Harvard Summer Program in Paris, France

June 10, 2017 to August 5, 2017
Apply by: 
January 26, 2017

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.

Explore the City of Light and the revolutions that have shaped it. 

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.

Program Structure

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. The course meets the General Education requirement for either Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding or Culture and Belief, but not both.

FREN S-100 Study Abroad in Paris, France: Paris and Its Revolutions (33772)

Alice A. Jardine
Loren K. Wolfe
8 credits
UN, GR 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 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.

How to Apply

The application deadline has passed. 

Review How to Apply before submitting your application.

Application materials include: 

  1. A statement of interest in the program and in the course
    • ​Include information on relevant coursework and travel experience abroad (previous travel is not a prerequisite)
  2. Transcripts
    • Harvard College applicants: You may submit an unofficial transcript accessed from my.harvard.edu
    • Non-Harvard applicants: Submit an official transcript from your university
  3. A $50 nonrefundable application fee

Note: Interviews may be requested

All application materials were due January 26, 2017. You will be notified of admission decisions by mid- to late-February.


The program fee includes tuition, accommodation, scheduled excursions and activities, and some meals. 

See Funding and Payment for information on how to submit payments and funding options. 

Student budget

In addition to the program fee, you will need to budget for a number of personal expenses: 

  • International airfare ($1,300 to $1,600)
  • Local transportation ($150)
  • Some meals ($1,200)
  • Course materials ($50)
  • Personal expenditures, laundry, communications, and miscellaneous ($300)

Note: The amounts are approximate, and you may incur additional expenses not listed here. Your actual expenses will depend on a number of factors, including your personal spending habits and currency exchange rates. If you have specific questions about budgeting, please contact the program directly.

Additional information