Paris, France

French Language & Culture

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Information for term French Language & Culture

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Sep 2 – Dec 19, 2020 (15 weeks)

Application Deadline

September 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: September 1, 2020
  • Dates: Feb 3 – May 22, 2021 (15 weeks)

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Sep 2, 2020 – May 22, 2021 (37 weeks)


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Study at the world-famous Sorbonne in the City of Light

Everyone dreams of a trip to Paris, but how many get to actually live there like a local? Here’s your chance to enjoy an unparalleled gap year experience in one of the world’s most beautiful and culturally important cities.

There’s a reason tens of thousands of students flock here to study abroad every year. Writers, artists, and composers from around the world have been drawn here for centuries as well. Inspiration fills the air. Spend your mornings in French class at the world-famous Sorbonne, and your afternoons practicing your conversational skills in cafés, shops and museums. Explore the city’s village-like neighborhoods, and soak up the rich culture all around you.

At home with your welcoming homestay, you’ll converse in French, prepare and share meals, and enjoy the everyday life of a native Parisian. When you’re not in class or at home, you’ll have your pick of things to do. Hit the literary cafés and old haunts from the days of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein. Visit priceless masterpieces at the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay, take a sunset ride on the Ferris wheel at Place de la Concorde, see spectacular ballet at L’Opera Garnier. Relax in the city’s many parks, or unwind with an espresso at a café perfect for people-watching. Further afield, enjoy day trips and excursions to unforgettable destinations like Versailles, Provins, and Alsace.

The Take-Aways

  • Language Proficiency

    15 hours per week of French language instruction

  • Global Citizenship & Cultural Competence

    Completion of CIEE’s Global Competence course providing you with a strong foundation in the core components of intercultural learning.

  • Certificate

    A Certificate of Learning in French

  • of alumni said their language skills improved

  • said they learned to interact with different cultural backgrounds

  • said their level of independence increased


Location & Culture

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Art, architecture, and history abound in one of Europe’s most culturally important cities.

Home to the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame cathedral, the first couture fashion house, some of the best culinary chefs in food today, and an abundance of cafés (one for every 200 inhabitants), the “City of Lights” is an amazing place to spend a gap semester or full gap year.

Language classes are held at the Sorbonne, the oldest university in France and one of the most famous institutions of learning in the world. Dating back to 1105, it has enjoyed an international reputation for its academic performance in the humanities since the Middle Ages. A number of famous scientists, intellectuals, popes, and members of royalty were educated here.

Drink café au lait in outdoor cafés, linger in bookstores and galleries, stroll the famous Champs-Élysées. When you make France’s capital your classroom, you open yourself to a world of educational opportunity and cultural inspiration. You could easily find so many adventures within Paris that you choose to never leave the city! But if you get the urge to explore, there are many exciting and easily accessible choices, several of them included in your CIEE program. Take a day trip to hotspots like Versailles, Mont-Saint-Michel, and Giverny. If you have more time, try Lyon, Marseille, or the Loire Valley. Many other major cities of Western Europe are just a cheap flight away.


Daily Life

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Daily Life

"After my trip with CIEE I have definitely grown in ways I never could if I had stayed in the US."

Learn more about daily life on a high school study abroad program by reading our blog.


  • Housing

    Private bedroom in home of carefully screened homestay. Most of our homestays in Paris have hosted CIEE students for at least 10 years.

  • Local Support

    CIEE resident staff available 24/7.

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs


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Sample Activities & Excursions

  • Go on tours of some of the world’s most famous museums, including the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Centre Georges Pompidou.
  • Hit the literary cafés of the city to celebrate the days of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein.
  • Take a bike tour! See famous sites and hear famous stories as you pedal through the streets of Paris.
  • The program fee also includes two day trips and one multiday excursion hosted by CIEE staff per semester, so you’ll get the chance to take in the diverse sights and sounds of several French landmarks:


Take a train for a day trip to visit the royal château in Versailles in the Île-de-France region of France. When the château was built, Versailles was a small village dating from the 11th century. The grand destination is now home to a magnificent palace, garden, and Marie Antoinette’s estate.


Do you enjoy exploring castles, ramparts, and crypts? Then this is the day trip for you. This medieval French village in the shadow of a 12th century tower lies just an hour or so from Paris.


Head off for a multiday adventure in Strasbourg to visit the European Parliament and tour the city and castle there. Shop at the local Christmas market, Alsace’s main attraction in the winter.

Please note this list of activities is based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to both adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when revising itineraries is always to enhance your experience. Every activity is designed to provide you with a deep immersion in your topic, local culture and sights. Get ready for maximum fun!

What People are Saying

  • I didn't know any French going in, so CIEE was a great fit. Culture classes were in English for everyone while grammar, pronunciation (Sorbonne course), and vocabulary (Sorbonne course) classes were split by level. I got an excellent intro to the language without missing out on cultural learnings.

    Taisa K., CIEE Gap Year Abroad alumna
  • One of the most incredible things about living here is that history is still very much alive. I'm often able to connect places, politics, and customs to French historical events. Sometimes I'm even reminded of my AP European History textbook – for instance, the time I saw a painting at the Musée d'Orsay which had been printed on one of the book's pages! It was mind-boggling to think that I was right next to a painting of such historical significance.

    Helen W., CIEE Gap Year Abroad alumna
  • My life has completely changed thanks to CIEE. After attending only two or three months of my gap year, I decided to make Paris my home. Coming back on my own as an independent student has been a challenging experience, and keeping in touch with CIEE staff has been key in my success not only during my gap year, but also in staying in France. Because of Lucie and all of the CIEE staff, I have finally become a person I can be proud of, and have found my place in the world.

    Caroline Y., CIEE Gap Year Abroad alumna

Eligibility & Fees

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Eligibility & Fees


Fall: Rolling Admissions
Spring: November 15
Contact CIEE for more information.


  • High school graduates in good academic standing.
  • Students must demonstrate, through the application and interview process, flexibility and maturity.
  • Students must be 18 years or older at the time of their departure.
  • No previous language experience required.



You can create a duo program by combining any two CIEE Gap Year Abroad semesters and get 10% off the second semester.

Apply to a Fall Semester or Academic Year term by our 5/1 priority deadline and get $400 off the cost of your program. Apply to a Spring Semester by our September 1 Priority Deadline and get $400 off the cost of your tuition.

Program fee includes iNext travel insurance. Full inclusions are found online.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Academic Year 2020 37 weeks Rolling Admissions Sep 2, 2020 May 22, 2021


Fall 2020 15 weeks Rolling Admissions Sep 2, 2020 Dec 19, 2020


Spring 2021 15 weeks Sep 1, 2020 Feb 3, 2021 May 22, 2021


Ready to change your life?