France Paris - Catholic University (ILCF)

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

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French Language and Liberal Arts Program

All students take a French language course. Students are placed in the appropriate level determined by a placement test taken online before arrival in Paris.

The French language course aims to enable students to communicate effectively in both written and spoken French. Through classes in phonetics, grammar, conversation and French life, students learn to express themselves in most everyday situations.

French Language Courses

French 131 (required) | Beginner French (11)

The Beginner classes introduce students to the rudiments of the French language. They learn to introduce themselves, to give and respond to simple greetings, to express their nationality and age. Vocabulary work focuses on numbers, colors, clothes, the family, the calendar and items encountered in the home. Working in the present tense, students learn to buy, order and pay for things as well as to express their likes and dislikes.

French 132 (required) | Elementary 1 Elementary 2, French (11 or 9), Elementary 3 French (9 or 6)

The elementary French classes aim to teach students to understand common phrases that they will encounter in daily life. They learn to answer basic questions and to ask for information on familiar subjects. Students discuss their habits, daily activities and personal experience and learn to give opinions. They are able to make comparisons and use both the simple future and simple past tenses. They work at expressing obligation, desire, future plans and past experience.

French 232 (required) | Intermediate French (9 or 6)

At this level students learn to grasp the meaning of more detailed information through discussion of topics such as their studies, family ties, the work environment and social relationships. They are able to use the conditional as well as more complex future and past tenses, including the subjunctive. They can give orders, express doubts and feelings, relate what someone else has told them and discuss hypothetical situations. They learn to suggest, advise, reason and contest.

French 332 (required) | Advanced French (6)

Advanced students learn to interact naturally and with spontaneity when conversing with native speakers, being able to express the subtleties of their feelings and thoughts. They work at associating facts and ideas, moving with fluency between tenses and learning to alter their register to suit a given situation. In debates and discussions students aim to make convincing and structured arguments backed up by concrete examples. They discuss politics, economy and history, comparing different written and spoken styles.

French 102 (3) | Elementary French Oral

The elementary Oral French classes aim to teach students to understand simple phrases that they will encounter in daily life. They learn to answer basic questions and to ask for information on familiar subjects, learning simple polite phrases useful in everyday life. At the higher levels, students will discuss their habits, daily activities and personal experiences, offering opinions. Classes use a mix of role play, listening exercises and pronunciation work with particular focus on intonation. Students are required to give regular short presentations in French. The elementary classes focus on themes such as the family, work and leisure environments.

French 202 (3) | Intermediate French Oral

At this level students learn to grasp the meaning of detailed information communicated via news reports, interviews or dispatches. They are able to follow conversations and understand short presentations. Students aim to be able to communicate with ease about familiar subjects even those not frequently encountered and to relate events to others using the correct temporal context. They learn to express feelings and opinions and to justify thoughts in discussion. They are able to say how they feel about abstract or cultural subjects such as films, books and music. Study is based on video and audio recordings, press articles and group discussion. Students will research social themes such as travel, cinema and family life.

French 302 (3) / French 402 (3) | Advanced French Oral / Master French Oral

Students at this level work at following conferences, speeches and reports of complex content and structure. They will understand recordings relating to professional, social and university life. They will be able to interact naturally and with spontaneity when conversing with native speakers, being able to express the subtleties of their feelings and thoughts. In debates and discussions students aim to make convincing and structured arguments. Students prepare 15-minute presentations (without notes), participate in classroom debates and make short oral summaries of radio bulletins and/or newspaper articles.

French 112 (3) | Elementary French Written

This course introduces students to simple written French. Students examine short, authentic texts (postcards, e-mails, articles) and learn to write similar texts of their own. Through study of the present and simple past tenses, as well as adjectives, adverbs and prepositions, students aim to master the key elements of the written language.

French 212 (3) | Intermediate French Written

At this level students read and analyze a variety of texts from the press and/or literature and work on particular linguistic features. Classes focus on syntax, vocabulary enrichment and more complex structures such as the subjunctive.

French 312 (3) / French 412 (3) | Advanced French Written / Master French Written

Students learn to give detailed descriptions, to recount events that occurred in the past and to express opinions, composing texts that respond to material they have studied. Complex sentences are analyzed, written exercises “in the manner of” are re-written.

French 121 and 122 (3) | Beginner and Elementary French Phonetics

The phonetics classes aim to help students with pronunciation and intonation. At this level classes work on the acquisition of sounds, relating the heard sound to its written equivalent and correcting individual mispronunciations. Students learn the phonetic alphabet.

French 222 (3) | Intermediate French Phonetics

At this level, phonetics classes develop the student’s awareness of his/her pronunciation and increase the fluency of speech. Students work on transcribing phonetically-written texts.

French 322 (3) | Advanced French Phonetics

Students read aloud to perfect their intonation and fluency. Review of all exercises in a more detailed and complex way.

Courses taught in English

Courses in English

Economics/Political Science 309 (3) | Politics, Economy and Society in France today

The French Republic is a complex web of institutions and administrative bodies that can seem quite impregnable to the outsider. Through examination of the French Revolution and analysis of the values it upheld, students are able to untangle the French political system and achieve a better understanding of the workings of the State. Through study of the trade unions, the media, and the education system and in comparing these apparatus to those of other European countries, students learn to place France as a distinct socio/political entity on the European and indeed global map.

Film Studies 321 (3) | Great Authors in French Cinema Through Historical Films

The course focuses on the history of French cinema, from its scientific beginning at the end of the 19th century, moving through the industrial revolution to the 21st century. Historical films in the widest sense are studied, from opinion position to historical reenactment and documentary.

Fine Arts 301 (3) | Painting in France (1789 – 1914)

This course offers a thematic approach to painting from the French revolution to World War I. Placing pictorial advances in the broader context of modernizing France; students consider how painting offers insight into societal changes through its choice of subject and form. Students are encouraged to compare academic painting to more daring works in order to understand the social and economic issues related to both.

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

Links between fashion and artistic, cultural, social and political contexts across French history are explored. The lasting dominance of Paris in the world of fashion is examined. Students will be able to appreciate how fashion and accessories have been used to express all types of identities. Students visit different exhibitions, museums and the Yves Saint-Laurent Foundation. Students pay entrance fees. Enrollment is limited.

History/Economics/Political Science 305 (3) | The European Union Today

France has a long history as a key European player and has been a member of the European Union from the outset. Since World War II, the European Union has developed and changed considerably establishing its own currency, parliament and administrative institutions. This course looks at the historical, political and economic aspects of European integration since 1945 and acquaints students with the decision-making processes that enable the EU to function. Classes examine the key issues that Europe currently faces on the world stage, studying concerns such as national identity, immigration, ecology and demographics.

International Relations 303 (3) | European External Relations

The course takes a look at how Europe manages its relations with the wider world. Considering the foreign policies of individual member states, students examine how the European Union as a body makes the decisions that determine the nature of its ties to other countries and continents.

Courses taught in French

Please note that courses taught in French are open to students who place into the Elementary 2 or higher level of French.

Courses in French

Cultural Studies/French 312 (3) | Culture et gastronomie françaises (French Culture and Gastronomy)

Renowned throughout the world, French cuisine is an art unto itself. This course explores the emergence and preservation of French culinary traditions, considering their history from the middle Ages to the present day and highlighting the importance of gastronomy in French culture. Protocol and etiquette are discussed, as students examine how influences such the Royal Court or changes in fashion affect what people eat, how food is prepared and how it is presented. Students look in detail at regional specialties as well as produce of world repute such as bread, chocolate and wine. Classes include visits to a cooking school, a bakery and the Museum of Fine Arts.

Literature/French 313 (3) | Literature française contemporaine (Contemporary French Literature)

This class looks at literature as a means of thinking about the modern world and our own place in it. Students study the works of leading figures of 20th French literature, including Marcel Proust, Albert Camus, Françoise Sagan and Marguerite Yourcenar. Course content is spread over 2 semesters.

Fashion 321 (3) | La mode et le stylisme (Fashion and Design)

This course examines the history of fashion and the socio/economic developments that have driven the industry over the centuries. Students consider how revolution and war, for example, have caused changes in style and how modern consumerism has opened up new avenues for designers and manufacturers. Peripheral industries such as that of perfume and accessories are also examined as the course moves towards the present day and the emergence of high street brands.

Fine Arts/French 316 (3) | Littérature, Peinture et Musique du 16me au 20me siècle (Literature, Painting and Music from the 16th to 20th centuries.)

Each century is to some extent defined by the artistic movements it gives rise to, and those of the last 400 years in France have been amongst the richest. Through examination of original texts and other source material, students learn the vocabulary of the arts and to place key movements in their historical context. They gain an understanding and appreciation of the material studied through interactive discussion and debate.

History/French 221 (3) | De Vercingetorix à la Révolution (From De Vercingetorix to the Revolution)

The course aims to enable students to understand the French collective memory and to familiarize themselves with the principal players in it. A visit to the Medieval Museum of Cluny is an obligatory part of the course.

Fine Arts/French 318 (3) | Les Grands Thèmes de L’Art aux 19e et 20e siècles. (The Great Artistic Trends of the 19th and 20th centuries.)

Concerned with the changes in art in the last 200 years, this course considers many of the great names of the period and the artistic movements they became associated with. Through study of nudes, portraits and the auto-portrait, students consider the relationship of tradition to modernity, questioning the artist’s stylistic choices and analyzing the social-cultural environment that influenced them.

History of Art 323 (3) | De l’Art Nouveau à l’Art Déco : l’art en France de 1890 à 1940 (From Art Nouveau to Art Deco : Art in France from 1890 to 1940)

Taking a chronological look at Art Nouveau, Art Déco and Modernism, this course considers painting, sculpture, architecture and decorative arts seeking to understand the main characteristics of each in all three movements. Sessions alternate between classroom study and museum visits.

Courses Taught by Other Institutions

Students may take one additional course at these institutions. 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 Académie de Port Royal is a private art school not of university status in France. Students wishing to transfer credit for Port Royal courses should check with their home institutions.

The Schola Cantorum is a private music school in Paris.

Académie de Port Royal

Fine Arts 301 fall/spring (1-4) | Art in Studio (Painting, Sketching, Drawing)

The amount of credit granted depends on the work produced and hours spent at the Académie. Two sessions of 3 hours or three sessions of 2 hours per week. Taught in French. Students must pay a supplement in Paris of approximately 700 euros per semester and must buy course supplies of approximately 120 Euros.

Schola Cantorum

Music, Ballet, Theater 307 fall/spring (1-4) | 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 supplemental fee, the cost of which depends on the number of hours of instruction. Sessions are 30, 45 or 60 minutes.