An outdoor market in Aix-en Provence. Photo by Lauren Walter (Marymount Manhattan College, SLC Paris '08)Upon arrival in Paris, students begin a two week orientation period designed to give them the knowledge and the skills that will prove essential in the months to come. Activities include conferences on French culture and teaching methods, guided trips in and around the city, and intensive language study.

The port of Marseille, with Notre-Dame de la Garde in the distance

In September, students embark on a one- or two-week excursion to a French province, where they take intensive language courses, live with host families, and learn about the history and culture of the region. Students in the French Language and Cultural Studies program travel to Tours (Loire Valley), where they have the opportunity to visit the region’s spectacular Renaissance castles. Students in the Advanced Seminar Studies program spend a week in Arles (Provence region, Southeastern France) and explore the Provence Region(Avignon, Camargue). Excursions during the orientation period may also include travel to Marseille, France’s second largest city and learn about immigration in France or to Aix-en-Provence and learn about gothic architecture.

Students enjoy dinner in Aix-en-Provence during OrientationExamples of Orientation Activities:

  • Private tour of the Comédie Française and attendance at a play
  • Visit: the French and Italian collections at the Louvre museum
  • Conference: “Daily Life in France”
  • Guided tour of the Sainte-Geneviève Library

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Thoughts on the Paris Program

“I appreciated the activities provided in the Program and the help it has given me to speak French. Profitez!"

–Allison Tepper, Reed College