Combining these two Core courses into a single experience offers the opportunity for a rich exchange between the multiple contexts of Western artistic and musical creation. Open to Columbia undergraduate students, this is a special opportunity to take the courses in Columbia’s Core that pertain to the arts while studying abroad in a city particularly suited to artistic investigation.
This summer was a dream! One of the best parts of my Columbia experiences so far. It brings one's appreciation of art and music to a completely different level by not just teaching you the skills to interpret works but also the love for them. -- Summer 2019 participant
- Take both Art Humanities and Music Humanities in 6 weeks
- Distinct disciplinary focus with overlapping emphasis on Parisian musical and visual cultures
- Shared concerts, museum visits, and trips to important sites in the region
- Live and study with other Columbia undergraduates in a Parisian student residence
- 3 points of credit for each course appearing on Columbia transcript
The museum visits and trips to Amiens, Giverny, Amsterdam, the opera and others enhanced my learning experience and engagement with the material. Not only could we apply classroom knowledge to the real pieces of art and music, but the lectures given on sight were incredible. In no other setting could I have learned so much in such depth. -- Summer 2019 participant
Eligibility and Application
- Must be a currently enrolled student in Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, or the School of General Studies
- May not have taken Art Humanities or Music Humanities
- Students may apply to only one Summer Core program, either Paris or Berlin
- All students must meet the basic requirements for studying abroad: a 3.0 cumulative GPA and good academic and disciplinary standing in their home school
- Although knowledge of French is not required, some study of the language will be useful for students living in Paris
How to Apply
Want to apply? Click the “Start Your Application” button above. If the button doesn't appear above, the program is not yet accepting applications. You will be asked to set up a short profile, which will allow us to send you relevant information about your application. Once you’ve created a profile, you will see a checklist of items that you will need to submit. These generally include:
- Application questionnaire(s)
- Personal Statement
- Letter(s) of recommendation
NOTE: This program includes an interview process for admission.
Note: The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary.
Humanities O1121. Masterpieces of Western Art. 3 points
Art Humanities teaches students how to look at, think about, and engage in critical discussion of the visual arts. The course focuses on the formal structure of works of architecture, painting, and other media, as well as the historical context in which these works were made and understood. In addition to discussion-based classes like those held in New York, Art Humanities in Paris will make extensive use of the city through field trips to museums, buildings, and monuments.
Humanities O1123. Masterpieces of Western Music. 3 points
The focus of Music Humanities is the masterpieces of Western art music in their historical and cultural contexts. The specific goals of the course are to awaken and encourage an appreciation of Western music, to help the student learn to respond intelligently to a variety of musical idioms, and to engage the student in the issues of various debates about the character and purposes of music that have occupied composers and musical thinkers since ancient times. Students become actively involved in the process of critical listening both in the classroom and in the live performances that are as central to the course in Paris as in New York. Using a “great works” approach, the course will look at the changing genres and styles of music, examining composers’ choices and assumptions, as well as those of their patrons and audiences, as it moves chronologically from the Middle Ages to the present.
**Please note that attendance at all class meetings, concerts, and excursions, unless otherwise indicated, is mandatory.
Grades and Transcripts
Click here for the Columbia summer program grading policies.
Upon successful completion of the program, grades are entered into SSOL as Columbia grades and are calculated as part of your GPA.
No credit is granted to students who do not complete the full program
Life in Paris
I would definitely recommend this program to other students due to the strong sense of community that was established between the students, professors, and program assistants. Just being together in another country and having an extremely packed and intense schedule made us a lot closer. In addition, I think the professors did a very good job of integrating the established course material with the city of Paris itself. -- Summer 2019 participant
All students will be housed together in double rooms at a residence in Paris. It is required that you live in the program housing.
The quality of the dormitory wasn't what I was used to back on New York campus in the Columbia dorms, but the friendly staff, quiet floors, and INCREDIBLE location completely make up for everything else. The Luxembourg subway stop right outside the door was invaluable. The Foyer really became a home towards the end, and I will miss it a lot. -- Summer 2019 participant
No meals are included and there is no meal plan. However, there are grocery stores, boulangeries, fromageries, and charcuteries where students can buy food for casual dining.
There are several low-budget travel guides that give information about where to eat in Paris, as well as many blogs devoted to eating in Paris. We recommend taking the time to do some research beforehand if you are unsure about what to expect.
The program already has many course-related activities that will help students engage with the cultural life of Paris. Instructors will also organize a few social events. However, students are encouraged to take advantage of the many student discounts available to them and to explore Paris on their own. In addition, the Columbia Global Center has many activities throughout the summer that are open to students on the program free of charge.
Daily Living and Schedule
This program has a very full schedule and students should expect to devote most of their time in Paris to the program and complementary activities. Classes meet Monday through Thursday; most Fridays and weekends are reserved for excursions. Students will spend a lot of time with each other and the instructors of the course.
Columbia Global Centers|Paris at Reid Hall is the home base of the program and where you will take all of your classes. Reid Hall is a small group of buildings owned and administered by Columbia. It also serves as an educational center for other American universities and for scholars from around the world. For over a century, its long and distinguished past of intellectual, artistic, and cultural exchange has made it significant to the relationship between France and the United States.
Located in the lively Montparnasse (sixth) district of Paris, near the Luxembourg Gardens and within walking distance of the Latin Quarter and several branches of the University of Paris, Reid Hall was constructed in the early 18th century, before the French Revolution. Modern additions have enlarged the facility, creating an interior courtyard and private garden. Reid Hall primarily houses administrative offices and classrooms and also has a small reference library, a reading room, lounges, a multimedia lab, and two large conference rooms. Students have access to WiFi in all common areas of Reid Hall.
The faculty and program are supported by the staff of the Columbia Undergraduate Programs in Paris and the Columbia Global Centers: Paris. While you may encounter any number of staff members onsite, you will mostly interact with the Columbia Undergraduate Programs director, Séverine Martin-Hartenstein and the Administrative Assistant, Lucille Lancry.
Born in Poland, Magdalena Baczewska [baCHEVska] has enjoyed a multi-faceted career as a pianist, harpsichordist, educator, recording artist, producer, and an administrator, currently serving as Director of the Music Performance Program and Lecturer in Music at Columbia University. The press describes her as a “world-class” musician (The American Record Guide), and a “player of taste and admirable sensitivity” (Palm Beach Arts Paper). Her performances have been praised as “eloquent & technically flawless” (The Washington Post), “highly sophisticated and truly admirable” (The Weekend, New York). She has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, China National Symphony, and Macao Symphony, among others. She has appeared in concert with violinist Joshua Bell, as well as with maestro Tan Dun, with whom she has enjoyed an extensive collaboration. Magdalena has toured Europe and the US with double performances of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, which she performed twice in one evening, on the harpsichord, then on piano (this has not been done since Rosalyn Tureck’s 1977 double-bill performance at Carnegie Hall). Magdalena has also performed throughout Europe, China, and the US, appearing in Carnegie Hall (NYC), Davies Symphony Hall (San Francisco), National Center for Performing Arts (Beijing), Guangzhou Opera House (Guangzhou), Shenzhen Polytheater (Shenzhen), and Salle Cortot (Paris), among others. More information at MagdalenaNYC.com.
Lindsay Cook is Visiting Assistant Professor of Art at Vassar College, where she teaches medieval art and architecture. She earned her M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from the Department of Art History & Archaeology at Columbia and her B.A. in Art History and French from Vassar. Her research focuses on the intersection of medieval architectural and institutional history in Paris and its environs, particularly centered on Notre-Dame of Paris. Invested in the digital humanities, she has contributed to Mapping Gothic France, Chant Manuscripts, Life of a Cathedral: Notre-Dame of Amiens, and she is a project member of FAB-Musiconis, an interdisciplinary three-year grant project in medieval musical iconography based at Columbia and the Sorbonne. As a complement to her research, she has coordinated undergraduate study trips to Amiens and Jerusalem for art history travel seminars. She has previously taught Art Humanities, and she has had the pleasure of working in the Art and Music Humanities summer program in Paris since its inaugural year.
Robert E. Harrist, Jr. is the Jane and Leopold Swergold Professor of Chinese Art. A former Chairman of the Department of Art History and Archaeology and former Director of Art Humanities, he is the recipient of a Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award. He has published books and articles on Chinese painting, calligraphy, and gardens, as well as on topics such as replicas in Chinese art, clothing in 20th-century China, and contemporary artists such as Xu Bing. Harrist's most recent book, The Landscape of Words, which studies the role of language in shaping perceptions of the natural world, was awarded the Joseph Levenson Prize in 2010.
Elaine Sisman is Anne Parsons Bender Professor of Music and Chair of Music Humanities. Her research interests are the music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, issues of musical meaning and persuasion, biography and late style, and the Enlightenment imagination; her most recent publications are “Music and the Labyrinth of Melancholy” in the Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies and “Is Don Giovanni Evil?” in Evil: A Philosophical History (Oxford Philosophical Concepts series). She has served as department chair and president of the American Musicological Society, and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014. At Columbia, she has received the Award for Distinguished Service to the Core Curriculum and the Great Teacher Award.
Audrey Amsellem is a PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology at Columbia. Originally from Paris, France, she began her undergraduate studies at community college before transferring to Columbia University to pursue a B.A in Music. She graduated cum laude and received Departmental Honors for her thesis “Songs of Dreams of Mankind” in 2015, and received her M.A in 2017 with her thesis "Noise of Silent Machines: A Case Study of LinkNYC." Her research interests include: music and property, copyright law, archival practices, politics of access to music, music in the digital age, sound and surveillance, and decolonial pedagogy.
This is her second year as a program assistant for the program.
Program Fee Summer 2020 is $11,000. It includes tuition, housing, local transportation, and course-required excursions.
Please see our cost breakdown for detailed information on additional estimated expenses.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
If you are on financial aid, check to see if it can be applied to your study abroad. In general, summer financial aid is not available to Columbia College or Columbia Engineering students, but may be available to School of General Studies students.
Funding Your Summer in Paris
There are currently no opportunities that are specifically targeted for this program. Please visit our primary Financial Considerations page for information about finding scholarships for summer study abroad.
If you decide to withdraw from the program after it has already started, please be aware of the financial consequences and office policies by clicking here.