Language Institute in Paris, France

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As one of the USA’s oldest continuously offered academic summer programs (since 1958), the Summer Language Institute in France enables students to experience the cultural offerings of both the French capital and the region of Normandy while completing intensive coursework in French language, history and civilization in Paris.
Location: Paris, France
Language of Instruction: French
Term: Summer
Academic Disciplines: FrenchEducation--French
Program Type: Faculty-led
Open to non-KU Students: No
Fulfills KU Core 4.2: No
Fulfills KU Core 5: No

The Summer Language Institute in Paris provides an excellent opportunity for intermediate or advanced students of French to live and study in Paris, the vibrant capital of France. Students will visit important historical and cultural monuments of the “city of light” and study the language and culture of France.

The program begins with a four-day tour of Brittany and Normandy where students will visit the beautiful seaside town of Honfleur, the port city of Caen and the Abbey of St. Etienne, the D-Day landing beaches, Mont St. Michel, and Monet’s house surrounded by beautiful water-lily ponds and gardens. The program will then travel to Paris, where students will spend four weeks studying culture, composition, conversation, phonetics, grammar, reading, and literature at l’Étoile: Centre de Langue et Vie Françaises. Course offerings range from second semester French through minor/major level courses.

The Department of French and Italian awards multiple scholarships for this program. To learn more, check out the Department of French and Italian Scholarships

Normandy and Brittany

From the stunning, rugged coastline from which William the Conqueror’s ships sailed in the 11th century and to which Allied soldiers landed during WWII’s Operation Overlord, students will experience historical sites including castles and abbeys and the world-famous Bayeux Tapestry.


From the Opéra boulevards to the historic area of the Marais with its early modern architecture and designer stores, from the Cluny medieval museum to the futuristic Centre Beaubourg, planned activities provide a comprehensive introduction to Parisian life, art, and architecture. In recent years, participants have enjoyed museum tours, concerts, plays and films; walking tours of Montmartre, the île St. Louis, and the Left Bank; coffee-tasting at a specialist roastery; as well as other cultural outings and activities.

Situated in the heart of Paris, l’Étoile: Centre de Langue et Vie Françaises opens its doors to students of all nationalities. Highly qualified instructors from the French educational system who specialize in the teaching of French as a foreign language offer a wide variety of courses to suit the needs and interests of program participants. Students are placed into intensive language and culture classes which meet four hours per day, Monday through Thursday.

All students enroll in two or three 3-credit hour courses, depending on their language level and whether they do the 6-credit or 9-credit option. Many program participants are at the FREN 230–240 level. Students will be assigned to various levels according to a placement exam.

FREN 120 Elementary French II (5 credits): Second-semester course with a balanced approach stressing understanding, speaking, reading, and writing French.

FREN 230 Intermediate French I (3 credits): Third-semester course stressing oral and written work in French; review of grammar and introduction to the reading of various texts, literary and cultural.

FREN 240 Intermediate French II (3 credits): Fourth-semester course completing the language requirement and a prerequisite for minor- and major-level credit. 

FREN 352 Business French/Le Français Professional (3 credits): Practical acquisition of skills necessary to understand the language of journalism and business.

FREN 375 Intermediate French Conversation (3 credits): Designed to increase fluency, improve pronunciation, and acquire vocabulary.

FREN 376 Advanced French Conversation (3 credits): Designed to increase fluency, improve pronunciation, and enhance knowledge of French culture and language. Classes have centered around themed topics such as Paris, French history, film.

FREN 420 Survey of French Culture (3 credits): A project-based credit with a focus on Paris or contemporary France for advanced students taking the 9-credit option.

FREN 440 Studies in French Culture (3 credits): Topics may include the history of France, French cinema, and architecture.

Participants stay with host families in and around Paris. The director and graduate assistant provide individual support and organized activities which are designed to ensure that each student makes the most of their exposure to French culture.

SAGE is dedicated to creating international engagement opportunities that meet the needs of all our students and providing resources to support you through the process of studying abroad. Study abroad is achievable for students of all identities including our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities, and students with religious/non-religious viewpoints. Before selecting a program, consider how your identities may impact your experience abroad in unique ways and talk with your Program Coordinator about any program-specific concerns. Students with documented disabilities should discuss any accommodation needs with their Program Coordinator early in the planning process.

Check our Identity Abroad page and resources listed below for information specific to you and other students who may be on your program.

Open to students from any accredited U.S. college or university who have completed one semester (or the equivalent) of college-level French. Minimum 2.5 GPA required (exceptions considered after submission of a petition).

Dr. Kimberly A.B. Swanson is an associate professor of French who specializes in French linguistics and second language acquisition/pedagogy, with special interests in phonology/phonetics and history of the French language. As director of the French Language Program and Graduate Teaching Assistant training, she is responsible for the first- and second-year language curriculum and supervision of GTAs and lecturers who teach at that level. She is also Program Director of French for KU’s Language Training Center, which offers language and culture training for military professionals.

Dr. Kimberly A.B. Swanson

Associate Professor of French

French Language Program Director

Wescoe Hall

Rm 2060




Seth Middleton is a GTA of French and Francophone Studies who will transition to lecturer in Spring 2024. Seth's academic concentration is on French literature from the Medieval period as well as modern Francophone literature. Seth is currently working on the Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS) graduate certificate. Prior to his pursuits in French Studies, Seth was an Assistant Professor at the Army Command and General Staff College during is 21 year career in the US Army. Seth holds undergraduate degrees from the United States Military Academy (B.S. Foreign Area Studies) and the University of Kansas (B.A. French), and an M.A. in Security Studies from the National Defense University.

Seth Middleton

GTA of French and Francophone Studies

Wescoe Hall

Room 2048