Frequently Asked Questions
What is APA?
Academic Programs Abroad or APA is a study abroad program provider designing immersive, customized programs for American university and college students in Paris, France and Dakar, Senegal. Students can choose to spend their fall or spring semester or an entire academic year with us in Paris and take classes in any major at our 10 Parisian partner universities. APA also offers a two-month Parisian summer internship option.
For students looking for a summer option, our six-week program in Dakar, Senegal is an excellent opportunity to improve in the French language in a non-traditional francophone environment.
In addition, APA designs faculty-led programs in Paris for university faculty. These programs can cater to any discipline and courses can be taught in French or English.
Who can study abroad with Academic Programs Abroad?
Our programs are designed for undergraduate and graduate students at American colleges and universities, though our students come from all over the world. To participate in our Paris intermediate program, at least two semesters of college French and a 2.75 GPA are the minimum requirements for acceptance. In order to be eligible for our Paris advanced program, students must have taken at least 4 semesters of college French and and hold a 3.0 GPA. And for our Dakar program, APA recommends at least 3 semesters of college French and 2.75 GPA.
Where will I study?
APA directly enrolls students in one or several of our 10 partner French universities and institutes in Paris. Students also have the option of enrolling in our two in-house electives. Advanced students can replace a course with an independent study or research.
Since Senegalese universities are not in session during the summer, students take classes with other members of the cohort. All courses are taught by local faculty.
Where will I live?
Students can choose to live with a host family, carefully chosen by APA, or they can choose to live independently in an APA-arranged French student residence or find an apartment on their own through student-arranged housing. With independent living, it is the student's responsibility to pay rent on-time each month.
All students are paired with a host family after careful review of a housing questionnaire.
What kind of classes can I take?
APA students take courses for any major--from art history to zoology. Because French universities do not release their course offerings until the beginning of each semester, APA has put together a course catalog made up of previously offered courses for your convenience.
Students of any major can join the Dakar program and choose two courses from the four that are offered by APA for the summer term.
When are the application deadlines?
For Paris full academic year or fall semester enrollment:
For Paris spring enrollment:
For Dakar summer enrollment:
Will my credits transfer?
Speak with your study abroad advisor about your university's requirements and policy. Each institution is different--some colleges only transfer credits as pass/fail and others may not transfer the credits at all, as the student is required to take a leave of absence for the semester abroad.
ParisAPA allows students to take four or five courses per semester. During a special “shopping” or add/drop period, students can sit in on a maximum of 10 classes in order to find the courses that best fits their needs and institutional requirements. APA contacts the student's home study abroad office and/or academic advisor to submit syllabus information and determine if the course will be accepted.
DakarStudents will pre-select the courses they would like to follow. Syllabi will be made available to students so that this information can be passed along to the home institution's study abroad office and/or academic advisor for approval.
How can I receive a copy of my transcript?
Send an email to the APA Paris Office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use “Transcript” as the subject line.
As a graduate student, can I study abroad through APA Paris?
Yes! APA Paris welcomes and supports graduate students in their study abroad experience. You will even attend regular individual working sessions with a professor specialized in your area of research to help you structure and develop your thesis.
Is there a summer program?
Yes! APA offers a six-week program in West Africa, in Dakar, Senegal. Two-week extensions in intensive French or Wolof or an internship are available.
Is there a summer internship?
Yes! During the summer (from mid-May to mid-July), students who spend a spring semester or year in Paris through APA have the opportunity to extend their trip through the summer to work in Paris as an intern. APA has a unique partnership with the Institute for Field Education (IFE), to provide American students with internships in a variety of Parisian firms, businesses, NGOs, labs, national departments, and more.
What will happen if I have a problem during my program?
Is there a support network?
Students are encouraged to speak with an APA staff member if there are concerns during their time abroad. An appropriate action plan will be developed and implemented in order to alleviate any issues. Our staff is there to support you during your stay, but you also have a contact in our US office should you or your parents need it.
Is there anything I won’t or shouldn’t be able to do abroad?
Anything that would be considered illegal in the US should be considered illegal and therefore forbidden while abroad. For example, driving without a license and hitchhiking. Additionally, all participants must be law-abiding in France, Senegal, or wherever they choose to go for personal travel while abroad. There may be country-specific laws and regulations that apply. Students can be sent home for breaking laws or for consistently violating the rules set forth by Academic Programs Abroad.
Does APA provide health insurance?
If not, would my parents’ plan suffice?
As APA does not provide health insurance, you will need to find your own policy for your stay abroad. If your home institution’s study abroad office does not propose an option, our US office can provide you with some. It is important to determine the exact coverage provided, the countries included, the out-of-pocket expenses you will incur, as well as reimbursement periods. You may also wish to determine if a medical repatriation is included in the policy and what sports are covered if you plan on partaking in these activities during your stay abroad. These costs are not included in your program tuition.
Do I need to get any vaccinations before I go?
APA advises all students to make sure your standard vaccinations are up-to-date before traveling abroad.
No, France does not require any specific vaccinations, nor are they necessary for travel in France.
The CDC recommends that most travelers receive the following vaccinations when traveling to Senegal: Hepatitis A, Malaria, Typhoid, and Yellow Fever. Some travelers may be required to have the Hepatitis B, Meningitis, and Rabies vaccines. Visit and consult with your doctor about 4-6 weeks before the departure date to receive the recommended vaccinations.
Will my friends and I study at the same locations?
Not necessarily. As APA allows students to tailor their program while abroad, each student can choose classes at one or several of our 10 partner institutions. Therefore, unless you are of the same major with the same academic needs, it is likely that you will be taking classes at different institutions on different campuses.
With four classes to choose from, you and your friends may decide to take the same courses!
Do I need a passport to study abroad? What about a student visa?
A passport is required and each student will need to apply for a student visa through their respective French consulate prior to going abroad. In order to do so, he/she must have a valid passport that will expire at least six months after the conclusion of the program. More information will be provided after acceptance into APA.
A valid passport is required however, a student visa is not needed for American passport holders. If you are an international student, visa requirements may be different. Contact the US APA office if this is the case.