OverviewClick to Open
Expand your French skills and palate in the city of (de)lights
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 delightful cities in Europe.
Frog and snail lovers beware. This program was designed for serious foodies! You will receive between 15-20 hours of language learning per week coupled with activities focused around French gastronomy. France is a culinary powerhouse and its cuisine and chefs have influenced food culture around the world. Experience what makes French cooking so unique and special. Combine your language learning with food tastings, cooking workshops, activities with local chefs and artisans. This adventure will take you on a journey you won't forget!
Spend your mornings in French class at ACCORD Paris, 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.
Home to some of the world's most famous restaurants, you won't need to break the bank to feast in Paris. Follow the advice of our local staff and sample traditional fares at the local brasseries. Shop Paris' many open air markets for the freshest produce you'll ever find and try a new French recipe! Treat yourself to a macaron at the place where the macaron was actually invented!
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 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, 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.
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
French cuisine is championed around the world as the gold standard in culinary greatness. Home to some of the most amazing cheeses, wines, pastries and the famous ratatouille, Paris offers an incredible array of gastronomical experiences and is an amazing place to spend a gap semester or full gap year.
Additionally, the city's 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 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.
- Participate in a French pastry workshop with local chefs where you will make some of the most popular French desserts. Learn from the professionals what makes French pastries so iconic, how they implore tricks of the trade to make such incredibly delicious treats and get a behind the scenes look at a pastry shop in Paris.
- 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.