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  • Locations: Paris, France
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Calendar Year, Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: IFE - Institute for Field Education 
  • Dates / Deadlines
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Study Abroad Advisor: Contact for your regional staff advisor

Click here for a definition of this term Program Type: Outside Program
Click here for a definition of this term Language of Instruction: French Click here for a definition of this term Language Requirements: Two Years of College Level Spanish
Click here for a definition of this term Housing Options: Local Family Homestay, Other, Standard Student Dorm
Program Description:

The Paris Field Study and Internship Program



IFE is a European not-for-profit institute founded in 1988 committed to trans-Atlantic understanding through exploration of European perspectives. IFE provides language-based, credit-bearing education abroad programming to US colleges and universities.

IFE's Field Study and Internship programs in Andalucía, Asturias, Strasbourg, Paris, and Brussels are built around in-depth field experience and guided research, for which students prepare through classroom instruction and inter-cultural training.


-The City-

Paris is the exception to France; it identifies as different from “les provinces” while embodying much of what is so attractive and exasperating about French society. High-strung and fast-paced, Paris is a one-of-a-kind theater of the individual and the collective. A bastion of the Republic and a magnet for diversity, the city fascinates observers, confounds pundits and even its critics are not united.

There is no end to the diversity of opportunities in the Paris region, whether in science, culture, business, politics, international affairs, administration or creative fields of every sort. For IFE students in Paris, this wealth of activity serves as a doorway into the French capital, and European life.


-Program Overview-

The Paris Field Study and Internship program takes place in both the fall and spring, over the course of an 18 week semester. The first 5 weeks are spent in intensive interdisciplinary courses taught by local university professors at the IFE center, followed by a 12-week full-time internship in the student’s field. As part of the internship, students conduct field research, delving into an issue and producing a 30-page independent study. Placements can be found for any discipline.

-Program in Detail-

Weeks 1-5: Preparation

All students take part in 2 interdisciplinary courses covering the politics, history, culture, and the sociology of France. There are also site visits around the city, and a discussion-based course focused on oral expression. During this period students become comfortable navigating the city, the culture, and especially the language.


I. The Foundations of French Politics, Policies and Institutions, Yesterday and Today
II. Structure, Transformation and Issues in French Society: A socio-cultural approach

Week 6 : Travel Break

Students have a week to relax and explore the city, the surrounding countryside, and visit the rest of Europe, which is easily accessible by train, bus, and air travel.

Weeks 7-18 : The Internship Period

The Internship Placement
The core of the semester is a full-time internship where students improve their language skills and cultural expertise, while gaining insight into French and European society. IFE works closely with each student – and with a broad variety of organization types -- to ensure a productive fit between the intern’s objectives, the work environment, and the subject matter of the internship.


The independent field research project
IFE students engage even further with their individually-tailored internship through a guided research project using primary sources to examine an important issue in the work of their host organization. Individual advising and instruction in methodology are an integral part of this project.

The European Seminar
One night a week students leave their internships early to take a seminar on the history, institutions, and contemporary issues of Europe and the EU entitled: 'Towards a European society'.

-Practical Information-

Housing: IFE finds French-speaking housing for students, either with homestay families, or residences for student and young professional called foyers. Housing options with full, partial, or no meals are available, and are priced accordingly.

IFE Center: IFE's Paris center is located just off the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, a five minute walk east from the Place de la Bastille, on the edge between Paris's 11th and 12th arrondissements. A microcosm of Paris, the teeming "Faubourg" is home to a broad variety of businesses and people.

Language Level: The program is entirely French-speaking. Students should have taken 5 semesters of college-level French, or the equivalent. They should be comfortable taking a topical course taught in French.

Suggested Academic Credit:


I. The Foundations of French Politics, Policies and Institutions, Yesterday and Today..................4
II. Structure, Transformation and Issues in French Society: A socio-cultural approach.................4
III. Towards a European Society ....................................................................................................2
V. Independent Study / Guided Field Research..............................................................................7


Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Approximate Decision Date (Subject To Change) Start Date End Date
Spring 2025 11/01/2024 ** Approximately 2 weeks after the deadline TBA TBA
NOTE: The deadline listed is for REGISTRATION with the Reves Center! The APPLICATION itself will be due to the third-party provider or host university DIRECTLY, based on THEIR deadlines (which may be before or after the W&M registration deadline listed above).

** Students will be notified of their status for this program and be able to complete post-decision materials following the term's application deadline.