So you want to study abroad but can’t seem to make the commitment to a fall or spring semester? Summer is calling your name! Why not travel to the heart of Europe and the epicenter of all things historic and romantic? That’s right: Paris, France. The cultural roots of the French still stands on the cobblestone and kisses the sky on the Eiffel Tower. Take a walk down the Champs-Élysées and have the summer of your life!
We've listed a ton of program options just there to the right, but here are a few special programs to kickstart your research.
- ISA offers a variety of subjects to study in the city. These include: Art, French Language, and Business Culture. These five week courses include excursions to complement the course work and create a better understanding of the country and its people.
- CIEE offers a summer program to incorporate intensive language with literature, art, cinema, and culture. Professor lead excursions give the five weeks a broader view of Paris and the surrounding cities of France.
- CEA gives students a look into language immersion, culture, and society. These courses are taught at either the Catholic University of Paris or the Sorbonne. A short four weeks, or a two month program can provide excursions around France with cultural and social activities to engage amongst the Francophone society.
Of course, these programs are a quick overview of [some] of the options that are available. It is necessary that you research these programs and many others before you make a decision. Make sure you choose the program that is the perfect fit for you!
Why is Paris Perfect in the Summer?
Flowers are in bloom! Visit the Jardin du Luxembourg or Versailles to promenade through the large and colorful gardens. What's more, warm summer nights are perfect to watch le Tour Eiffel illuminate and glisten under the moon. Take a seat on a park bench and wait for the Tower to twinkle at the beginning of each hour.
Fresh fruit is in season at the Marchés (open air markets). Fill your shopping bag with fresh ingredients from local farmers. Be a part of the café culture. Enjoy a drink on the patio of a restaurant and bask in the summer sun where many artists, writers, and philosophers were inspired.
Important Parisian Events of the Summer
Be sure to enjoy these local holidays, festivals, and events when living it up in Paris next summer.
- May: Nuit des Musées - Museums stay open late (1 am) for free!
- June: Fête de la Musique - The Parisian music festival where all genres can be heard around the city.
- July: 1. Bastille Day, Fête Nationale - The French national holiday of the 1789 storming of the Bastille at the commencement of the French Revolution. Participate in a military parade, watch the brass bands and the fireworks! 2. Le Tour De France - The world renowned bicycle race around France concludes around the Arc de Triomphe. Don’t miss the sprint to the win! 3. Les Soldes - The sales, or the best reason to go shopping occurs in both January and July. The sales last for weeks and are the best time to grab a bargain.
Insider Cultural Tips
If you can avoid taking the métro during the rush hours, take a walk through the city. You will experience and see more while avoiding risky pick pocketers.
If your program allows it, arrive in late April. When the flowers are blooming in Paris, it is the perfect time to get the ambiance of the city before the tourists arrive.
Most shops are closed on Sunday. If they are open, their hours are in the morning, typically closing at noon.
To be respectful, learn and use French as much as possible. English is commonly understood if you are in a bind, but don’t rely on it.
Out of respect, use the “BMA” trick: “Bonjour” (hello) upon entering, “Merci” or thank you, for politeness, and “Au Revoir” (goodbye) when exiting. This will eliminate the negative stereotype of the “rude” Frenchman.
Regardless of the high tourism season in the summer, Paris is the center of France and has an enormous amount of excitement to offer the hopeful student. Paris is captivating no matter what time of year. You will experience the tug of Paris on your heart, and yearn to go back to learn more! Don’t wait to research your program!