APA Paris: Premier Academics, Culture, Community

Video and Photos

Academic Programs Abroad students visit French chateaus as part of the program.
Academic Programs Abroad students visit French chateaus as part of the program.
Explore Paris and create lifelong friendships at Academic Programs Abroad.
Explore Paris and create lifelong friendships at Academic Programs Abroad.
Art History students will visit museums as part of their studies.
Art History students will visit museums as part of their studies.

About

Become a true Parisian and take classes in French alongside your French peers with APA's Paris Program. Build your schedule by choosing courses, in any field of study, at our University of Paris and higher education partner institutions, in-house electives, or replace a class with an independent study/research. Receive weekly one-on-one language support with a French professor and teaching assistant. A wide range of academic support is available throughout your term in Paris.

Experience French culture with weekly events and tickets to the performing arts, exclusive day and weekend excursions. To facilitate a truly immersive experience, students live with carefully selected French hosts, in student residences, or independent apartment living. Many take advantage of community involvement opportunities like volunteering in an English class at a local elementary school or joining an intramural sports team. Two-month, full-time professional summer internships are available.

Highlights
  • Build your own schedule and direct-enroll into the Paris university system: take classes taught in French in the fields of your choice.
  • Choose an APA in-house course in art history and/or political science - an international study tour is included in each course!
  • Receive weekly one-on-one language support with a French professor and teaching assistant.
  • Take part in French culture with events, tickets to the performing arts, excursions, cooking workshop, and free entry into museums.
  • Extend your stay with a two-month, full-time summer internship.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

93%
based on 25 reviews
  • Academics 8.4
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.1
  • Housing 8.9
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 15 of 25
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Taylor
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

APA: The Ultimate Parisian Experience

Where do I even begin! Studying abroad with APA was my first time in a country besides the United States, and I absolutely fell in love with Paris (and Europe at large) thanks to the program's support and lineup of cultural events. The small, private nature of the program lends itself to this kind of care. For instance, when we arrived, we were given Navigo passes that allowed us free and unlimited access to the Paris Metro system and beyond. The program was great about its treatment of its students as individuals: I felt a sense of community and structure within the program, but also a great sense of independence to craft my experience and spend my free time in the ways that I desired. Everyone knew one anther, and great, lifelong relationships were formed as a result. Immersion into the Parisian University System was invaluable to my experience, and I left feeling like I could take on the city with ease.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Know that you are probably going to have a long commute to school (if not to the APA office in the 14th Arrondissement, then to the universities where you're studying). I used my long commutes as time to read and listen to new French music.
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Chris
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Super Fun!!

I had a wonderful time in France with APA! The language immersion really improved my skills and confidence in conversation and in the classroom. After coming home, I realized how much more advanced my language was. The events we had planned such as neighborhood visits, and weekend excursions were super fun and gave a lot of great historical overview. Traveling to other countries was easy and accessible. Academics were not too challenging but I still had some work to put in with language barriers. I loved my host family and had a great time getting to know them and exchanging cultural knowledge. The APA staff is very helpful and hospitable. Paris was absolutely beautiful and I miss it so much; I would love to spend another semester if I could!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Speak French always and travel as much as you can!
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Camille
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent program

APA was a huge reason that I had such an amazing experience abroad. Their incredible academic support and the cultural events they set up for students throughout the semester, provides students with both language and cultural immersion. Additionally, the option to stay with a homestay family, a dorm, or on your own provides students with flexibility in their living arrangements so that each student can choose what would be best for them. Since the program remained fairly small, only about 20 students, the staff provided us with personalized attention, especially during class registration since the French system can be much different than what we are used to. Overall, they truly cared that each student was having a fulfilling experience. APA is a fantastic program, and I highly suggest it!!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
The food was incredible in France, but the most unfamiliar thing I ate was stingray!
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Keyler
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Absolument Incroyable

I cannot say enough amazing things about APA. While at first I was hesitant to be thrown into all things French, APA helped push me and support me through every step of the way. I walked away from my semester in Paris with a vast cultural appreciation, near fluent in the language. Taking my business courses in French forced me to acquire a deeper understanding of the material, and between living with a host family, communicating with peers, and taking yoga entirely in French, I advanced tremendously without really realizing it in the moment. I am so grateful for the opportunity to live in a city with something new to see and do daily and with a program to help me grow so much. Not to mention I'm now a pro when it comes to the metro! Such a great experience going solo as I met so many likeminded students through APA who later became my travel buddies.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
My university was a bit difficult giving me credits, so I would have communicated with Claire Suraqui before going abroad so I could connect her with my abroad advisors.
Evan
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great, immersive experience in Paris

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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Lindsey
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Samantha
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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Jamie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

Madi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!!

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Sophia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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K
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
It would be great if we had the opportunity to study at Sciences Po as well
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Rachel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Katherine
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

Claire
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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

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Sage
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

"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.