Columbia Summer in Paris

Language of Instruction: English, French
Term: Summer

Delve into the paradoxes of French and Francophone history and culture while exploring the cosmopolitan city of Paris. 

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The program invites you to explore all that the city of Paris has to offer during a seven-week program based at Columbia's Reid Hall in Paris. Choose from a menu of Global Core courses in English and French language. On this program you will explore both contemporary and historical issues in French and Francophone culture, and go outside of the typical tourist experience to gain an insider’s view of the city.

Program Overview

On this program students will learn about the layered history, culture, and society of France and the Francophone world. The academic curriculum is suitable for many different majors and students do not need to have French language background to apply.

The total course point options range from 6-7 points and will provide students with opportunities to deepen their appreciation of Parisian culture, improve French language skills, and learn more about French/Francophone culture.

Throughout the program, activities are planned in conjunction with the courses to offer more cultural exposure to the city.

Summer 2022 Updates

Here you will find information and links to resources about how COVID-19 might impact your upcoming study abroad experience so that you can remain informed as the situation evolves. Please note that these planning protocols as well as policies may be modified at any time prior to your departure or while you are in-country.

Eligibility and Application

  • Currently enrolled undergraduate students in good academic and disciplinary standing
  • Graduate students and post-graduates are all eligible to apply
  • Minimum 3.0 average language GPA (if applicable)
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Students must meet prerequisites for individual courses

How to apply

Want to apply? Click the “Start Your Application" button at the top of this page. If the button doesn't appear, 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


Participants choose their courses according to personal aspirations and interests as well as the course schedule. Please note that the course offerings and schedule are still subject to change. Attendance at all class meetings, concerts, and excursions, unless otherwise indicated, is mandatory.

Note: The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary.


The French and Francophone culture courses are all designed to deepen your engagement with the paradoxes, pleasures, and contradictions of Paris, France, and France's relationship with its former colonies. These courses will challenge you to look at the history and culture of France from various perspective while using the city as an essential resource throughout the program.

FREN2101OC: Intermediate French I. 4 points.

Instructor: Imen Amiri

This course prepares students for advanced French language and cultures, focusing on developing correct usage through explanations and practice. Gaining a deeper understanding of the French language through readings of poems and short stories, students practice a variety of communication tasks, as they are engaged in ever more complex forms of discourse.

FREN2102OC: Intermediate French II. 4 points.​

Instructor: Imen Amiri

Prerequisite: Intermediate French I or the equivalent.

This course continues to prepare students for advanced French language and culture with an emphasis on developing highly accurate speaking, reading, and writing skills. Students examine complex topics, using the French language in diverse contexts, and read and actively discuss a wide variety of texts from France and the French speaking world.

FREN3405OC: Third Year Grammar and Composition. 3 points.

Prerequisite: Intermediate French II or the equivalent.

The goal of FREN3405OC is to help students improve their grammar and perfect their writing and reading skills, especially as a preparation for taking literature or civilization courses, or spending a semester in a francophone country. Through the study of two full-length works of literature and a number of short texts representative of different genres, periods, and styles, they will become more aware of stylistic nuances, and will be introduced to the vocabulary and methods of literary analysis. Working on the advanced grammar points covered in this course will further strengthen their mastery of French syntax. They will also be practicing writing through a variety of exercises, including pastiches and creative pieces, as well as typically French forms of academic writing such as “résumé,” “explication de texte,” and “dissertation".

FREN3524OC: French Literature in a Global Context: Literature​. 3 points.

Instructor: Soraya Limare

Taught in French.

Prerequisite: 4-5 semesters of French language study or the equivalent.

The main thread guiding this course will be an interrogation on the place of French literature in today’s global landscape. Drawing on the complex history of France’s colonial past, as well as on the rich debates that shaped French intellectual history in the aftermath of World War Two, this course will offer a variety of readings reflective of French geographic and cultural diversity (e.g.: African and Caribbean literature, works focusing on identity politics, multiculturalism, and migration issues). Through encounters with leading figures of today’s French literary scene (e.g.: authors, publishers, literary agents, guest speakers) students will also learn about the global pressures (e.g.: economic, social, political and ideological) that are placed on French literature today, and the ways in which global demands inform the conditions in which literature is being read and produced. A further objective of this course is to demonstrate the diversity of current literary practices and reception modes. A listing of excursions and guest speakers will be provided at the beginning of the course.

FRST3994OC History of Contemporary French Cinema (1990-2018). 3 points.

Taught in French.

Prerequisite: 4-5 semesters of French language study or the equivalent.

Instructor: Fabien Delmas

"French cinema is characterized by its artistic richness, its vigor and, above all, its diversity. This film history course will function as a journey in which we explore contemporary French cinema. Our itinerary will take us from the 1990s, those of “young French cinema” and neoclassicism, to the end of the 2010s, those of directors like Julie Delpy and Christophe Honoré. Together, we will develop a panorama in which the works of Cédric Klapisch and Nicole Garcia will intersect, as well as those of Céline Sciamma and Arnaud Desplechin.

The objective of this course will be to introduce students to French cinema, its history and its diversity. We will also have the chance to correlate academic knowledge and practical experience, so as to give the students a significant idea of French film activity. The application process is competitive and will take place onsite in February.

FREN3817OC: Paris Noir/Black Paris. 3 points.

Taught in French.

Prerequisite: 4-5 semesters of French language study or the equivalent.

Instructor: Stéphanie Bérard

This course is approved as a Global Core at Columbia.

This course aims to unveil a lesser known face of Paris linked to its colonial past in order to reread the present social, political and cultural landscape of France’s capital city. By visiting the hotspots of a forgotten Parisian black history, students will learn about the legacy of a colonial past often unknown and neglected. Sites will include the Latin Quarter which saw the birth of Negritude movement in the 1930s with the encounter of African and Caribbean intellectuals (Césaire, Senghor, Damas) and the foundation of the editions Présence Africaine with Alioune Diop; Saint Germain des Prés and Pigalle which celebrated jazz music in cabarets; the Museum of the history of immigration in Porte Dorée and the Musée des Arts Premiers at the Quai Branly. This itinerant historical approach of Paris will be complemented by an exploration of the contemporary cultural and artistic politics of the Black stage as possible in the summer. The reading and analysis of literary and cinematographic works will allow students to tackle social, political and racial issues, and explore further the global dimension of today’s diasporic and multicultural France.

FILM4325GU : Waves on Different Shores: Film in France, Japan, Brazil. 3 points.

Instructor: Richard Pena

Taught in English.

This course is approved as a Global Core at Columbia.

In the early 1960s, a number of new film movements emerged in national cinemas around the world. Called “new waves” or “new cinemas,” these movements, made up of young filmmakers, would challenge the cinematic industrial structures in each of their respective nations, as well propose both radically different approaches to filmmaking and to cinematic storytelling. Perhaps inevitably, these films and filmmakers would also be drawn into larger political discussions about the futures of their respective nations. This course will explore three important examples of this development—the French New Wave, the Japanese New Wave and the Brazilian Cinema Novo—detailing both the commonalities among these movements (aesthetic, social, technological, political) as well those factors which made each unique. Among the filmmakers included will be Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette, Nagisa Oshima, and Glauber Rocha. The relationship of these respective “new waves” to simultaneous radical experiments in visual arts, theater, literature and music will be a special focus of the course. A watershed moment in film history that would forever change the way films were made, financed, seen and discussed.

MENA4100OC: Migration, Displacement and Diaspora in the Contemporary Mediterranean. 3 points.

Instructor: Madeleine Dobie

Taught in English.

This course is approved as a Global Core at Columbia.

This course examines the social, political and cultural history of migration in the Mediterranean,
with a particular focus on France and Africa. We examine the forces that have underpinned
migration in the nations of the Mediterranean rim since the 1950s and observe major transitions
in policy and legal frameworks. Though migration is often treated in mainstream media as an
object of policy and legislation, it is better approached as a ‘total social fact’ involving political,
social, economic and cultural dimensions. With this in mind, we look at different media, genres
and narrative forms in which migration has been represented and debated and grapple with
questions about the relationship between lived experience and representation and between
politics and the arts.

Academic Schedule

When selecting your courses, please make sure that the courses you choose are not in conflict with each other. In general, the program tries to avoid conflicts with courses.

Grades and Transcripts

Grading Policy

Click here for the Columbia summer program grading policies.


Upon successful completion of the program, grades are entered into Columbia's online grading system.

No credit is granted to students who do not complete the full program.

All courses taken on the program are converted to an American grading scale and transmitted to students as follows:

Columbia students: Grades appear on SSOL and your transcript as semester grades from courses taken at Columbia. For more information, please see the section on Academic Credit in Steps to Study Abroad.

Barnard students: Grades appear on eBear and your transcript as any semester grades from courses taken at Barnard. For more information, please see the section on Credit and Transcripts for Barnard Students on our Barnard student pages.

Non-Columbia students: can request electronic transcripts online through the Columbia University registrar.

Life in Paris


Program Housing

Students will live in a residence hall, in studio-style housing with a private bathroom.

Daily Living and Schedule

Depending on the specific courses you take, you will have different commitments for work outside of class. Your commute to Reid Hall will also be between 35-50 minutes, on average. Weekends are free and students are encouraged to enjoy Paris on the weekends.

The program has many course-related activities, as well as a few social events, that will help students engage with the cultural life of Paris. Past activities have included theater workshops, pottery, crépe-making, wine tasting, and excursions around Paris. You will have adequate time to explore Paris on your own and to soak up the ambiance of the city Paris in the summer. In addition, the Columbia Global Center Paris has many activities throughout the summer that are open to students on the program at no charge.


The home base of Columbia University in Paris is the Columbia Global Centers|Paris at Reid Hall, where all of your classes will take place. 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 more than a century, its long and distinguished past of intellectual, artistic, and cultural exchange has made it significant for the relationship between France and the United States.

Reid Hall, constructed in the early 18th century before the French Revolution, is located in the lively Montparnasse (6th arrondissement) district of Paris, near the Luxembourg Gardens and within walking distance of the Latin Quarter and several branches of the University of Paris. 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. You will be introduced to the Columbia Undergraduate Program staff during the orientation.


Please see individual courses for faculty links.

Financial Considerations

*Summer 2022 Tuition and Fees

Please see our cost breakdown for detailed information.

*Tuition and fees are subject to the Board of Trustees' approval and may change.

Financial aid and scholarships

If you are on financial aid, check to see if it can be applied to studying 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. Non-Columbia students should check with their home schools for funding availability.

For more general information and resources on financing your time abroad, please see the pages below:

Global Learning Scholarship

The Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement (UGE) is pleased to announce Global Learning Scholarships to help students fund their participation in this program. If awarded, these partial scholarships will be applied toward tuition charges for this program.


  • Open to Columbia University and non-Columbia undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate financial need

  • Recipients must be accepted to this Columbia-led program

To Apply: After starting a program application, complete the “Global Learning Scholarship” questionnaire in your UGE account.

Scholarship Applications Due: March 7 (closes at 11:59 pm EST) or program deadline, whichever occurs first.

Withdrawal PolicY

If you decide to withdraw from the program once it has already started, please be aware of the financial consequences and the office policies by clicking here.

Resources for Accepted Students

Global Columbia Collaboratory

All participants in summer 2021 programs will have access to the Global Columbia Collaboratory, a non-credit virtual exchange experience that helps students learn more about global challenges, enhance their global competencies by connecting and cooperating across a global network, and empower students to make a difference in the world as global citizens. In the Collaboratory, students can engage with fellow students and the broader Columbia network to:

  • Participate in regularly scheduled theme-based global seminars from faculty and experts drawn from Columbia’s global networks;

  • Exchange perspectives and engage together in reflection on the global challenges framed by the global seminars; and

  • Engage in collaboration and ideation on projects and ideas that impact today’s society.

Fact Sheet

Arts and Architecture, Foreign Language Learning, Humanities
Barnard College, Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, Columbia General Studies, Columbia Graduate Students, Non-Columbia Graduate Students, Non-Columbia Undergraduates
Language of Instruction:

Dates & Deadlines

Application Deadline: 
Thursday, April 1, 2021
Admissions Decision Date: 
Thursday, April 1, 2021
Program Dates: 
Sunday, June 20, 2021 to Friday, July 30, 2021
Application Deadline: 
Friday, April 1, 2022
Admissions Decision Date: 
Friday, April 1, 2022
Program Dates: 
Friday, June 17, 2022 to Sunday, July 31, 2022
Students may arrive 6/17 or 6/18 and should depart on 7/31.