Here's what you get when you study abroad with CEA in Paris:
Take your immersion level one step further and live amongst local and international university students in a Parisian Foyer. Residing in a Foyer gives you the unique opportunity to get to know focused and serious peers, as well as to join a strong social community of students interested in language, culture and exchange. If you are like-minded in your approach to academics and seek the authentic lifestyle of a French student in Paris, choosing a Parisian Foyer can help you achieve a culturally and linguistically fulfilling experience abroad. (Additional fees apply if selected as first choice on the housing preference form.)
While CEA highly recommends that you choose one of our Paris housing options provided, you also have the option to arrange independent housing. If your ideal housing scenario includes living in a particular neighborhood, having specific amenities or living with a specific person as your roommate, then independent housing could be just the ticket for you.
Use the online housing application form to request permission for this option no later than the application closure date. If your request is approved, you will receive a rebate for your housing payment, however CEA will not provide you with any assistance setting up independent housing. Keep in mind, rebates are not granted to students who move out of their CEA housing or choose to pursue independent living arrangements after the application closure date.
Get out and explore! Excursions are offered for most semester, year, and summer programs*. Semester students are typically offered three to four excursions and summer study students are typically offered one to two excursions. You’ll receive a calendar of excursions during orientation; here are a few day and overnight excursions we’ve offered in the past.
*In an effort to offer lower-cost internship options and support you in maximizing your professional development in a condensed timeframe, summer internship programs do not include excursions.
Board the high-speed train Thalys and cross the northern border to discover the delights of the city of chocolates, waffles, and French fries. Observe the colorful architecture of the Bruges townhouses, climb to the top of the Belfry, and try to catch a glimpse of the North Sea. Listen to the rhythm of horse shoes as a horse-drawn carriage passes nearby. Discover the last brewery still operating in town and sample the local cuisine. End your journey relaxing in a tea room with the best whipped-cream-topped hot chocolate for the ultimate chocolate experience, before returning to Paris with a huge smile on your face…and a full tummy!
Avignon and Provence
Hop on the high speed train to Avignon and visit the Palais des Papes, one of Europe’s largest, most important medieval Gothic buildings. We’ll take a private coach to discover the Alpilles of the Provence region on the way to Roussillon, a beautiful village on top of a hill that’s known for its ochre trail. Follow the trail among ochre cliffs, a landscape that inspired Cezanne and Van Gogh. The next day, we’ll visit one of the most beautiful villages in France: les Baux de Provence and its castle. On the way back to Avignon, we’ll visit the open air "Provencal" market in Saint Remy de Provence, and stop at a wine cellar to sample "vin de provence" and local delicacies.
Strasbourg, France and Fribourg, Germany
Discover the eastern region of Alsace. The excursion starts with an in-depth walking tour of the center of Strasbourg, where you’ll immediately notice the strong Germanic influence in the architecture and way of life. We’ll enjoy a cruise down the Ill River that carries us through the Petite France district and to European Parliament, the central institution of European integration. The regions of Alsace and Lorraine have been the object of much conflict over the centuries, with France and Germany fighting for ownership. The mix of two cultures has produced delicious food such as "choucroute" or "flammekueche," and fine local beers you can sample during a traditional Alsatian meal. Before leaving, we’ll cross the border to Germany and enjoy a glimpse of the black forest and the city of Fribourg. You’ll also have the pleasure of tasting Alsatian wine in a small, family-run vineyard.
Whether you’re a novice or a confirmed fan of the Impressionist art movement, Giverny is a don’t-miss destination. The day begins with a visit to a museum dedicated to Monet's life and works. From here, take a trail leading through lush gardens where a lily pond, bamboo patches, and flowers bursting with color (a.k.a. the beautiful scenery that inspired many of Monet's paintings!) wait to be discovered. Meandering through Monet's gardens will surely work up your appetite; be sure to try some traditional dishes from Normandy. During your free time, you may opt to explore the Impressionist Museum, which displays works from several famous artists who flocked to this remarkable place to visit Monet throughout his life.
Loire Valley Châteaux
Nowhere else in the world can one discover such a rich collection of magnificently preserved castles—dating from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance—as the Loire Valley. In the comfort of a private coach, you’ll travel through mystical forests to visit Chambord and Chenonceau castles. A stop in Amboise, a lovely pedestrian town in the region’s heart, includes a visit to its castle. After some souvenir shopping, you will have the opportunity to see Le Clos Lucé, Leonardo da Vinci's former home, now a museum dedicated to the artist. The weekend doesn't stop there; you’ll learn about wine production and the particular qualities of Loire Valley wine at a local wine cellar and satisfy your appetite during a traditional French meal. The natural beauty of the landscapes, the phenomenal masterpieces of royal architecture, and the magnificently manicured gardens of the Loire Valley will charm you.
Mont St Michel
For centuries, Mont St Michel has been the object of admiration. Regardless of whether you arrive at low or high tide, you’ll be immediately overwhelmed by the majestic rocky island on the horizon. Mont St Michel has been standing for over 1,000 years; throughout the ages, the site has been the object of dispute between Normandy and Brittany to determine proper ownership.
Spend the morning climbing up the winding streets and enjoying an informative historical tour of the remarkable Gothic monastery. After all that climbing, you’ll want to sample traditional Norman dishes such as poulet à la crème and tarte aux pommes. After a night spent near the island, we’ll make our way to St. Malo, a pirate town on the Brittany coast. Before returning to Paris we’ll stop at an apple cider cellar where you’ll learn the process of making cider and taste the brut and doux versions of this lightly alcoholic apple drink.
This trip will tantalize your taste buds with delectable delights. Experience firsthand how French chocolates are made, spend an afternoon learning about world famous Brie cheese from Meaux and, visit the champagne cellars in Reims and Epernay. Seeing the magnificent Cathédrale Notre-Dame, where every French king has been crowned since the days of Jeanne d'Arc, is an incredible experience.
Take advantage of the unique flavors of Paris. CEA offers a variety of local immersion activities to match your interests. Whether you enjoy music concerts, clubs, sports, cooking classes, language exchanges or something entirely different, CEA Paris staff will help you engage with local culture and speak with Parisian students.
During most CEA-sponsored activities, you can practice your French with Parisians who wish to improve their English language skills and who are eager to help others learn French. CEA hosts a variety of activities designed to help you meet French peers; in fact, we’ve combed the city to recruit French students and young people who are interested in meeting newcomers and sharing language and culture. Outdoor activities include bike riding and rollerblading through Paris, tree climbing, and picnics where CEA students can get to know their French friends—they may even become friends for life! Here are some examples of activities students have participated in:
Dégustation de Fromage (Cheese Tasting)
CEA and local French students organize an evening activity to help initiate students to the world of French cheese. With hundreds of cheeses to choose from at the market or grocery store, it can be hard to know where to start. We select a variety of cheeses from the different regions of France, representing cow, goat, and sheep varieties. Carefully selected wines accompany the cheeses, allowing you to learn the importance of a good match, the role of cheese at a French meal, the methods of storing and serving cheese, and how best to select and enjoy the many different varieties. Team up with French students to defend your favorite cheese!
Allez les Bleus!
Pick up some sports vocabulary, learn the stadium cheers en français, and get to know more about French sports culture. CEA and local French students gather to cheer on the French national team (les Bleus!) as they tough it out on the field. Don’t forget to wear your bleu, blanc, rouge!
Everyone loves crepes, but how many people have mastered the art of making them? Spend an evening with local French students and learn a skill that will be useful for years to come. CEA sponsors a crepe-making and tasting evening where you’ll first observe the secrets for making a perfect batter. Crepe-making experts will walk you through recipes and show you how to stuff sweet and savory crepes. Try your hand at flipping crepes, and if that’s too ambitious, feel free to simply enjoy as many crepes as you want!
Paris Vert (Green Paris)
Put on your walking shoes and join CEA for a 5K walk through the City of Light. We’ll explore the greener side of Paris, strolling through hidden gardens and forests, and stopping to enjoy refreshment from one of the city’s sparkling water fountains (oui!) Take this opportunity to reflect on Paris’ urban planning and environmental initiatives, to stay healthy while abroad, and to discover the spots where the Parisians go to exercise and to relax. On y va!
The program was really well organized and helped me adjust well.