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  • Locations: Paris, France
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
Program Description:
About the program Accommodations
About the city Dates and costs
Eligibility Immigration requirements

About IES-Paris (French Studies track)

The Institute for the International Education of Students (IES), a Richmond affiliate organization, sponsors this program which features:

  • Curriculum combining French language study with content courses in the humanities and social sciences
  • Courses taught at IES Center located in Montparnasse area of Paris
  • Option to enroll in courses at a Paris university or at a private institution
  • Courses taught exclusively in French by native French-speaking faculty
  • Field trips included in cost of program
  • Week-long orientation
  • Orientation with introduction to French life and culture, academic counseling, and registration for courses
  • Two-week intensive language program at beginning of semester
  • Courses at IES Center include grammar, phonetics and translation, art history, cinema, economics, history, literature, political science, sociology and theatre. Scroll down to see "Academics" on this page and directions to find course offerings).
  • Students with a good command of French are encouraged to take one or two courses at one of the institutions listed below. Scroll down to see "Academics" on this page and directions to find course offerings at the following local universities:
    • Université de Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV)
    • Université de Paris-Saint Denis (Paris VIII)
    • Institut Catholique
    • Ecole de Psychologues Practiciens
    • Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris
    • Académie de la Croix Niver
  • UR students may apply to the French Studies track only

About the city
Paris is one of the world’s most charming and diverse cities.  It offers limitless discoveries and opportunities for learning.
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  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 but with some flexibility
  • Students doing a major or minor in French: At least six semesters of college-level French (including two classes at the 300 level, one of which must be French 305)
  • Students not doing a major or minor in French: At least four semesters of college-level French
  • Preference given to students who have studied French in the semester immediately preceding their semester abroad
  • Students may take part in the IES Paris French Studies program in their sophomore year.
  • Participation may be denied, or acceptance may be revoked, if a student's conduct prior to departure raises doubts as to his or her suitability for the program.
  • Note:  Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the University to study abroad. Each applicant’s disciplinary record will be reviewed, and students must be cleared by the Office of the Dean of Richmond College or Westhampton College. Students on conduct probation will not be able to study abroad if their probationary period extends beyond the start date of their intended program.  Situations of housing probation and honor probation will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
  • Per IES:  The existence of a disciplinary record or current disciplinary sanctions does not necessarily preclude admission, but will be considered in the overall evaluation of the application. Your answer may be verified with your home school.
  • Robins School of Business students may transfer back credit from only one (1) business course taken while enrolled on this program to count towards their business degree.  Specific course approval must be given by Dr. Tom Cossé.  RSB students may transfer courses back from non-business subjects to count towards any non-business majors/minors and general education requirements (pending departmental approval) and towards the total units needed for graduation.
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Course load. Students must register for at least 15 credit hours, selecting from IES courses and university courses. Although IES will allow you to register for as many as 19 credit hours, there is a limit to the number of credits that will transfer to your Richmond record (see "Academics Abroad" in the Study Abroad Handbook).

Course selection. Click here to read about the courses available on this program.

Flexibility. Before going abroad, you must work with a faculty advisor in the French section on UR's Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures (LLC) to determine the classes you will take. However, on this program (and some others), you cannot completely finalize a schedule of classes until the program begins. Also, it is not uncommon for participants to need to change their class schedules after arriving in France; this, too, must be done in consultation with a faculty advisor from the French section of LLC.

Please note that UR does not grant transfer credit for the IES Paris class titled LT 250 to French majors or minors.

Credit transfer. The University of Richmond accepts IES credits directly from IES. In order to earn Richmond credit, you must take all courses for a grade, not pass-fail, and you must earn a "C" or above. In order to receive credit toward a major, minor or field of studies, you must submit a completed study abroad course approval form (see instructions in your Study Abroad Handbook).

Units. To determine the unit value of an IES course, divide the IES credits by 3.5 and round up to the nearest tenth of a unit, as follows:

3 IES credits = .9 Richmond units

 Credit conversion to units. Please see this page on the website of the Registrar for an explanation of how academic credit earned abroad is converted to UR units.

Students who have applied to the program and been accepted are eligible to apply for internships. See Chris Klein for details on this possibility.

Grading scale

IES uses the same "A through F" grading scale used by UR and most other US universities. This applies both to grades earned in courses taught by IES at the Paris center, and to grades earned in courses taught at the French universities at which program participants take one or two classes per semester.  Though grades from the local universities are given in the French 20-point scale, IES converts these marks into "A through F" grades before adding them to students' transcripts.

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Students taking part in the IES Paris program are required to live in housing that is affiliated with the program.  Students may not take part in this program if they obtain housing of another kind.

IES will arrange housing for you in a French home where you will receive breakfast daily and two evening meals per week. In addition, you will receive tickets for additional meals at the university. Other meals can be taken at the university cafeterias and inexpensive restaurants in the area.

IES also offers the option of student apartments.

Click here to read about the housing options available.

Dates and Costs

Click here for Dates and Costs for IES-Paris.

Click here to read about scholarships for study abroad.

NOTE:  Travel allowances, reimbursements, health insurance premiums and other payments above tuition costs paid by Richmond on behalf of its semester and year abroad students are available only to Richmond degree-seeking students accepted to participate on UR-affiliated abroad programs.

Students going to France who are pursuing a major or minor in French (this includes double majors) should consider applying for the French Embassy’s Benjamin Franklin Travel Grant.

Immigration requirements

US citizens must obtain a student visa from the government of France to study abroad in that country. 

The first step is online registration with an organization called “Campus France”. 

Then you complete the visa application forms found online at the website of the appropriate Consulate General of France

Next, you make an appointment (several weeks in advance) at the appropriate French embassy or consulate to submit your visa application and supporting materials (including your passport) in person. 

Once in France, you will apply for a residency permit, the final validation of your permission to study there.
Please note: The Office of International Education recommends against traveling internationally in the three or four months prior to a semester in France.  If you and/or your passport are not dedicated to obtaining your French visa during this critical time, your visa application process can be expensive, stressful or unsuccessful. 
  • We recommend against traveling abroad in the summer before a fall semester in France. 
  • We recommend against traveling abroad in the fall before a spring semester in France.  Also, spring participants should pay for expedited Campus France processing. The Office of International Education can reimburse students for the normal Campus France fee, but not the extra cost for expedited service.


Contact Chris Klein in the Office of International Education.

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This document represents the most accurate information available at the time of publication. Statements contained herein are not contractual obligations, and verbal or other representations that are inconsistent with or not contained within the document are not binding. The University of Richmond reserves the right to change without specific notice programs and the conditions under which they are offered.

Updated 19 Dec 2016