OverviewClick to Open
Sharpen your eyes and French skills in gorgeous Paris
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.
This program was designed for the art lover in you, combining language learning with visits to art shows, major museums or guest lectures and workshops. Paris is a unique destination for all things art and architecture. Experience the best the city has to offer first-hand through exciting tours, workshops and exposure to those who influence the local art scene!
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 improving your language skills 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.
CIEE Gap Year Abroad programs are focused on supporting participants in acquiring knowledge and developing skills to live in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world. In addition to developing your language skills and gaining a better understanding of the local culture, you will take part in our Global Competence Course. This online course will allow you to connect and collaborate in real-time with our entire cohort of Gap participants worldwide, through interactive workshops and discussions. Reflect on your own cultural biases, share insights about your experience and learn about topics ranging from cultural identity and leadership styles to how to work and live sustainably or develop communication skills.
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. Make the most of this amazing opportunity!
15-20 hours per week of French language learning designed to improve real world language skills
Build a strong foundation in the core components of intercultural learning. Come home with an improved sense of self and awareness of what shapes others
Earn a Certificate of Learning in French
of alumni said their language skills improved96%
said they learned to interact with different cultural backgrounds94%
said their level of independence increased89%
Location & CultureClick to Open
Art, architecture, and history abound in one of Europe’s most culturally important cities.
Home to the Eiffel Tower, 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.
Famous museums hold rare treasures and draw visitors with a range of interests. The multi-level Louvre, the world’s largest and most visited museum, displays more than 35,000 pieces of art. Best known for iconic masterpieces like the Venus de Milo and Mona Lisa, it also features major galleries dedicated to Middle Eastern and Islamic art. The Musée d’Orsay, originally a train station designed for the 1900 World Fair, houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world. The Cluny Museum, set inside the ancient Roman baths, is filled with incredible artifacts and artwork from Medieval Europe. Interested in science and technology? Head to the National Museum of Natural History and the Paris Observatory. For those with a more eclectic taste, there’s the Museum of Magic and the Catacombs of Paris.
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 LifeClick to Open
"A succesful Gap experience achieves the right balance between structured language instruction, practice in the community and cultural activties to be fully immersed in the local culture.
Here's how a typical week goes on a CIEE Gap Language & Culture program:
- 15-20 hours of interactive language learning at a language school
- 1 hour of the CIEE Global Competence Course (online with our global gap community)
- 2 cultural activities
- Free time to explore and have fun!
Weekends are for group excursions (two per 6-week block) or personal travel and exploration.
*If Covid-19 homestay requirements cannot be met participants will be placed in a CIEE-vetted dormitory or apartment. Confirmation will be communicated to participants in advance.
Local CIEE Center staff available 24/7
ActivitiesClick to Open
- Go on tours of some of the world’s most famous museums, including the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Centre Georges Pompidou.
- Discover the Montmartre neighborhood located in north Paris. Discuss with staff the area’s artistic significance. Walk the winding cobblestone streets to visit several landmarks including the Sacre Coeur Basilica, the Place du Tertre artists’ colony and the I Love You wall.
- Take a bike tour! See famous sites and hear famous stories as you pedal through the streets of Paris.
Sample Day Trips
- 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.
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!
Eligibility & FeesClick to Open
Eligibility & Fees
- 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.
Apply for one or two 6-week blocks. Combining blocks in two different locations is not yet available.
Program fee includes iNext travel insurance. Full inclusions are found online.