Paris as international capital needs no introduction. As the capital of a (still) centralized State and territory and one of the power points of Europe, there is no end to the diversity of activity in the Paris region, whether in science, culture, enterprises, politics, international affairs, administration or creativity of every sort. For IFE in Paris, this astoundingly varied hum of activity serves as so many doorways through the tourist looking glass into the center of the center of France.
IFE’s Field Study and Internship programs turn the European professional workplace into an effective learning space, a broad interface with another culture whereby students become fluent in French, deeply familiar with contemporary European society(ies), and more knowledgeable in their chosen field of study or work, gaining both know-how and comparative knowledge.
The Paris Field Study and Internship program takes place in both the fall and spring, over the course of an 18 week semester. The semester begins with 5 weeks of intensive interdisciplinary courses, followed by a 12 week full time internship, in the student’s field. During the internship, students conduct independent field research, delving into a topic indepth and producing a 30 page paper on subject.
Have the required GPA and prerequisite courses for the program. Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and a minimum of a B+ average through five semesters of French (or the equivalent) are eligible to apply.
Students must have completed three semesters of college before studying abroad. Goucher cannot guarantee that any sophomore will be accepted by the host institution.
Declare a major in order to study abroad for a semester
Students cannot be on academic or disciplinary probation at the time of application
Students must complete the online Goucher study abroad application by the published deadline. See the Events and Deadlines Calendar for the most up-to-date information. Students must next apply to IFE by their published deadline. Initial approval is granted by Goucher OIS and final acceptance is granted by the host program and institution.
In the Paris program the five-week preparatory session is devoted to a multidisciplinary cross-section of politico-historical, institutional, social and geographical France. Through lectures, discussions, workshops and site visits, this two-course session provides students with the core notions, central principles and social synthesis needed for any understanding of France today.
Students become familiar with the players, the acronyms, the social problems, the political stakes, the cultural movements, the demographic profile and the territorial diversity of France. As a result of this preparation, students are fully ready to take their place and take part in the work of their host organization.
Two courses comprise the Preparatory Session
Course I - The Foundations of French Politics, Policies and Institutions, Yesterday and Today
The purpose of this course is to help students grasp fundamental notions of French society today by studying the roots and the development of the main institutions and concepts of French political life. It also extends this analysis to France’s international policies, decisions and debates, past and present, including its view of its role in the world, focusing on several key themes. The course contributes to the overall purpose of the IFE preparatory session, which is to equip students to participate as fully as possible in French professional life and social and political discussion. For more than two centuries, since the Revolution of 1789, France has constructed its political identity on the basis of a continuous, ongoing modification of its institutions and on the results of a broad variety of forms of political experimentation. No less than 14 regimes and as many constitutions frame the political history of France. This grand-scale political laboratory has forged unique forms of political behavior and doctrines, many of whose influence has extended well beyond the borders of France.
Professor Cauchy explores the fundamental points of this history in a series of lessons which enable students to address such questions as "how much of this change was in discontinuity?" or how much of what occurs in the century following the Revolution of 1789 is a search for a new equilibrium in a European and even world context? Professor Grosser demonstrates how all the important questions and developments of French political life and debate take on an international cast, beginning with the heritage of the old European rivalries, the favored relations between the French crown and the Vatican, the heritage of empire and sovereignty, and moving on to the great security questions of the 20th century, and France’s ongoing self-examination on its role in the world. These lessons – based often on case studies from France’s diplomatic history – illustrate the importance of the changing French institutions as presented by Professor Cauchy for international decision-making.
Course II - Structure, Transformation and Issues in French Society: A socio-cultural approach
The purpose of the course is to equip students from various disciplines with a basic sociological toolkit as a means to get a solid grasp on French society today including the main issues that are currently crucial for the structuring of the French public space. The course also aims to equip students with a basic understanding of French society from a cultural perspective since culture and cultural policy are among the most important of these structuring elements.The course contributes to the overall purpose of the IFE preparatory session, which is to equip students to participate as fully as possible in French professional life and social and political discussion.
In the first of the two parts of the course students will be taught what sociology does and then will apply that to social stratification and transformations in the welfare state, to the rise of spatial segregation, to the question of the "destiny" of French society in the face of immigration, the existence of institutionalized racism, the changing place of women in French society, and metamorphosis of the French school system. In this way the entire first part is focused on the question of mutations of French society – social, economic, political and cultural, while also demonstrating how the State contributed heavily to these mutations but has been in turn profoundly affected by them.
The second part of the course will examine how changes in French society have both prompted and been affected by changes in the definition of art and culture, especially when art is placed in carefully-defined socio-cultural, political, and esthetic contexts. Ideologically art has moved from elitism to participation. This part of the course will also look at how new discourse on art is reflected in art-making and in cultural practices. The ties between public and culture will also be examined through an analysis of the democratization of art as practiced in France since the end of the 18th century, impacting how art is displayed, how it is taught in schools, its place in the public space, etc. Another question which will inform all of the second part of the course is that of the engagement of artists in the life of the polis and the State as art actor. Pride of place will be given to case study and to developing thoroughgoing definitions of the essential notions in this area of investigation.
During the internship period
It is during the internship period that students work individually with their research advisor to delineate a research topic, set an outline, define sources, and produce the independent study field research project.
Student-interns also return weekly to IFE premises to attend a third academic course, a seminar on European issues and stakes.
Course III - Towards a European society
The European Union and European integration are phenomena which must be taken into account in the course of a growing number of IFE placements. This course is designed to give students the background and the tools for reflecting on European issues and thereby incorporating European considerations more skillfully into their work. It is also essential that any young person at the beginning of the 21st Century who acquires an in-depth exposure to a European culture acquire at the same time some knowledge of European affairs. Specifically, the objectives of the course include:
- Familiarize students with the history of European integration including its long historical cycles, the actors of this history, and the changes over time in the concept of integration
- Convey an understanding of basic European institutional structure and function, including the decision-making process
- Present and discuss the various theories of European integration
- Impart a concrete understanding of "Europe" at the level of economic and political integration
- Familiarize students with the broad lines of major European Community policies
- Train students to read and interpret European current events.
Since Goucher students are fully enrolled at Goucher and receive Goucher credit while abroad, they pay regular Goucher tuition for any Goucher semester abroad program. This payment is regardless of the cost advertised and is charged by the program itself. Students pay the non-academic costs (i.e. room and board) in part or in full to Goucher or directly to the study abroad organization or overseas institution depending on the program. Estimated additional costs that a student may incur in attending these programs are listed on the Budget Expense Worksheet for each program. You can utilize institutional and federal aid for a Goucher semester program.
Any awarded financial aid may be used as payment for semester programs sponsored by Goucher College; however; you are allowed to transport your Goucher institutional aid for only one semester, unless you participate in the Goucher Oxford University yearlong program. In addition, all students are eligible to apply for Goucher OIS scholarships and can apply during the program application process. For information on OIS and outside scholarships please visit the OIS scholarship/financial aid section.
To apply for an OIS scholarship please submit your application by the study abroad application deadline for this program through the following application:
A $500 deposit is due upon application. Study abroad program costs are billed through your Goucher student account and are due at the same time as regular semester fees. Please refer to the Budget Expense Worksheet for details for this program.
The $500 deposit paid upon application is applied to the student’s account and becomes non-refundable when accepted by Goucher College and the host program. If you are not accepted into a program, your deposit will be refunded.
If for any reason, a student withdraws from a Goucher semester after the deposit deadline, he or she will not be entitled to a refund of any fees paid to Goucher, including program deposit, tuition fees, travel fees, or any other fees incurred in connection with the program. If, due to any unforeseen circumstances or other circumstances beyond the control of the college, a semester Goucher program is cancelled, either prior to departure or during the course of the program, the student will not be guaranteed a refund of any fees paid to Goucher, including program deposit, tuition fees, travel fees, program fees, or any other fees incurred in connection with the program. In most cases, the college forwards program fees to vendors in foreign countries, making it very difficult to recover such fees due to a program cancellation. In such cases, the college will make a good-faith effort to recover such fees and to return any portion of fees that it may recover that may be attributable to a student’s participation in the program. However, the college makes no guarantees regarding the recovery of fees and is not liable for any fees that it is unable to recover.
A successful semester abroad is dependent upon adequate preparation. Students will participate in online orientation material prior to the mandatory group orientation prior to leaving Goucher for the semester prior to studying abroad. Dates will be provided upon study abroad acceptance.
Students are required to have passports for all Goucher programs. Failure to have a passport will prohibit participation in the program. Passports take time to process and need to be valid for six months after your return to the U.S. Check your expiration date and renew if necessary. Please see the U S State Department section on passports
U.S. Students are required to obtain a French Student Visa to study for a semester in France. This process requires a lot of preparation and time. Please read the information on Obtaining Your French Student Visa from IFE and make sure you have the time to properly obtain your visa before applying for this program. You will receive further instructions from the IFE to apply after official acceptance into the program.
Please note that among other documents students must present a Financial Guarantee at the visa appointment signed by parent or guardian accompanied by a bank statement showing 615 euros/month for length of stay or proof of financial aid.
Non-US Citizens check with your home country consulate, as well as the embassy of the country in which you plan to study, regarding visa requirements. Permanent Residents of the US should check with US immigration as leaving the country for more than one year may jeopardize permanent resident status. Tax clearance and re-entry forms may also be necessary in these cases.
All students participating on Semester, Year or ICA Goucher programs will be automatically enrolled in a health insurance plan tailored to meet the needs of study abroad students. Students participating in Goucher semester programs will be billed $300. The insurance carrier is ACE American Insurance Company.
Prior to the start of the program abroad, OIS staff will register students for the insurance program. Students will receive information about how to use the health insurance policy from the Office of International Studies prior to departure for study abroad.
Students with Disabilities
Goucher encourages all students who meet our eligibility requirements to consider studying abroad. OIS will work with you regarding any special needs you may have. However, we cannot guarantee that any or all of our program sites can accommodate all of your needs or interests. More information can be found on the OIS Disabilities Support section of the website.
Research the fact sheet for your location of interest on the U.S. State Department website for information on LGBTI rights, women travelers, safety and security, religious, and accessibility/mobility laws and information.
On the CIA World Factbook website, look for your host country’s page and research the “People and Society” section, where you can find the breakdown by ethnic group, religion, and race.