paris and become immersed in the Parisian lifestyle. Through APA, I was able to meet several French students who would meet up with us regular to go out to cafes or concerts. Especially because it can sometimes be hard to meet French students at your university, it was nice that APA set up programs for us to meet French students that we could befriend. I am very thankful to APA for a great experience that not only helped me improve my France language abilities, but also allowed me to fall in love with the City of Light.

Yes, I recommend this program
Claire
10/10

Wouldn't do it any other way!

APA was the study abroad experience I had always dreamed about. Especially if you are interested in improving your french, this is the best way to go. APA offers a true immersion experience that other programs don't. Additionally, the cultural program gave us tickets each week for a show, whether it be dance, opera, or a "cirque." As Claire (awesome woman!!) the director put it, in a city of culture such as Paris, it is invaluable to be able to experience the variety and talent that the city offers. The ladies on the staff are AMAZING! It was like I had a whole team working to make my personal experience great, very personal attention. They do so much for us it is crazy, I even felt bad sometimes for all the incredible things they did for us to make our lives easier. So awesome! They specially select the host families and get to know you before you move-in to make sure that it will be a great match. I was lucky enough to get the greatest host-mother of all time who I love so much!!! Bottom line is I thank my lucky stars I chose APA, I would do it again in an instant, and if I went back in time I would do this program over any other even if I had to fight for it!!! Amazing 10/10 experience and program

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Sage
8/10

"La guerre des étoiles" and the Perfect Host Family

What will always stand out for me about my study abroad experience is my host family. I got to live with two of the kindest souls I've ever met, and they became like parents to me: when I left Paris, they told me that they had come to think of me as their adoptive daughter. Their family was such a great fit for me, and they will always be my fondest memory of Paris. And I would never have met them if it weren't for APA: their housing questionnaire was so extensive that I knew I would be paired with a family that suited my needs, and upon my arrival in Paris, they took the time to get to know me in person to make sure they had made the right choice. Only Sophie, Blandine, and Claire could have put me with a family that loved "La guerre des étoiles" as much as I do. They know exactly how to give their APA students the greatest experiences, from placing them in the right host family, to choosing incredible opera and dance as cultural excursions, to creating classes that allow for trips to the Louvre and even to London. I knew before even going to Paris that I would look back on APA as a fond experience, but I didn't realize how much I would appreciate their knack for providing me exactly what I needed while I was there.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Kylie
10/10

Amazing way to explore French culture and improve language skills

Going abroad to Paris with APA was undoubtedly the best experience of my college career. I lived comfortably in the 17th with my host family in an apartment surrounded by bakeries, close to the lovely Parc Monceau, and a few minutes walk from an amazing open-air market.

After class, I spent time with friends on the Seine or exploring Paris's seemingly-infinite collection of museums. On weekends, I wandered different Parisian neighborhoods, sat in cafes with a book and an espresso, and bar hopped. On several occasions, I was lucky enough to go on weekend excursions with APA to beautiful Chateaus, vineyards, and gardens.

APA offered a great support network and made the transition from American academics to French university fairly painless. They also invested a lot of time to make sure that students' course credits would be recognized at their home universities. Although the informal language classes at their Alesia office were a pain, I can't really say I have any other complaints about the academics.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this program - you are able to take classes whose rigor matches those of American schools (if you so choose), get the support you need from a small program, and experience french culture without living in an American bubble (which often happens with many other abroad programs and universities, like Sciences Po).

How can this program be improved?
I wish we had a little bit more free time on the weekend excursions and I think the oral expression class was completely unnecessary, especially for those living with host families.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Adriana
10/10

A True Taste of Paris

APA really gives you all the support you need while being abroad in a new country. Claire, Sophie, and Blandine took so much time to explain to us everything we needed to know, from the French university system to navigating living with a host family whom they very carefully chose for us. My host mom was amazing and gave me an even deeper look into what normal Parisian life is like while helping me greatly improving my French. Taking classes in real life French universities with French teachers and students was an extraordinary experience. Being unfamiliar with the system, there were a fair amount of struggles in regards to handling the academic work but APA does the most it can for us to be challenged yet supported. I am very grateful for these three ladies, their knowledge and expertise helped create a wonderful experience for me in Paris. I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone who is truly looking to immerse themselves in the rich culture.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Amanda
10/10

APA Spring Semester 2011

My experience with Academic Programs Abroad made my study abroad in Paris incredible. Each of us received personalized, thoughtful treatment as an intimate group of students studying in the program. I thoroughly enjoyed the cultural programming that was offered almost twice a month, and the two weekend trips to Normandy and the Loire Valley were memorable and so well organized. I made lifelong friends in this program, which did so much to foster these friendships and to cultivate these connections. Furthermore, APA accurately paired me with a host family whom I adored, and with whom to this day I still keep in touch with. I appreciated their approach in not pairing me with a family right away, rather getting to know me for a few days before making a decision as to the right type of living scenario and family I would feel most comfortable with. I would recommend APA Paris to anyone looking to explore liberal arts studies in Paris and to make such amazing memories along the way!

Yes, I recommend this program
Mary
9/10

APA Paris Fall 2012 and Spring 2013

When I was looking for a study abroad program, I knew I wanted to go to France, and I knew that I wanted to have an immersive experience that allowed me to improve my French skills and learn as much about French culture as possible. With APA, I got exactly what I was looking for--and way more.

Organization/management: I can't say enough good things about the women who run APA. They truly go above and beyond to ensure that each student has a good experience in France. They make themselves available at all hours of the day and are always willing to talk about classes, home stay issues, and even personal problems. They make Paris home away from home for the time you're they're--and they even organize an amazing Thanksgiving dinner.

Housing: I was fortunate enough to be able to stay for the whole year and with the same family; I still keep in touch with them and I've visited them in France and they've visited me in the US. I have really great memories thanks to them, from watching the election from afar with my host day in 2012 to spending time with them in the Loire Valley. That being said, living with a host family is a different experience for everyone. APA does a ton of research and interviews before placing students with families, so most of the time, things do work out. I think that the most important thing is to go in with an open mind, and with an understanding that you are living in someone else's home and that you need to respect their rules (if there are any). The people who struggled the most were those who couldn't get out of the "dorm mindset." For example, if your host mom decides that dinner is at a certain time, you need to show up or let her know in advance that you won't make it.

Classes: For the most part, students take classes at local universities with APA. Honestly, the academics aren't on par with public/private universities in the US, but that's out of the control of the program. I really enjoyed some of the classes I took, others were not so great. APA bolsters French universities by offering their own classes, a shopping period, and private tutors. I felt as if I did so much learning outside of the classroom with APA, in terms of my French and knowledge of French culture and learning how to live in a different country--so it was a worthwhile trade-off.

Cultural program: This is one of the most unique aspects of the program, and it really allows you to get to know France. I loved the weekend trips we want on to different parts of the country--the sites were spectacular and there was never a shortage of food/wine!

If this sounds appealing to you, APA might be a perfect fit. I am so, so glad that I decided to spend a year with them. Not to get too cliche, BUT it truly can change your life.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Breana
9/10

One of the best decisions I've ever made.

As someone who is truly passionate about French language and culture, I can honestly say that studying with APA was one of the best choices I have made, not only in my academic career, but on a more personal level as well. I had grown restless studying French in school, feeling that I had peaked in my abilities and wanting to take my French to the next level. That's why I chose APA — I wanted to immerse myself in the language, take all of my classes in French, and live with a host family. So I did! And I took every advantage of the opportunities APA offered me, from the weekend excursions (my favorite part of the whole program) to the weekly shows and events, I did it all and loved every second of it. By the end of the year, I really felt like Paris, and the APA office in particular, were home to me.

If I could do it all over again, I would choose APA in a heartbeat. My advice for anyone considering the program: your metrocard is your ticket into the most interesting parts of the city. Use it as much as you can. Take the APA Art History class — it's challenging, but you'll learn a lot! Take advantage of all of the trips and shows APA offers. They're a great way to connect with other people in the program, while also getting to see some incredible performances. Don't be afraid to ask questions, especially to former APA students — we're here to help!

And, most importantly, keep an open mind. The more you use the resources available to you, the more you'll get out of them!

Yes, I recommend this program

Interviews

Meet the Alumni

Meet the Staff

About 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 culture. For 30 years, students from over 80 US colleges and...