Study Abroad in Paris, France

Study Abroad in Paris: Courses

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All courses are subject to change at the discretion of the Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne. For the most current course listings, please contact the AIFS Admissions Officer. Recommended credits are shown in parentheses.

Optional Early Start: Intensive French Language and Culture Preparation in Cannes

The Early Start Option is 2 weeks in length and takes place in Cannes prior to the start of the Fall Quarter and the Spring Semester in Paris. All levels of French are available.

Beginner French 100/A1 (2)
Elementary French 150/A2 (2)
Intermediate French 200/B1 (2)
Advanced French 300/B2 (2)
Superior French 400/C1 (2)
Experienced French 450/C2 (2)

French Language and Culture Program - Semester Courses

Students are placed into the appropriate level of French according to an online placement test taken prior to departure from the U.S. or according to their placement in Cannes if they participated in the Early Start Program.

Students are advised to obtain pre-approval from their home institution for several different levels of French to ensure that they receive credit for the course that they test into.

French Language Courses (Required)

French 101 (10) | Beginner French + Phonetics

First year cours pratique in French grammar and writing practice for beginners and students with up to two years of college French.

French 151 (10) | Elementary French + Phonetics

This course reviews basic grammar and further studies the foundations of the French language. Many complex grammar points are considered, giving students a solid background in the language.

French 201 (10) | Intermediate French + Phonetics

Classes cover vocabulary, grammar, composition and textual analysis. Students work on describing their feelings, on giving explanations, justifications and opinions. Events in the past and future are recounted with ease. French literature is introduced.

French 251 (10) | Upper Intermediate French + Phonetics

Students taking this class work with professional documents and correspondence enabling them to tackle more complex themes while developing their analytical skills. They learn to advise, to debate and present a logical argumentation. French literature is studied and placed in its socio-historical context.

French 301 (10) | Advanced French + Phonetics

Reviewing and perfecting vocabulary, grammar, composition and textual analysis. Taken in conjunction with a phonetics class.

French 401 (10) | Superior French + Phonetics

Perfecting techniques already learned and acquiring a more sophisticated written and spoken style. Taken in conjunction with a phonetics class.

Phonetics Laboratory
The French language course is always taught in conjunction with a Phonetic French course, the purpose of which is to give students a working knowledge of the language for everyday needs. Students are grouped together according to their French language level and according to common difficulties in pronunciation. Emphasis is on articulation at Beginner, Elementary and Intermediate levels. At Advanced level, students work on rhythm, continuity and intonation. On average, semester and quarter students take 5 hours of phonetics per week for 6 weeks for a total of 30 hours.

Electives Taught in English

Fine Arts 310 (3) fall only | French Painting from the 17th to the 19th Century: from Classicism to the Impressionists

The course enables students to understand the evolution of French art from the 17th to the 19th centuries, placing both artists and their works in their historical, social, financial and political context.

Literature/Cultural Studies 340 (3) fall/spring | French Literature, and Civilization

Explores the various intellectual, historical, political and social trends in France as well as artistic currents and movements from the beginning of the 19th century through World War One; the mutual influences and interdependence between poetry, music, painting and literature in general will be studied as one of the important features of this period.

History/Cultural Studies 330 (3) fall only | Franco-American Relations from Historical, Literary and Artistic Perspectives

From their first contact to the present, the peoples of America and France have enjoyed close ties, be they political, artistic or literary. This course encourages students to explore these ties, considering how the people of each nation have influenced one another over the centuries, to produce some of the greatest works of music, literature and thought of modern times.

History/Sociology 350 (3) spring only | Multiculturalism and Modern France

What does it mean to be French? This is the key question raised in this class, the question of French “identity”. Through examination of migration and colonization, combined with visits to relevant museums, students consider the various cultures that coexist in today’s France, examining the challenges and issues that this “multiculturalism” poses for the modern French state.

Art History/Cultural Studies 320 (3) spring only | History of Paris through its Architecture and Painting (13th-19th c.)

Through visits to important museums and architectural sites, students discover the key moments in French history, gaining not only a deeper understanding of the country but also a more intimate knowledge of its capital city and the cultural treasures it houses.

Electives Taught in French

Elective courses are open to all French levels but are recommended for Elementary level and above. Each semester, the CCFS offers a series of 1-credit (15 contact hours) lecture courses aiming to familiarize students with various aspects of French culture. Examples of previous courses include: poetry, literature, theater, art history, politics and economy, media studies, fashion, linguistics, and history. Students should contact their admissions officer if they need a syllabus.

The courses listed below are provided as an example; the CCFS Director reserves the right to add/cancel/modify the lectures offered each semester.

Fall semester French lecture courses:

  • Poésie et Chanson (open to all levels)
  • La chanson, “bande originale de nos vies” (open to all levels) 
  • Un autre regard sur Paris : Paris animal (open to Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate levels)
  • La gastronomie française (open to Elementary and Intermediate levels)
  • Actualités économiques et sociale en France (open to Elementary and Intermediate levels)
  • Mode et Société (open to all levels)
  • Histoire de l'art français (Moyen-Age à 17ème) siècle (open to all levels)
  • Histoire de l'art français (17ème à 20ème) siècle (open to all levels)
  • Autobiographie et Autofiction (open to Upper Intermediate, Advanced and Superior levels)
  • Médias, publicité et communication (open to Upper Intermediate, Advanced and Superior levels)
  • Les châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon (open to Upper Intermediate, Advanced and Superior levels)
  • Portraits d'auteurs, portraits d'époque, du 19è siècle à nos jours (open to Advanced and Superior levels)
  • La petite et la grande histoire de la langue française (open to Upper Intermediate, Advanced and Superior levels)

Spring semester French lecture courses:

  • Poésie française : du livre à la chanson (open to all levels)
  • La femme dans le théâtre français du 17ème siècle (open to Upper Intermediate, Advanced and Superior levels)
  • Découvrir la culture française (open to Beginner level)
  • Actualités économiques et sociales : clés pour comprendre la France (open to Elementary and Intermediate levels)
  • La Gastronomie française (open to all levels)
  • Panorama des habitudes et des traditions françaises (open to Elementary and Intermediate levels)
  • Trésors de Versailles (open to Beginner and Elementary levels)
  • Portraits d’auteurs, portraits d’époque, du 19ème siècle à nos jours (open to Intermediate and Advanced levels)
  • Histoire de l’art en France (open to all levels)
  • Vie politique française : histoire et actualité (open to Upper Intermediate, Advanced and Superior levels)
  • La Loire et ses châteaux, de l’époque romane à l’âge classique (open to all levels)

Courses Taught by Other Institutions

For additional fees (except for the Fashion course at the ILCF) Fall semester and Spring semester students may substitute one of their elective courses at the CCFS for one of the courses listed below. Students receive transcripts or certificates authenticating work completed.

These institutions vary in accreditation status. Students should confirm the status of credit transfer with their home institutions.

The Institut de Langue et de Culture Françaises is a department of the Catholic University of Paris. It is a private institution recognized by the French Ministry of Higher Education. The transcript labeled ILCF, Institut Catholique de Paris lists the course title, class hours and the grade.

The Schola Cantorum is a private music school in Paris.

Institut de Langue et de Culture Françaises (ILCF)

Fine Arts 307 (3) | Fashion in France 18th-21st century

Links between fashion and artistic, cultural and socio-political contexts across French history are explored and the lasting dominance of Paris in the world of fashion is examined. Students become familiar with the historical evolution of the luxury fashion industry and will be able to appreciate how fashion and accessories have been used to express a variety of different identities over time. Students pay some entrance fees for museums and exhibitions. Taught in English. Enrollment is limited.

Schola Cantorum

Music, Ballet, Theater 307 fall/spring (1-3) | Instrument Study, Lyrics, Ballet

Placement is by examination, except for beginners. Instruction in French is at the student’s expense. Credit granted depends on the work produced and hours spent at the Schola. Instruments (except piano) are not provided. Students must pay a supplement depending on number of hours of instruction taken. Sessions are 30, 45 or 60 minutes. An additional deposit is required to be paid prior to arrival in Paris to register for classes at the Schola Cantorum. Please contact your AIFS Admissions Officer right away if you are interested.