Virtual 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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UGE continues to plan for the return of Summer 2021 study abroad programs, in case the Columbia travel suspension is lifted and it is determined that it is safe to resume program operations abroad. Please sign up to receive program updates including when applications will be available.

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. In summer 2021, students will choose between 1 - 3 courses, which will all count towards the Columbia Global Core requirements.

The total course point options range from 3-9 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.

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.

Summer 2021 Courses

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.

FREN3330OC: Paris noir. 3 points. Taught in French.

Prerequisites: 5 semesters of college-level French or the equivalent.
Instructor: Stéphanie Bérard

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.

This course is approved as a Global Core at Columbia.

WMST3550OC. Women & Society – The Sex-Trade economy. 3 points. Taught in French.

Prerequisites: 5 semesters of college-level French or the equivalent.

Instructor: Christelle Taraud

Based on an interdisciplinary, intersectional, subalternist and post-colonial approach, this course is a general introduction to the history, sociology and anthropology of the economy of the sex-trade in Africa, America, Asia and Europe from the early nineteenth century to today. It aims to clarify: 1) the historiographical situation by questioning and analyzing the French regulatory system and its many avatars in Europe, the United States and in the colonial world, but also questioning the backlash to this system that consisted firstly of the abolitionist (born in England in the second half of the nineteenth century) and then the prohibitionist movements; 2) The relationship between class, “race” and gender in the sex market via issues of human trafficking and sex tourism in Europe, America, Africa and Asia; 3) The socio-economic issue - and its political connections – in the economy of sex with particular attention to individuals (prostitutes versus sex workers), their voices, their legal status, and even their mobilization (rallies and demonstrations, community collectives and trade unions, political and / or literary publications), but also the many heated debates that these demands for recognition and these mobilizations have provoked in places as diverse as France, the Netherlands and India to take only three specific examples in the world covered in the course.

This course is approved as a Global Core at Columbia.

CLFR3821OC: City Diplomacy. 3 points. Taught in English.

Instructor: Lorenzo Kihlgren Grandi

Based on a comparative and interdisciplinary approach, the city diplomacy course is designed to offer a general introduction to the international role of cities. Through an innovative approach cutting across the boundaries of traditional disciplines (international relations, urban sociology, area studies, history, geography), the course will combine the emerging scholarly literature with a comparative accent linked to the analysis of primary sources from cities and international actors from all regions of the world. As a result, students will learn to connect global and regional macro-dynamics with micro-transformations at the local level, while gaining an in-depth understanding of city diplomacy's core features, management, tangible impact, and evolution.

This course is approved as a Global Core at Columbia.

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

More information to come.

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

2021 Tuition and Fees

Please see our cost breakdown for detailed information.

*Tuition and fees are charged to all students including Columbia students who are eligible to enroll in Columbia summer 2021 courses.

*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:

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