Duke in Paris


Study French culture, literature, and language

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As a “museum without walls,” Paris has sparked the imagination of artists, writers, and intellectuals for centuries. With Duke in Paris, participants will explore this fascination firsthand. Our uniquely selected activities and excursions (part of the immersive experience) allow participants to gain a rare insight into the Parisian cultural landscape. From observing the intersections between past and present, norms and trends, to exploring specific social and urban contexts that have fostered unique cultural productions, students will trace the genealogy of Paris as a global and ever-transforming city.  

Focused on experiential learning, our two advanced classes make use of the French capital as an extension of the classroom and feature a rich array of on-site learning. Museums, theaters, cafés, and quartiers will be explored alongside their literary and artistic renditions. To better appreciate the city and its diverse population, students will actively engage with cultural institutions, local organizations, and guest speakers as they investigate the dynamic and vibrant social fabric that constitutes contemporary Paris.

Program Fast Facts

Location: Paris, France

Term: Summer I

Dates: May 14, 2024 - June 26, 2024

Application Deadline: February 1. Rolling admission

Academic Theme(s): French Language, Culture, and Literature

Credit Type: Duke Credit

Eligibility: Classes will be taught exclusively in French. Students must have at least a B average in French and be qualified to take 300 level French courses. Students may have fulfilled this requirement either through course work at the college level or through advanced placement testing. Students must register for both courses. Non-Duke students are welcome to apply.

Duke AffiliationDuke Department of Romance Studies

Housing: Homestay

Primary Contact: Christelle Gonthier

  • Duke in Paris students

  • Eiffel Tower

  • Duke in Paris students

  • Duke in Paris students

  • Parisian cakes

  • Duke in Paris students 


You will enroll in two courses, each for one credit. Classes will be taught exclusively in French. Students must register for both courses. No pass/fail option or auditing is permitted for either course. 

Students must have at least a B average in French and be qualified to take 300 level French courses. Students may have fulfilled this requirement either through course work at the college level or through advanced placement testing.

Aspects of Contemporary French Culture

(CCI, CZ, FL) 1.0 Credit
Instructor: Professor Christelle Gonthier

This course is an exploration of the idea of a French “je ne sais quoi” and some of the social, cultural, and literary determinants of that perception. In order to better understand this French peculiarity, we will establish a conversation between today’s France and the eighteenth-century France through a series of texts, videos, sociological documents, as well as visits to museums and cafés. Discussion topics will include sociability, the use of language, the art of conversation, culinary trends, aesthetic norms as well as the luxury industry. In the manner of 18th century salons, this course will encourage critical analysis and an exchange of ideas. We will therefore study the art of oral and written expression in order to give students the tools to communicate with precision and ease.

Paris, Ville Monde

(ALP, CCI, FL) 1.0 Credit
Instructor: Prof. Anne-Gaelle Saliot

This course will investigate the representations and images of Paris in French and Francophone literature and cinema from the interwar years to the present days. During our exploration of the material and imaginary geography of Paris, we will make excursions into the interstitial spaces of the city, from the hidden arcades to the "banlieue parisienne," across its "quartiers," and through the "non-lieux" of modernity. Our "traversée de Paris" will also include films and photographs. 

Note: We encourage Duke in Paris students to think of themselves not as tourists, but as residents of the city. To improve both their cultural and linguistic fluency, students will sign a “language pledge” at the beginning of the program.


The activities and excursions on this program are an integral part of your cultural experience; therefore attendance is required. Activities on this program may include:

  • Museum visits
  • Cooking class
  • Concert at the Philharmonie de Paris
  • Tour of a national newspaper

You will also have the opportunity to experience different regions of France, as the program includes a 3-day trip to Provence, and a 2-day trip to Normandy/Britany. During these weekend excursions, all participants will stay at local hotels (double/triple/quad rooms). Breakfasts, visits and transportation are included.

The program will provide a Paris transportation starter kit to each participant, valid on bus and métro. Students will be responsible for refilling their starter pass as needed.


Before applying to this program, you should assess and determine if you are physically or emotionally able to participate in the following physical demands required by some of this program’s activities:

  • Walking or hiking up to 5 miles in a day, sometimes for two or more days in a row, sometimes on hilly, uneven, or cobbled terrain
  • Climbing and descending stairs
  • Using public transportation, including sometimes crowded buses or trains)
  • Standing during tours and site visits
  • Entering into older buildings with narrow and sometimes steep staircases, at times with limited or no access to elevators
  • The possibility of warm/hot temperatures while residing in locations without air conditioning

If you have questions or are concerned about these or any other program activities, please contact the Duke Office of Global Health and Safety (oghs@duke.edu).


All students will live with French families, located within Paris proper, equipped with internet access, and near metro lines. Homestays include daily breakfast and a limited number of dinners per week.

Exact housing placements will be given to participants upon arrival.


Attendance is required at all classes, excursions, and group events. Given the intense nature of this program, late arrival and/or early departure is not permitted.

  • Arrival: May 14, 2024
  • Departure: June 26, 2024


Estimates are based on previous years’ programs and the current exchange rate. All costs are subject to change. 

Summer 2024

  Duke Students Non-Duke Students
Tuition $5,680 $5,680
Program Fee $6,500 $6,500
Transcript Fee N/A $120
Other Costs Other Costs Other Costs
TOTAL (Estimated) $17,905 $18,025

Explanation of Costs

Financial Aid

Duke students receiving institutional need-based grant aid are eligible for aid for this program; work-study funds are converted to grants. Students are individually responsible for making the necessary arrangements with the Karsh Office of Undergraduate Financial Support and the Duke Bursar’s Office.

Non-Duke students are not eligible to receive financial aid at Duke and should contact their home institutions for financial aid information.


Review summer study away scholarship opportunities for Duke students here.



No visa is required of U.S. citizens to participate in this program. Non-U.S. citizens should pay special attention to the visa requirements for their specific citizenship by contacting the country embassy to find out if any visa restrictions are in effect.


All participants must have a valid passport. Make sure your passport has at least six months of validity beyond the program end date to avoid unintended disruptions. For instructions on obtaining or renewing your U.S. passport, visit passports.state.gov.


An International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is optional. ISIC is the only internationally recognized form of student ID, endorsed by UNESCO. If purchased in the U.S., the card also carries with it a supplemental insurance policy, which can prove to be very helpful in the event of serious injury. You may purchase this card through www.myisic.com. Processing of the card takes between 4-15 days. 

Program Faculty & Staff

Program faculty director(s) can assist with questions related to program academics, admissions, on-site needs, etc. For all other inquiries, please contact the GEO representative listed.

Christelle Gonthier

Lecturing Fellow of Romance Studies

Alayne Wood

GEO Program Coordinator / Advisor


Deadline: February 1

This program has rolling admission. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis until the program fills; after that, qualified students are added to a waitlist and notified of openings. Applications must be received by the deadline to be considered. Application opens November 1.

PriorityPriority is given to applicants who apply early and meet the prerequisites.

Minimum GPA: There is no minimum GPA.

Non-Duke studentsNon-Duke students are welcome to apply for this program. You must be a degree-seeking student in good standing at an accredited college or university. Consult your university’s registrar and/or study away advisor for assistance with transfer credit. Students who are not matriculated at a college or university are not eligible to participate in Duke’s study away programs.


Start your application early to ensure that it is complete by the deadline! Incomplete applications will not be forwarded to the program directors for consideration.

Submit the following items using MyExperientialEd:

  • Online application
  • Official transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended. First-year students should wait for fall semester grades to be posted before submitting their transcript
  • Personal statement, no longer than one page, explaining why you would like to participate on this program
  • One language recommendation, focusing on your linguistic and academic abilities. Letters from high school teachers will not be accepted
  • Home university approval form (non-Duke students)
  • Passport copy
  • Interview: The program faculty will contact you to schedule an individual interview


From Paris to Provence, and Every Boulangerie in Between

"Of the cultural differences between these regions and Paris, the cuisine was the most interesting to experience, and what I was looking forward to the most."

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Gabby Bunnell on Duke in Paris

"Naturally, as we ate, we spoke in French so my conversational ability rapidly improved, as did my knowledge of French culture. My host mom told incredible stories. Once she told me about how she fled Paris during World War II. I’ll always carry that with me.” 

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Anna's Evening Stroll Through Paris

"The program does an amazing job matching students with families for the homestay! My host mom worked in a field similar to the one I would like to go into, and I was able to learn not only the French language, but also about what was happening in France that related to my interests."

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Surprises and Highlights of Jessica's Parisian Summer

"It was truly a learning experience through and through, I was constantly learning the language, the environment and culture, and also about myself and how to push myself out of my comfort zone. The highlight of my trip, among many amazing experiences, was building a relationship with my host family throughout the six weeks."

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My Duke in Paris Experience

"Biggest takeaway: the world is mine. In Paris, I became so comfortable with the city by the end of my six weeks there that I could navigate the Paris alone with no trouble. Strangers were surprised when I told them I was American. It was quite the empowering experience and I realized I really loved big cities!" 

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Paris Host Mom Also a Friend for Madison Mastrangelo

"Not only did my host mom help me with French, she became a good friend, and I always looked forward to our dinners and daily conversations. Before arriving in Paris, I did not anticipate that living with a homestay would play such an integral role in my study abroad experience. I still keep in touch with my host mom, and I am excited to visit her when I return to Paris in the future."

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Words That Don’t Translate: Flâner (French)

By Brittany Wong

The verb “flâner” is absolutely essential in Parisian culture, but lacks a real equivalent in English: my best approximation would be “to stroll contemplatively.” Some of my best memories are of calm moments with “livres de poche” in the elegant Jardin du Palais Royal or observing precocious French children in Parc Sainte-Perrine near my homestay.

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Study Abroad in Paris Inspired Daniel's Senior Thesis and Plans for a Ph.D.

"After a semester in Paris, I felt really satisfied with the experience and wanted to practice my French even further; that was why I stayed for the whole year in the City of Light. Some of the courses I took in Parisian universities were so cool, especially a course on the history of French language, where I actually learned Old and Medieval French."

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