Study Abroad in Paris (Catholic University of Paris, ILCF): Academics

Attendance

Attendance is required. In accordance with ILCF regulations, students absent from classes without prior authorization may not be eligible to take exams, may be awarded lower or failing grades or may not receive a transcript. Students should be prepared to adapt to different teaching methods, library facilities and academic environment.

Course load

The maximum course load is 16 credits (English program) or 15 credits (Advanced French program). Students are not allowed to drop a course if it means they are taking less than the minimum course load of 13 credits (English program) or 12 credits (Advanced French program). All students (except those placing into Advanced level) must enroll in a French language course (General French) at the appropriate level, based on an online placement test taken prior to departure. Students at Advanced level may choose to take General French, but it is not mandatory at this level. The number of hours of French per week depends on the level:

  • Beginner: 12 hours (9 credits)
  • Elementary 1 and Elementary 2: 12 hours (9 credits)
  • Elementary 3: 9 hours (6 credits)
  • Intermediate: 6 hours (4 credits)
  • Advanced French: 6 hours (6 credits)

Students may enroll in one course not taught at ILCF.

The following French language courses are available for 3 hours per week in addition to the required General French language courses (listed first under "Course Descriptions" )

  • Oral French (from Elementary level to Advanced level)
  • Phonetics (for all levels from Beginner to Advanced)
  • Written French (from Elementary level to Advanced level)

Each class meets 3 hours a week.

English Program (3 months)

   

Beginner, Lower Elementary and Elementary Level Students

   
Course   Credits
General French language- Mandatory (12 hours x 11 weeks)  
9
Plus:    
2 x ILCF courses (3 credits each: 4 hours x 11 weeks = 44 hours)  
6
-or-    
One course at the University of London Institute in Paris  
6
Total:
 
15

Upper Elementary Level Students

   
Course   Credits
General French language- Mandatory (9 hours x 11 weeks)  
6
Plus:    
3 x ILCF courses (3 credits each: 4 hours x 11 weeks = 44 hours)  
9
-or-    
2 x ILCF courses plus 1x course at: The University of London Institute in Paris (fall only), Academie de Port-Royal or Schola Cantorum  
9
Total:
 
15

Intermediate Level Students

   
Course   Credits
General French language- Mandatory (6 hours x 11 weeks)  
4
Plus:    
4 x ILCF courses (3 credits each: 4 hours x 11 weeks = 44 hours)  
12
-or-    
3 x ILCF courses plus 1x course at: The University of London Institute in Paris (fall only), Academie de Port-Royal or Schola Cantorum  
12
Total:
 
16

Advanced French Program (4 months)

   

Advanced Level Students

   
Course   Credits
French-Oral or Written or Phonetics (3 hours x 15 weeks = 45 hours)          
3
Plus    
4 x ILCF courses (3 credits ech: 3 hours x 15 weeks = 45 hours)
 
12
Total
 
15
-or-    
Combination of Oral/Written or Written/Phonetics or Oral/Phonetics or General French (6 hours x 15 weeks= 90 hours)  
3
Plus    
3 x ILCF courses (3 credits each: 3 hours x 15 weeks= 45 hours)  
9
Total
 
15

Note: Students on the English Program must take their 3 credit courses in English as the English Program is one month shorter than the Advanced French Program and ends in December or May.

Grades

ILCF uses standard French grading based on a scale of 20. Exceptional students usually earn 14-16, with 17 and above rare. A grade of 12 or 13 is good, and 10 is passing. Grading in France is usually more competitive than in the U.S.

Interpretation of the French 0-20 scale at the University:

France U.S.
16-20 A
13-15  B
10-12 C
8-9 D
7 F

Final registration for courses takes place in Paris with the Resident Director. Once the semester begins, students have one week in which to drop or add a course without penalty. If a student drops a course after one week it will be listed as “withdrawn” on their transcript. Any student who withdraws after one week must sign a withdrawal form to give to the Resident Director. If a student stops attending class but does not complete a withdrawal form, the course will be shown as “fail” on the transcript.

No AIFS participant is permitted to take a course without receiving a letter grade. Pass/Fail grade options are not available.

Schedules

Students should note they may encounter scheduling conflicts as more than one course may be offered at the same time of day. The ILCF reserves the right to cancel or modify courses in unavoidable circumstances or for insufficient enrollment (fewer than 8 students).

Student advising

Students meet with the AIFS staff in Paris before the academic semester begins. Staff provide advice on both academics and housing and serve as liaisons between students and the ILCF. They also help students adjust to the French system and help with questions or concerns throughout the year. American students often find the French educational system different from their U.S. experience. There is little interaction between the professor and the student, especially outside of class.

Transcripts

ILCF issues a transcript for all courses taken there. Transcripts list course titles, class hours and grades, but do not indicate the recommended units of credit listed in this catalog. Transcripts for courses not taught at ILCF are issued by each corresponding institution.

 

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