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  • Locations: Paris, France
  • Program Terms: Fall
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English, French
Minimum GPA:
Program Features: Academic Program
Housing Options:
Departmental Approval: French Language Requirement: No
Credit Type: Skidmore Credit Non-Skidmore Student: Yes
Class Year:
02- Sophomore, 03- Junior, 04- Senior
Program Description:

Paris building mural


In fall 2017, make Paris your classroom with Skidmore Professor Hédi Jaouad from the Department of World Languages & Literatures. The fall 2017 Paris Fall Seminar, titled “Paris and its Margins,” allows students to experience another side of Paris, a side that is rarely looked at; it is the Paris of those who live on its margins. It is the Paris of immigrants and artists. Clearly, nothing compares with an on-site experience. This truism is particularly true of Paris, the most cosmopolitan place on earth. But there is Paris and Paris. Everyone is familiar with the tourist’s Paris of the Louvre and Eiffel Tower; in short, the Paris of monuments, high culture and lights. But there is the other Paris: underground, hidden and invisible but teeming with life and creativity. This is the Paris that enchanted Surrealist writers and artists. This is the Paris of today’s immigrants, mainly from North Africa. 

The Seminar Director for the fall 2017 program is Hédi Jaouad, Professor of French and Francophone Studies, who specializes in French Avant-garde art and literature, especially Surrealism.


Paris, the “City of Lights,” is home to a multitude of cultural riches and contemporary treasures. The Arc de Triomphe, Notre-Dame, and the Eiffel Tower represent the traditional architectural beauty of this capital city. But it would be a mistake to believe they embody all that Paris has to offer; Paris’ heart lies in the vibrant student life of the Latin Quarter, the bustling booksellers and local artists along the banks of the Seine, and the intimate cafés haunted by the ghosts of Hemingway and Picasso. Add to this the academic excellence of the Sorbonne and other Paris universities, and you will discover why Paris is the perfect place for our students to experience modern French life.

The Paris Fall Seminar program, offered every fall, is a faculty-led program designed to offer students an opportunity to study in Paris, even if they have little or no French language skills. The program is hosted by the IES Abroad French Studies Center, which is Skidmore’s onsite partner in Paris for the Skidmore in Paris programs. The Seminar Director position is filled by a different Skidmore professor each year, and past directors have come from the departments of Anthropology, English, History, Government, Philosophy, and World Languages & Literature.

The Skidmore in Paris is run in partnership with IES Abroad, a global, non-profit, study abroad organization with more than 130 academic programs in 35 locations. In Paris, students on the Paris Fall Seminar will have access to the IES French Studies Center, staffed with a IES Center Director and additional support staff. Located in central Paris, in the 14 arrondisement on a bustling market street near the Cimetière du Montparnasse. A thriving business district, the area is filled with restaurants, food shops, boutiques, and cafés. The IES French Studies Center serves as a home base for our students while they are in Paris. It houses classrooms for program courses, computer facilities, IES' administrative offices, and a student lounge area. The Center Director and staff are available throughout the program to provide whatever support and assistance our students might need. Skidmore aims to use only French in the program center, maximizing the linguistic benefit of the program and integration into French culture.

Academic Highlights

Paris Fall Seminar 2017
Paris and its Margins

PFS student groupThe seminar courses will explore the North African experience in Paris, including the political, religious, educational and musical aspects, as well as examining the Surrealist art movement that began and flourished in Paris. This seminar is developed for students with little or no French and aims to provide an opportunity for students to experience Paris in a very special way. The program will make use of the incredible resources that Paris has to offer by integrating cultural activities and excursions into the core courses. Students live with French hosts to allow them to experience French life firsthand.

The 2017 Paris Fall Seminar program, Paris and its Margins, is made up of the following courses for a total of 15-16 credits:

  • JPLL-263 North Africa in Paris 
  • JPLL-363 Paris of the Surrealists
  • French Language - Students will take an exam in Paris to place the appropriate level of French. All levels are available
  • Choose 1 additional course from the Skidmore in Paris: Liberal Arts, Language, & Business course offerings (art history, business, dance, French & European studies, English, history, international affairs, political science, and studio art). Additional course options available for students with the equivalent of 4 semesters of college-level French or more.


The housing option for the Skidmore in Paris program is a home-stay with a French family. Living with a French family allows students to fully participate in French culture on a daily basis. Each applicant completes a Housing Questionnaire, which our staff in Paris use to match students and families to the best of our ability. The student's preferences concerning personal comforts, eating habits, health requirements (smoking, allergies, etc.), and family composition are all taken into consideration during family selection. Students with no prior French language will be placed with bilingual families but are still expected to use French as much as possible. Each student has single room with a Parisian family (single woman, mother with children, a couple, or a couple with children at home).

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.