FAQ's

Who should enroll in this program?

The program is open to both students majoring in art or art history and to non-majors.   After you file your application, you will be contacted by the program director you can advise you on the course best suited to your background and interests.  Students must be in good academic standing and must first be approved into the program through the application process.  Click here for the application instructions, the application form, and for details on eligibility.

Since daily activities will involve considerable amounts of walking and stair climbing, students should be in reasonably good physical condition.  Accommodations will be made for students with disabilities.

The most important prerequisite is a desire to learn from the course activities and projects as well as from the immersion in a different culture and language.  Adaptability and an adventurous spirit will also be helpful to the students' overall participation in this program.

Must I be a University of South Florida student to participate?

No. Students in good standing at other academic institutions are welcome as well as non-degree seeking students. Students at other schools who are seeking credit for this program toward their degree should inquire at their home institution about the transferability of credit.   Our Education Abroad office will provide whatever documentation your school requires for the transfer of credits.  Students at other universities within the Florida State University System should be able to transfer credits since these are regular State University System academic courses. 

How much money will I need for personal expenses in addition to the program fee?

This varies greatly depending upon personal spending habits. We recommend a minimum of $200/week to cover personal expenses.   Some students have survived on $15.00/day by avoiding restaurants and cafes and keeping other personal expenses such as souvenirs, phone calls, and postage to a minimum.   The program fee is very inclusive and includes not only all of your transportation (unlimited use of the metro and bus systems within metropolitan Paris and trains in the surrounding Ile de France region) and unlimited museum admissions (both for museums you visit with your class and those you visit on your own).    Your main personal expense will be food.   Every room will have a refrigerator and the residence has cooking facilities, so students can economize considerably by preparing their own meals.   Students will have access to student cafeterias where a complete lunch or dinner will cost 3.5 euros (approximately $4.00)   The best things about Paris are free.   Your instructors, the program director and program assistant will be able to offer you numerous tips on how to conserve your funds if you're on a tight budget.   Obviously, if you plan to do extensive shopping or to eat out frequently in restaurants and cafes, your expenses will be higher.   Similarly, for the London excursion, students receive a pass for unlimited use of the transportation systems within metropolitan London and all admissions for group visits to museums are covered.   The residence in London provides a full breakfast each morning. 

What travel arrangements are included in the program fee and what travel arrangements must I make myself?

Students should leave the U.S. on May 31st (overnight flight) to arrive in Paris the morning of June 1st.   Air travel is not included in the program fee.  Students will be given clear directions on how to reach the residence from the airport and the quickest and easiest option is the RER train for which students will be given a ticket before their departure from the U.S.   A Paris Navigo pass will be provided to each student which allows unlimited use of the Paris metro and bus systems for the duration of the program.   Round-trip travel by either train or chartered bus is included for the group day trips to cities and towns outside of Paris such as Chartres, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Giverny, and Auvers-sur-Oise.   Students enrolled in the London excursion will travel there as a group with program staff on a Eurostar train the afternoon of June 30th.  Upon arrival in London, a chartered bus will transport students to the residence.  A chartered bus or van service will transport students from the residence to the London airport the morning of July 6th.   Those not participating in the London excursion and returning to the U.S. on June 30th will be transported to the Paris airport via limo van service or RER train (their choice). Students who wish to combine this program with independent travel in Europe are encouraged to do such travel prior to June 1st or to return to the U.S. at a later date since the program schedule will not allow for independent travel in Europe during the month of June.   Please be sure to arrive in Paris no later than the morning of June 1st and do not book your air ticket until you have been approved into the program, have met with the program director and have received specific instructions from him on arranging your air travel. 

Can I make my own housing arrangements?

Although this is possible, we strongly encourage students to not arrange their own lodging, since living in the same residence as the other students contributes to your overall participation in the program and to the coordination of program activities and events. 

Will I need a visa to enter France?

You will need a valid passport but U.S. citizens do not need a visa for stays in France of three months or less. If you hold a passport from another country, check with the French embassy about visa requirements (telephone: 305-372-9799). If you don't have a passport you can get an application at most post offices ($100.00 for ten years). Don't delay on this since the passport application must be submitted with an original birth certificate which may take some time to obtain if you don't already have it.  Click here to obtain U.S. passport application forms

How will the time in Paris be structured? Will there be sufficient free time to pursue my own interests and activities?

The Paris art or art history class will meet approximately 16-20 hours/week distributed Monday through Thursday.   Class time will be devoted to visits to museums and other cultural sites, discussions, critiques and guest lectures and some of this time may be allotted to independent work toward class projects.   Most of your class time will be spent in the city rather than in the classroom and course activities will emphasize your acquiring the skills that will enable you to feel comfortable exploring Paris independently. In addition, all students are enrolled in "Voyages in the Ile de France" (1 credit) which consists of three daytrips form Paris, two of them on Fridays and one on a Saturday afternoon/evening.   Most activities scheduled on the weekends will be optional and there will be ample time for your independent explorations of the city.   However, students should be aware that this is a substantive academic program with course requirements which requires your active participation and not a packaged tour of the city.  Since the Paris art and art history courses will have overlapping or conflicting meeting times, students are permitted to enroll in one 3-credit art or art history course only.   Those seeking additional credits are encouraged to enroll in the optional excursion to Venice.

Which School of Art and Art History degree requirements will the Paris courses fulfill?

The Paris art studio course will satisfy one of the following:   Theme Studio, or Advanced/Intermediate Elective Studio or Extended Studies.  The Paris art history course will count as an art history survey course or can be used to satisfy the Extended Studies requirement.   The optional excursion to London combined with "Voyages in the Ile de France" will satisfy the Extended Studies requirement.   (See your academic advisor for confirmation on how the credits will be applied to your degree requirements.)   Note that the Paris courses cannot be used to fulfill two requirements at the same time.   For example, if you use the art studio course to satisfy the Theme Studio requirement, it cannot also be used to satisfy the Extended Studies requirement.

Will there be time during the program for independent travel?

Most weekends will be scheduled as free time although we have some great optional activities scheduled on weekends which are included in the program fee.   However, this is an intensive program and not one which will allow you to incorporate European travel during the month of June.   If you would like to spend some extra time in Paris, or would like to combine this program with other European travel, you should either arrive in Europe prior to the start date of the program or remain after its conclusion.   Although distances between countries in Europe are small by U.S. standards, cramming in a jaunt to another country during the weekend will be hectic and frustrating.  Besides, once you become familiar with Paris and its environs you'll find it to be an extremely dense and rich environment with no shortage of things to explore.  We cannot arrange lodging for you after June 30th, but can provide guidance and suggestions for extending your time in Europe.   Students who wish to extend their stay in Paris through the month of July may be able to do so at a very moderate additional cost by booking additional weeks of lodging at one of our Paris residences.   It is also possible to combine this program with semester or year-long study-abroad options that can be arranged through our Education Abroad Office.  We encourage students to give their travel plans serious consideration prior to purchasing their air ticket so as to avoid the costly penalties imposed by the airlines for changes.   Do not purchase your air ticket until after you have been accepted into the program and after you have met with the program director.

How much French will I need to know to survive in Paris for four weeks?

It is suggested that you engage in some form of language preparation prior to your arrival in Paris.  The more French you know, the less alienated you will feel, and the more you will get out of your stay in Paris. This doesn't mean having to become fluent. Even a minimal vocabulary of 100 words and one or two dozen phrases will go a long way towards easing your daily encounters with the French.  A Beginning French course, self-study cds, websites, or self-study books such as "French in Ten Minutes a Day" will also help a great deal.  An optional "emergency French language and culture" session will be provided shortly after your arrival in Paris, focused on a basic "survival" vocabulary and on pronunciation so that you won't be tongue-tied or incomprehensible when you order your morning cafe crème or baguette.

 What are the lodging facilities like? Will there be studio and classroom space?

Our students are housed at centrally-located university residences, including our principal residence, the Cite Universitaire de Paris (CIUP) in the 14th arrondissement, the Foyer International des Etudiantes, (FIE) 93 blvd. St. Michel in the 5th arrondisement, and the Foyer Tolbiac (TOLBIAC), 234 rue de Tolbiac in the 13th arrondissement.     Instructors are housed at the Foyer International des Etudiantes which is also the location of classrooms.   All residences are conveniently connected by bus and RER train and are no more than 15-20 minutes away from each other.    The residences are equipped with a with a full range of amenities including a small kitchen on every floor, laundry facilities, outdoor terraces and internet connection.   The rooms are clean and each is equipped with a small refrigerator and sink.  There is 24-hour security at the front desk.  These residences do not resemble, however, an American-style hotel.  Showers and toilets are down the hall.   There are no phones in the rooms at the Cite Universitaire or Foyer Tolbiac.   All residences have wifi.  There are phones in the rooms at the FIE but they can receive incoming calls only.  The residences have no lockout.   Single rooms with private bathroom and shower are available for a surcharge (see "fees and features").   Every effort will be made to accommodate student preferences for their housing assignment.   Since the activities in the art class will emphasize the use of accessible methods and materials (such as photography, photocopies, collage, found objects and performance), studio art facilities are neither needed nor provided.   London excursion students and faculty are housed a centrally-located residence of the University College London in doubles or singles.   The London residence provides a full breakfast each morning.  

Can family or friends visit me during the program?   Can they participate in program activities?

We strongly discourage family or friends from visiting you during the program since it is likely to divide your attention between program activities and your desire to spend time with your visitors.   If you do receive visitors during the program, please note that they cannot be present at any program activities or functions.   (This is in order to avoid a situation in which services provided by the program and paid by student program fees are delivered to those who have not paid the fee.)   The best way for you to receive visitors is to arrange a later date of return and to have your visitors arrive at the conclusion of the program when you will be free to give them your full attention.   Spouses or significant others who wish to join you for the duration of the Paris program and/or for the optional excursion to London may enroll as non degree-seeking students and will pay the regular program fee. 

If I am on a tight budget, what are some of the things I can do to conserve my funds during the program?

  • Instead of eating in restaurants, buy food at discount supermarkets or local food vendors and picnic in neighborhood parks.
  • Use your International Student Card (included in the program fee and provided to all students) and ask for discounts when you buy tickets to events. (You won't be spending any money on art museum admissions since they are included in the program fee, both those that you attend with the class and those that you attend independently.)
  • Bring art supplies and other supplies with you to Paris instead of buying them there.
  • Adapt your diet to the local specialties.   Bread, cheese, yogurt, most produce and some other foods are usually less expensive in France than in the U.S. 

What advice do students in previous program's have for those enrolled in the 2017 program?

  • Learn more French before leaving for Paris.
  • Buy groceries and cook your own meals rather than going out to restaurants (if you're on a tight budget).
  • Wear comfortable shoes.  (You'll be doing a lot of walking and comfort is more important than fashion!)
  • Do not overpack.  
  • Bring extra funds for shopping or as a contingency fund in the event of an emergency (i.e., a backup credit or debit card or a small amount of U.S. dollars).