Global Education

France - University of Paris

The study abroad program between the Paris Consortium and California State University, Sacramento was established in 1985. The coordinating offices for the program are, respectively, the Mission Inter-universitaire de Coordination des Échanges Franco-Américains (MICEFA) in Paris and the Office of Global Education at California State University, Sacramento. Participants in the program take courses in their academic fields taught in French at one of the universities within the Paris Consortium.  A few courses also are offered by MICEFA (taught in French) to help students better understand their Parisian cultural and linguistic environment while living and studying in Paris. 


A wide range of courses are offered at the various Universities of Paris.  Courses are taught in French, so participants in the program must have sufficient French language ability to take courses taught in French alongside the French students.   The following are the principal fields of study by campus:

Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne) Art History, Business Administration, Economics, Geography, History, International and European Studies, Law, Mathematics and Computer Science, Philosophy, Political Science, Studio Art.

Paris III (Sorbonne Nouvelle) Classical and Modern Literature, Film Studies, Theatre  Studies, Communications, Economics, Politics, Legal Studies, English and American Studies, Language Studies, and Oriental Languages and Civilizations.

Paris IV (Sorbonne) Classical and Modern Literature, Language Studies, Philosophy, Sociology, General Linguistics, Communications, History, Geography, Art History, and Music.

Paris VI (Pierre et Marie Curie) Pure and Applied Mathematics, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Electronics, Statistics and Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Zoology, and Earth Science.

Paris VII (Paris-Diderot) Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geology, English Studies, Linguistics, History, Geography, Mathematics, Information Technology, Computer Science, Asian Languages and Civilization, French Studies, Film Studies, Sociology, Psychology,  Communication Studies, and Environmental Studies. This campus offers French courses for foreigners. Some courses within the sciences are taught in English at the senior undergraduate and graduate levels.

Paris VIII (Vincennes à St. Denis) Film Studies, Music Theory, Theatre Studies, Dance, Photography, Psychology and Psychoanalysis, Urban Studies, Economics, Political Science, Law, Computer Science, Modern Languages, Linguistics, Literature, English and American Studies, European Studies, Geography, Humanities, Women's  Studies, Communication Studies, Business Administration and Social Sciences. This campus offers French courses for foreigners.

Paris X (Quest Nanterre La Défense)  History, Economics, Management, Humanities and Social Science, Greek and Latin, Modern Languages, Linguistics, Pre-Law, Physical Education, Arts. This campus offers graduate level business and management courses in English.

Paris XI (Sud-Orsay) Pure and Applied Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Life Sciences, Engineering Sciences, Computer Sciences, Political Sciences and Law, International and European Law, Sports Science and Physical Education, Medical Sciences, Earth Sciences, Economics.

Paris XII (UPEC-Est Créteil) Economics, Management, Arts, Humanities, Languages, Social and Human Sciences, Sporting and Physical Activity Techniques, Science, Technology, Health, and Urban Planning. This campus offers French courses for foreigners. It also offers courses in International Business, some of which are taught in English.

Paris XIII (Nord) Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Physical
Measures, Law, Political and Social Sciences, Economics, Business Management and Administration, Literature,
Communications, Hygiene and Safety, and Civilizations.

Institut Catholique de Paris Social Sciences and Economics, Art History, French Literature, History,
Geography, English, German, Spanish, Education, Philosophy, Theology and Religious Sciences.

Université d’Evry Val d’Essonne Applied Sciences, Law and Economics, Sciences and Technology, Social Sciences and Management.

Université de Versailles Saint Quentin-en-Yvelines Sciences, Law and Political Science, Humanities, Social Sciences and Medicine.

Université Paris Est Marne-la-Vallée Languages and Civilizations; Arts, Literatures and Communication; Economics and Management; Sports Sciences; Human and Social Sciences; Mathematics.

Although the Paris program is designed for students whose preparation in the French language is sufficient to permit them to enroll in a course of study primarily within the regular departments of the appropriate University of Paris institution, the University of Paris VII, the University of Paris VIII and the University of Paris XII offer courses in French as a Foreign Language (FLE) on a semester basis.  These courses are designed for students who need support with the French language while pursuing coursework either within the programs for foreign students or in the other departments of the university.

MICEFA also offers a few courses each semester taught in French by Parisian university faculty. These courses help students better understand their cultural and linguistic environment.  These courses can be added to a student’s schedule to fulfill the full-time courseload.  There is a limit to the number of these courses a participant can take.

All participants will be asked by the MICEFA office to complete by email before arrival a French written placement exam.  A French oral placement exam will be given after arrival.

After the French written exam, each participant will have an advising session with the MICEFA Academic Director to discuss his/her intended academic program.  This will be completed before arrival by email and Skype. To prepare for this session, the participant should compile a list of courses needed to take to complete his/her academic program at Sacramento State (with Sac State academic advisor) and browse the different websites of the French University partner institutions to check which might have the best match of courses.  The participant will be enrolled at one of the Parisian universities within the MICEFA consortium, depending on field to be studied and French language proficiency.


All participants are required to be full-time while studying in France and, thus, take the equivalent of 15 units during each semester for undergraduates and 12 units per semester for graduates.

Applicants should have upper division standing with a declared major at this university by the end of the semester prior to departure or have classified graduate standing at the time of the application deadline, good academic records, a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 for undergraduates and 3.0 for graduates or better at the time of application, and a minimum of two years of college-level French or the equivalent by the end of the semester prior to departure.  In most cases, the lower division course requirements of the appropriate field of study must have been completed by the end of the semester prior to departure.  All applicants should check to ensure that they are on track for meeting the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).  The applicant also should be prepared to accept the challenge of study in a country with an educational system different from our own.


The 3 to 4 - week orientation and mandatory intensive French language and culture program takes place from around the end of August until mid-September. There is a cost to this program, usually around 225 Euros. The regular fall semester classes begin in mid to late September or in early October and usually end mid to late January (depending on the university) with about two weeks off for Christmas vacation. The orientation and mandatory intensive French language and culture program for the spring semester begins in January. The regular spring semester classes are from the beginning of February to mid or late June with about two weeks off for Easter vacation.

Due to the mid to late January end date of the fall semester courses at most of the Universities of Paris, participating in the spring semester is the better option. Students may apply, however, for the fall semester. Fall participants must stay in Paris through mid to late January and will have only a very short break before classes begin at this university for the spring semester.


Students accepted to the program will pay the usual California State University, Sacramento fees, remain eligible for financial aid (except work/study), if otherwise qualified, and receive resident credit just as if they were attending classes at this university. (Please note that equivalency of courses falls under the jurisdiction of the academic department.) The Paris Consortium has agreed to waive non-resident tuition, making this a particularly attractive opportunity for participants. Students will pay for their travel to and from France, room and board, books, and incidentals. In addition, each student must have the required insurance during his or her stay in France.

Expenses for the semester in France are estimated at the following: usual undergraduate fees - $3,314 (graduates would pay the graduate fee), round-trip transportation - $1,300, mandatory orientation and intensive French language and culture program - 225 Euros (approx $297), room and board - $6,800, insurance - $539, personal expenses (including clothing, entertainment, books, postage, and incidentals) - $2,300. Total $14,550. This estimate is given for planning purposes only and is subject to changes from currency fluctuation, inflation, and fee changes. Keep in mind that students are responsible for obtaining their own passports and student visas. The costs to obtain these are not included in this estimate.


Campus financial aid, with the exception of federal work study, is applicable abroad. Whether or not you have ever received financial aid, you should investigate this possibility by contacting Miesha Williams (study abroad contact) in the Sacramento State Financial Aid Office. Students also are encouraged to investigate and apply for scholarships for their study or research abroad. A listing of specific scholarships and scholarship resource information, with websites, is available on the Office of Global Education website. For individual advising and application information on scholarships / grants for study or research abroad, you should contact Dr. Jack Godwin in the Office of Global Education. 


There are several housing options for students in Paris. Locating housing is generally each individual student’s responsibility, although the MICEFA staff is available to provide housing leads and assist in this area. The MICEFA can arrange for a student to stay in a room in a student hostel for the first ten days upon the program start date while he/she is looking for more permanent housing. The student would need to make a reservation with payment in advance. Other short-term housing possibilities for when you first arrive are: Maison Internationale de la Jeunesse et des Etudiants, Accueil des Jeunes en France, and Paris Youth Hostels. Students will have access to student restaurants and all other facilities available to French students. There are a number of different possibilities for long-term housing: au-pair positions, chambres de bonne (similar to small studios), apartment shares, and living with a French family. Graduate students may stay at the Fondation des États-Unis (a dormitory facility). More detailed information on housing possibilities and contacts is listed under the Housing section of the MICEFA website).

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