Office of International Programs

Brown in France: Paris

Eiffel Tower, ParisEiffel Tower, ParisAt a Glance

City: Paris
Housing: Rented room in French household or rented room/apartment in a student residence. Students may choose to be housed by the program or make arrangements independently.
Partner: Various from Paris universities and institutes (see below). All disciplines available.
Language Requirement:  AdvancedFREN 0600/sixth-semester college-level French 
Calendar: Semester or Year
Accepts Non-Brown Students: Yes


Paris is France’s vibrant intersection of politics, fashion, business, arts, and science, boasting some of the most prominent universities, sporting events, opera companies, and museums in the world. The Brown in France Paris program offers direct enrollment at the University of Paris for upper-level students of French in a broad range of disciplines. A credit-bearing pro-seminar focusing on French language, culture, and society, various cultural activities and excursions, and an on-site orientation prepare students for their entry into the French university classroom and facilitates their integration into French society.

Cultural Activities

The program includes monthly social gatherings and cultural events (such as an opera performance, museum visits, concerts, or ballet). A three-day group excursion (with the Brown in Lyon students) to a historically or culturally important region is also scheduled each semester as well as a solo discovery week-end during which students are hosted by a family in a different region of France. Within the framework of the pro-seminar each student designs an individual project of their choice and making, whose objective is to help them better understand French society. The projects are monitored by the Resident Director.


The Sorbonne, founded in 1257 and the second oldest university in Europe, has evolved into fifteen different universities, including the following which are open to Brown program participants. Tutors are available throughout the year to help students improve their writing, prepare for oral presentations or make sure science basics are adequate.

  • Paris I emphasizes visual arts, art history, economics, history, and political science.
  • Sorbonne Université, created through the merger of Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC/Paris VI) and Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) in January 2018, brings together arts, humanities, medicine, science, and engineering.
  • Paris VIII offers a wide range of courses in the humanities and social sciences, often from an interdisciplinary perspective.

It is possible to combine study at two Paris universities at the same time, and enrollment at specialized schools, like l'École spéciale d'architecture (for architecture classes) or l'Institut catholique de Paris (for religious studies) is also possible. 


Students need to obtain 27-30 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits, six (6) of which are carried by the pro-seminar. For the remaining 21-24 credits, students enroll in the university or universities which best meet(s) their academic needs.

Required Course

Brown in Paris Pro-seminar, 6 ECTS

This mandatory seminar is launched during orientation and continues on an individual basis throughout the semester. The course aims to facilitate students' immersion in France and more particularly in Paris (academic, social, political, and cultural life) and to help students deepen their knowledge and understanding of French society. Students explore a theme or aspect of contemporary French society through an individual research project.

Elective Courses

Students choose four to six (typically five) courses from University of Paris offeringsActual course offerings often are not posted until just before the semester begins, and final course registration takes place in Paris. Because this is a direct enrollment program and specific courses may not be offered by the host institution each semester, students need to be flexible with their course selections.   

Program Calendar

Approximate dates are provided based on past programs; students should expect them to vary by year. Please refer to the program calendar for specific information about program dates.  Note: Students should not make travel plans during the orientation period or the weekend of the regional seminar.

  • Fall semester: early September - third week of December
  • Full-year: early September - late May
  • Spring semester: early January - late May


Students may choose to be housed by the program or arrange housing independently. Housing options organized through the program include a rented room in a Parisian home or a room/apartment in a student residence.

Option 1: A rented room in a Parisian home

 Students who choose this option rent a bedroom in a private Parisian home.  

  • The common spaces (living room, kitchen) are shared.  

  • The bathroom can be private or shared.  

  • Sheets and towels are provided.  

  • All utilities, as well as internet access, are included.  

  • Rental insurance included.

  • Meals are not included.

Option 2: A room/apartment in a student residence

Students who choose this option rent a room or small apartment in a student residence.

  • The common spaces (living room, library) are shared.  

  • The bathroom can be private or shared.  

  • The kitchen can be private or shared

  • Sheets may be provided.

  • Towels are not provided.

  • Rental insurance included.

  • Meals are not included (breakfast service sometimes optional).

  • Most utilities, as well as internet access, are included.  

  • Security deposit and handling fees required in most cases.

The selection process begins with a detailed questionnaire about student housing needs and budget, which students are asked to complete after being admitted into the program.  Each student then has an individual interview with the Associate Director in Paris, either via online video conferencing or in person on the Brown campus. The housing placement will then be communicated to the student several weeks before departure.

Students may choose to arrange their own housing.  They are responsible for all aspects of this process.  

The cut off date to request housing through the program is May 15th for the fall semester and November 15th for the spring semester.  Any housing requests made after this date cannot be honored.

Upon arrival in Paris, students spend the first night in a hotel and move into their permanent living situation the next day.

Eligibility and Requirements

The Brown in France program in Paris is open to Brown and visiting undergraduate students.  

Students must be in good academic standing and have completed FREN 0600/sixth-semester college-level French with a grade of B or higher before beginning their studies in France. Students are required to take at least one course in French the year before departure.

Application Instructions

Apply by the deadline using Brown's online application system via the "apply now" and "return to application" buttons on the right side of this page.  Applications typically require faculty recommendations so it is important to begin the process early.

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