The Academic Curriculum includes :
- Two required courses organized by A.P.A. :
- One dealing with French language or French Stylistics and Oral Expression
- One in French social and political culture entitled "La France d'aujourd'hui"
Each French language course consists of a small class, ranging from 8 to 10 students who have the same linguistic ability. The student's level of French is determined by the results of the test he or she takes during the adaptation / orientation period. Students judged to have particularly strong language skills may take an advanced stylistics course instead of the French language courses. Each course meets 2 hours per week throughout the semester. Once a week, each student will also participate in a 60 minute course in Oral Expression.
Please note that, depending on the results of the language tests, A.P.A. might consider the student's proficiency to be such that he/she can be exempted from taking the French language course. The French language course will then be replaced by another class at the university, in addition to the three mentioned below.
As for La France d'Aujourd'hui students who have already completed an equivalent course in their home institution may be exempted from this A.P.A. course and may substitue a further Paris University course. Any student wishing to be exempted should submit to A.P.A. a detailed description and syllabus of the U. S. college/university course concerned.
Students enrolled for the full year are automatically exempted from the culture course in the spring semester. They may also be exempted from the French language or stylistics course course if they demonstrate a strong command of the language. In this case, one or both courses will be replaced by courses at the university.
A.P.A. offers three credits for each of these courses; however the final decision regarding the exact credit allocation is determined by the student's home institution.
- Three courses at the university :
All courses, apart from our two in-house courses, are taken within the French university system. Students make their selection from courses taught in French. A.P.A. does not encourage students to take courses in a foreign language and literature department while they are in Paris. Under exceptional circumstances permission to enroll in such courses may be granted as a fourth course at the university with prior approval from the student's home institution, provided the courses are available at the university where the student is already registered.
Please note that a number of universities offer the same fields of study. A.P.A. screens the university courses and selects them according to the following criteria :
- The interest value of the course
- The qualifications of the faculty member teaching the course
- The course evaluations from past students
This process ensures that A.P.A. students are guided only toward courses of proven quality.
Students generally take courses at the second-year level in a French institution. However, thanks to the academic support system offered by A.P.A., students demonstrating a sufficient mastery of the language can enroll in the " licence " (third year and degree) - level courses that often can be more challenging. APA students will take courses with highly-qualified French students.
A.P.A.students are not exclusively French majors. On the contrary, they specialize in a wide variety of fields. They can take courses in any field of study, with the exception of medicine and architecture.
In most cases, APA students are enrolled in two different universities. Please note that students are registered in the selected universities, and hold a university student card. This gives them the same enrollment status as their French counterparts and benefit from the same facilities : libraries, student restaurants, sports, cultural activities, etc... (A student card offers reduced tickets prices for plays, movies, and entry to museums.).
A.P.A. works mostly with the following Universities:
- PARIS X Nanterre for Literature, Philosophy, History, Geography, Art History, Cinema, Theater Studies, Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology, Linguistics, Economics, Political Science.
- PARIS IV Sorbonne : History, Art History and Musicology only, limited to History and Art History majors and minors.
- PARIS VI Ranked N° 1 in the Sciences : Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics.
- PARIS VIII for Art History, Gender Studies, Literature, Philosophy, Political Science and Geography.
- PARIS IX Dauphine Ranked N° 1 in Economics for Economics, Business and Management.
- Institut Catholique for Religion and Theology.
- INALCO (Institut NAtional des Langues et Civilisations Orientales) for courses in African, Middle Eastern and East Asian Civilizations.
- Conservatoires municipaux de la ville de Paris for Dance and Music performance - a musical repertoire is requested.
- Ecole du Louvre Art History: available only for year-long students and open exclusively to students majoring in Art history who have already obtained the required pre-requisites' necessary for the subject they wish to study.
- ENSAD (Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs) one of the top three art schools in France for studio art (A.P.A. is the only study abroad program with access to this prestigious school). Courses offered : Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Photography, Graphic Design. Beginners cannot be admitted. A portfolio is required. Feel free to consult the website of this school. However, please note that there are restrictions on enrollment.
A.P.A. handles all administrative procedures for enrollment.
Academic Support :
- Cours complémentaires
The policy of Academic Programs Abroad is to provide a "cours complémentaire" to supplement all classes taken at a university or institute of higher learning. In most cases, the same instructor teaches the university course and the "cours complémentaire". They play an essential role in a student's academic success. However, a minimum of three students is required to organize a "cours complémentaire". The class meets every two weeks for an hour and a half.
Once the cours complémentaire has been open and put in place, it is inseparable from the university class.
The cours complémentaires help students master the French approach to methods of analysis, to French critical thinking and to bridge the gap between the French and American educational systems.
The objectives of the "cours complémentaire" are :
- to clarify the points not understood in the university course by the students,
- to help the American students complete the prerequisites already fulfilled by the French students taking the same course
- to give the American students regular assignments and readings to meet the requirements of American institutions, knowing that French students are normally required to do only one assignment and a final exam at the end of the semester.
- to offer the American students the opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas with the professors, a rare occurrence in the French system.
- to allow the students to enroll in "licence" - level courses (3rd year and degree). This, too, is an exceptional opportunity. . For example, a " French major " with a good command of the French language can take a 3rd-year literature course without the support of the " cours complémentaire " but that exemption is not possible for subjects such as history because American students do not have the necessary background in this field.
- Tutoring sessions
APA organizes tutoring sessions (1 or 2) for students encountering difficulties in a class, even if they are the only one taking the class.
- Methodology sessions
Due to the immense differences between the methodology used in the US and the French system, and the great difficulties that students encounter when working on the composition and elaboration of a text in the French system, APA organizes several sessions of methodology to help assist the students in the composition of their work while in Paris.
These methodology courses are aessential for the students's success during the semester!
- Proofreading sessions
APA proposes, for interested students, proofreading sessions, where a French language proferssor helps to reread students's work and provide suggestions before students hand it in to university professor.
Special In-House Course Offerings
Since A.P.A. promotes immersion into the French educational system, the program offers only two in-house courses.
- French Theater from the XVIIth to the XXIst Century directly linked to plays currently being performed on the Paris stage and included in the cultural program. It prepares the students to appreciate both the written text of the play and the performance.
- Painting and Sculpture in France in the 19th and 20th centuries:
- Fall semester: 19th century.
- Spring semester: 20th century.
This class meets twice a week and includes one-session in a museum per week.
Students can take only one of these two special in-house courses per semester. All other courses must be taken in the French University system
A few internships for qualified candidates are available during the Spring Semester for students enrolled for the academic year : in environmental, humanitarian, and immigrant organizations.
Students spend 1 or 2 full days per week in the assigned organization and meet regularly with a professor who is knowledgeable in the student's field. This professor will supervise their research and evaluate the student’s final project. They receive 1 or 2 course credits according to their home university's policy.
Students may also undertake an independent study project contingent on the approval of their home institution. A professor who is knowledgeable in the field supervises the student throughout the semester.