Students on L'Académie de Paris can choose from more than 20 academic and creative courses in French or English that are all designed to make the most of Paris through daily outings to museums and appropriate sites, guest speakers, project-work, and more. Popular courses in recent years have included Creative Writing, Fashion, French Language, and Paris: ville imaginaire. Descriptions for these courses follow.
Creative Writing: Writing Paris
Students focus on Paris as a city full of stories and characters. Through images, short readings, and exercises, they draw inspiration from the city in order to hone and broaden their writing skills. Led by professional writers and guest speakers, the emphasis is to stimulate and inspire new writing as well as polish writing skills. Students visit evocative settings, such as Hemingway’s favorite café, Beckett’s tomb, or St. Genevieve’s statue in the Luxembourg Gardens, and attend readings by established poets and writers, in order to spur creativity. They edit and publish their best work in the program’s literary magazine.
Using the city’s fashion resources, students are introduced to the history and modern processes of haute-couture. They become acquainted with the main facets of the business - from factory floor to shop floor to boutique - visit some of the most famous houses as well as their artisanal suppliers, and learn the basics of clothes and accessory design. The course culminates in a fashion show in which the students première their creations. Materials fee of $100 US for Majors; $50 US for Minors.
French Language: Conversation and Composition
Taking full advantage of the city of Paris, and using innovative and interactive teaching methods, this course offers a review of tenses and structures, as well as vocabulary-building exercises with a strong focus on conversational proficiency. Language learning is approached through a variety of activities, such as storytelling and role playing, and short thematic units that integrate museums and cultural sites, and bring students into contact with local native speakers. Students work on pronunciation, intonation, and public speaking. They are evaluated on the first day and placed in a group with others of a similar level.
Paris: ville imaginaire
Paris a inspiré les plus célèbres artistes, cinéastes, écrivains, et créateurs. Parfois la ville lumière joue un rôle principal dans leur œuvre, parfois elle n’est que son inspiration. A travers ce cours pluridisciplinaire -- qui allie promenades en ville, visites de musées, films, lectures, et exercices d’écriture -- les étudiants découvrent comment Paris a été imaginé et représenté par différents artistes, tout en travaillant leurs propres créations multimédia.
Paris: City of Imagination
Paris has inspired the world’s most famous artists, filmmakers, writers, designers, and performers. Sometimes the city of lights has featured as the star of their work, and at other times it has simply been the inspiration behind it. In this interdisciplinary course that combines walking tours, museum visits, film screenings, readings, and writing exercises, students discover and analyze the various ways in which Paris has been depicted and brought to life in artists’ work while simultaneously creating their own multimedia Paris portfolios.
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Our teachers are academics and researchers drawn from the Sorbonne, Ecole normale supérieure, and other world-leading universities, as well as established creative professionals. A few Faculty members from recent summers are featured here below - for a full Faculty list please visit our Faculty page.
Dr. Elise Aru
BA, MA University of East Anglia, PhD, University College London
Dr. Aru has taught French language and translation seminars at University College London for five years. She has particular expertise in the creative and ludic translation of surrealist poetry. Dr. Aru is also a published author. Her most recent work is a translation of Delphine Grass's poem "Coming to London With No Ears."
Dr. Sophie Creyssels
BA, MA Université Montpellier II, PhD, MD Université de Montpellier
Dr. Creyssels is a neuroscientist based in the thoracic and vascular surgery ward of Arnaud de Villeneuve Hospital in Montpellier. She has particular expertise on intracellular trafficking in neurons. Dr. Creyssels is also an experienced pedagogue, and has taught courses on biology and on consulting and treating patients in psychiatric clinics.
BA, MA Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp
Pierre-Antoine manages and designs for his own fashion label. His garments seek to mix precision and creativity, poetry and drama. "Vice" magazine has praised them for their "intriguing peeks into a fantastical world." He trained at the Royal Academy in Antwerp and has worked with an array of famous designers, including Zac Posen in New York. Pierre-Antoine regularly gives lectures on fashion history in museums across Europe.
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L'Académie de Paris students reside in the Lycée Notre Dame de Sion, a top independent school in the 6th arrondissement adjacent to the southwest corner of the Luxembourg Gardens. The Eiffel Tower, the Rodin Museum, Notre Dame, the Louvre, as well as other famed sites are all within walking distance.
Students are housed in singles or doubles.
Students are guided through the museums and attractions that make Paris so famous, including the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré-Coeur, the Centre Pompidou, the Arc de Triomphe, the Panthéon, and many more. There is also a more private, less well-known Paris, to which we introduce students, one that provides lasting memories and creates a profound connection with the city. This can include visits to the Père Lachaise Cemetery, the final resting place of Molière, Chopin, Oscar Wilde, and Jim Morrison; the Marché aux Puces, a bustling flea market with more than 2000 stalls; the Musée Marmottan, widely considered to be France’s leading repository of Impressionist art, housing the largest Monet collection in the world as well as works by Renoir, Gauguin, and Sisley; and the 600-year-old buildings and squares of the Marais which includes the traditional Jewish quarter, the majestic Place des Vosges, and the house of Victor Hugo. Other recent activities include Sunday picnics in the park of a nearby château, an excursion to the Canal Saint-Martin made famous in the popular movie Amélie, and a visit to the Parisian sewers as well as a myriad exhibits in little-known museums.
For the athletically inclined, we have a sports hall on-site where students take part in pick-up games of soccer, basketball, tennis, or volleyball. The picturesque Luxembourg Gardens, just next door, are ideal for jogging. Students can also swim at the local sports center and practice yoga in the school's dance studio.
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PROGRAM ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE
Every student is met personally at Charles de Gaulle or Orly airport upon arrival and escorted to the residence. At the end of the program, they are accompanied back to the airport, where we oversee check-in and departure. A representative stays at the airport until every flight has departed.
SAFETY AND SUPERVISION
The Lycée lies in an extremely safe and calm neighborhood. Access is strictly controlled and there is twenty-four hour security. Day-to-day life is overseen by teams of Deans - professional educators drawn from leading schools in the US, Canada, and Australia. The residence has a program office, in a central location, which is open and permanently staffed by Deans from before 8am until well past midnight. Every student checks in personally, every evening, with the Deans on duty. The Program Director, Deans, residential staff, and some members of faculty live in the residences, ensuring round-the-clock care and supervision.
Student Safety, Rules, and Behavior
Every summer, students and teachers on L'Académie de Paris maintain a blog, which provides unparalleled insight into daily life, classes, and activities. Last summer’s blog is available here!