The French Connection: Language and Culture in Paris.


The French Connection: Language and Culture in Paris

Summer 2018 | Paris and Normandy, France

  • Applications Are Due Feb. 1
  • Program Fee: $4,300
  • Dates: June 2 – 29, 2018

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Experience Paris like a true Parisian, living and studying in the City of Light. Stay with a host family in a residential arrondissement. Commute to your morning classes at the Alliance Française, stopping for a café or croissant along the way. Explore the city from both sides of the Seine, strolling the iconic Avenue des Champs-Élysées but also discovering quiet neighborhoods of narrow alleys and hidden courtyards. A side trip to coastal Normandy, with its small villages and stunning landscapes, reveals new aspects of French culture.


French Language

Sharpen your French at the Alliance Française, the world’s leading international institute for the teaching of French language and culture. Each student is individually assessed and placed in classes at the appropriate proficiency level, then tested again at the program’s end. You return to Drew with greater fluency in the language, more comfortable reading, writing and speaking French.

French Culture

Make deep connections with French culture, its cuisine, art, cinema, music, literature and more. Visits to museums and heritage sites give you a thorough grounding in French history and society. Excursions across Paris introduce you to vastly different neighborhoods and local communities. By navigating the city on foot and via public transportation, you gain an intimate understanding of Paris—its streets, its people and its way of life.


Academic Instruction

Take two courses at the Alliance Française. One is a traditional vocabulary and grammar course; the second is an intensive conversation workshop. Enjoy the institute’s creative approach to learning, from discussions of current events to participation in theatrical methods like sketches and expressive movement. Written and oral assignments—for example, creating a guide to a Parisian neighborhood or developing interview questions for a guest speaker—reinforce both language skills and cultural understanding.

Experiential Learning

Learn to be a confident, independent Parisian. Start by visiting major sites, from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre, with your entire class. Soon you’re breaking off into small groups (or even on your own) to explore the arrondissements that interest you most: the posh 16th, or maybe the bohemian 18th? In no time, you have the scoop on which boulangerie makes the best baguette. Bonus: You’ll meet French students your own age, giving you an insider’s access to Paris.

Cross-Cultural Immersion

Polish your world-citizen credentials through full immersion in Parisian life. Classes at the Alliance Française are a global (not just a French!) experience, with students hailing from 160 nations. Daily routines with your host family reveal the differences—and similarities—between French and American culture. Sharing in the city’s street life, from riding the metro to dropping into a pâtisserie, leads to meaningful interactions with others and greater ease with cross-cultural exchange.

Going to a lot of museums in Paris and Rouen, I got to see many different approaches to curating art, which was fascinating and helpful to my future career as an arts administrator. And living with a host family, who were very left thinking, we talked all the time about politics and economics, which challenged my assumptions about capitalism while giving me a lot of practice in French language and grammar. ”
Esther Tobe C’17
ShortTREC: French Language and Culture in Paris, 2016


Muriel Placet-Kouassi, PhD, Assistant Professor of French

Professor Placet-Kouassi teaches advanced courses on 20th and 21st century French and Francophone literatures, films and cultures. She has been part of the New York African Film Festival since 2003. She has lived in Burkina Faso and Niger in past years.