What I loved about this course was that I was able to learn a great deal about French literature, history, and culture while discovering Paris. I genuinely felt that, by the end of the course, I knew Paris very well and substantially improved my French. Professors Jardine and Wolfe were fantastic teachers that made you think critically about both the content of the class and your surroundings in Paris.”
The Harvard Summer Program in Paris, France, features an integrated third-year-level interdisciplinary course that explores the city through the theme of revolution. You will hone your language skills by participating in classroom sessions conducted exclusively in French, and your cultural and historical understanding will be enriched through daily explorations of Parisian neighborhoods, film, and theater outings, as well as weekend excursions. The program culminates in an individual project that you design and execute, tying your personal experience to the city’s dynamic literature, history, and culture, past and present.
Classes introduce you to a broad array of significant literary and cultural texts. Beyond the classroom, you are encouraged to explore Paris and engage with its diverse populace, turning the city itself into your classroom.
FREN S-100 counts as one full-year course (8 credits) of degree credit and as two half-year courses toward the foreign language citation.
FREN S-100 Study Abroad in Paris, France: Paris and Its Revolutions
Alice A. Jardine, PhD, Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Harvard University
Loren K. Wolfe, PhD, Lecturer on French, Columbia University Global Center in Paris
UN Limited enrollment.
We consider the theme of revolution in its most literal sense, as in the revolutions of 1789 and 1968, as well as in its more abstract senses associated with far-reaching changes in politics, culture, and the arts. The course itself is structured around the 20 neighborhoods, or arrondissements, of Paris. For each arrondissement, we focus on pivotal revolutions, inviting students to explore them through coursework and guided discovery of specific sites throughout the city. At the end of our course, students should have attained an advanced linguistic level and a better understanding of French culture and history. Students are then able to pursue their study of French at Harvard by taking culture and literature classes at the 70/100 level.
Prerequisite: for Harvard College students, completion of a French 30-level class or a minimum score of 690 on the Harvard placement test; for non-Harvard students, an intermediate to advanced command of French is required.
Where You'll Live and Study
Paris’s remarkable diversity, history, and beauty offers you the ideal environment in which to learn about French literature, history, and culture, as well as to gain confidence speaking French.
“I loved my summer in Paris! I really learned about Paris as a historical place and a currently thriving city. I walked more that summer than any other, just strolling with friends around the city. The readings really opened my mind, especially Roland Barthes! My French got so much better and everyone in the course was so enthusiastic about getting better at speaking. I still refer to ‘my summer in Paris’ all the time because it is such a touchstone in understanding my development in college.”
You are placed in homestays a short distance from Reid Hall, located in the lively Montparnasse (sixth) district of Paris, where classes are held.
To apply, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have completed at least one year of college or be a first-year student
- Be in good academic standing
Students enrolled at any accredited university are welcome to apply. See the How to Apply page for more information.
The Summer 2023 application will be available in December. Each program has unique requirements included in the online application. Beginning your application early is the best way to ensure that you have sufficient time to review and complete the application requirements by the deadline.
You may apply to no more than two programs; if applying to two programs, you will be asked to rank your two applications in order of preference (first and second choice). Any applications submitted in excess of the maximum of two will be automatically withdrawn. You will be notified of your admissions status in each program by early March.
A complete online application includes:
- Basic personal information
- A statement of interest
- Your most recent transcript
- Program-specific requirements (if applicable; may include letters of recommendation, etc.)
Interviews may be requested at the discretion of the program.
Harvard College students applying for funding from the Office of Career Services (OCS): Please note that the OCS funding application is separate. OCS funding awards are tied to a specific program, and cannot be transferred to another program.
If you have questions about the application, please contact the Harvard Summer School Study Abroad Office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cost & Expenses
The program fee includes:
- Scheduled program activities
- Some meals (the program will provide further details)
- Harvard Summer School health insurance plan
You will also need to budget for a number of expenses not covered by the program fee. The amounts listed below for these out-of-pocket expenses are approximate, and you may incur additional expenses not noted here. Your actual expenses will depend on a number of factors, including personal spending habits and currency exchange rates. Note that expense categories–especially airfare–may be subject to significant fluctuations.
- International airfare ($1,400 – $1,600)
- Ground transportation ($250)
- Meals ($1,600)
- Personal expenditures, communications, course materials, and miscellaneous ($500)
If you have specific questions about personal budgeting, please contact the program directly.
See Funding and Payment for information on how to submit payments and funding options.