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Semester or Year at USC Paris


Read about the experiences of past students on the USC Paris Program.

Program Site: USC Study Center at ACCENT, Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne, Institut Catholique

Eligibility: Minimum cumulative USC GPA of 3.0 and two semesters of college level French (or the equivalent) or the USC French language placement exam taken within one year before the start of the program. Students are highly encouraged to take a French course the semester prior to studying in Paris.

Description: USC Paris is offered in conjunction with ACCENT, an international education organization that works with American universities to provide quality study abroad programs. The program is housed in the ACCENT center, located in the 11th arrondissement just a few minutes away from the Place de la Bastille. The program is designed accommodate students with intermediate through advanced French fluency, offering classes in both English and French.

Academics: Students are required to enroll in sixteen units of coursework; at least two courses must be taken at the USC Center, and up to eight units can be taken at a French university.

USC catalogue courses are taught at the ACCENT center by local professors. These are taken with other USC students and are awarded letter grades, which count toward the USC GPA.

Available Courses: 
-  FREN 300 Grammar and Composition
-  FREN 330 Reading and Writing about Literature
-  FREN 382 Colloquium: Paris avant-garde
-  FREN 449 Studies in French Civilization: Soci
été et politique
-  FREN 464 Colloquium: Cin
éma français
-  IR 368 French Foreign Policy: 1945 to the Present (fall only)
-  IR 389 Islam in France (spring only)
-  AHIS 453 Studies in Baroque Art (fall only)
-  AHIS 467 19th Century French Art (spring only)

French language and grammar courses (called Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne) can also be taken in Paris' Latin Quarter. In the fall, an 8-unit course is offered; spring students can take either 4 or 8 units. Courses are open to international students only and are available on a Credit/No Credit basis.

For students with a more advanced level of French fluency, the Institut Catholique de Paris offers courses in the humanities. Its campus is located in Paris’ 6th arrondissement, within walking distance of the Jardin du Luxembourg. Students who have taken FREN 330 or the equivalent can enroll in up to 8 units alongside local students and are expected to be able to handle a demanding workload. The USC Resident Director offers assistance with homework, writing papers, preparing presentations, etc. Courses are offered on a Credit/No Credit basis.

Sample Institut Catholique courses:
-  Histoire contemporaine - les systèmes totalitaires
-  Napoléon et le seconde empire
-  Littérature Française moderne
-  Histoire de l’art moderne

Economics, International Relations, and Political Science majors are encouraged to spend fall semester at USC Paris and spring semester at Sciences Po. Read about one USC alum's experience here.

Course Load and Credit: Students are required to enroll in 16 units, regardless of how many are needed to graduate.

Activities and Other Program Features: Cultural excursions are an integral part of the each semester. Field trips include Chartres, Giverny, Normandy/ Brittany, Bordeaux or Provence. Fall semester students will also go to Brussels to have a special behind-the-scenes tour of European Union institutions. There are also activities planned throughout the semester such as opera nights, museum visits and dinners.

While all program participants are from USC, students are encouraged to step out of their comfort zone actively engage in Parisian life. The Resident Director and ACCENT staff are available facilitate finding language partners, sports teams, volunteer opportunities, cooking, dance, art and other lessons of interest, giving USC students an opportunity to interact with locals and delve more deeply into French culture.

Accommodations: Students are required to live with a French host family. Breakfast is provided daily and dinner is provided four days per week (except during semester break).

Dates: Semester or Year. Fall semester runs from late August to mid December, spring semester runs from mid January to late May.

Estimated Semester Cost: 

Additional Expenses*.........$11,837

Cost Updated: 5/28/15
Text Updated: 8/7/15

*Additional expenses include estimated costs for airfare, room and board, books and supplies, health insurance, and personal expenses (which can vary greatly from student to student). USC financial aid, scholarships, and tuition remission may be applied to program costs. Please visit the Office of Overseas Studies for more detailed cost information.

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Institut Catholique de Paris