January European Culture: Rome, Aix, Marseille, Paris, London, & Prague

Gap Year Friendly

Explore European culture in the world's greatest cities.

On our January European Culture program, travel throughout several of Europe’s most famous and illustrious cities, including Rome, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Paris, London, and Prague. This three-week program explores each city’s historical art and literature. Expect to absorb an academic foundation about each location, and take a deep dive into the cities’ culture, literature, cinema, music, and art. Attend lectures and study with distinguished, expert scholars and local guides. You’ll finish with a better appreciation for how art and literature have shaped Europe and the people who live there.

NOTE: This program is not available for January 2022. Looking for a multi-city program that dives into history and culture? Check out January in Barcelona, Seville, and Madrid.

What to Expect:

  • Language: English
  • Average Courseload: 1 course (3 U.S. credits)
  • GPA Requirement: 2.5


  • Great support services with English-speaking staff
  • Various academic focuses, including anthropology, communication studies, European studies, geography, and literature
  • Trips to famous landmarks, fun outings, and unique tours
  • Visit four countries and six cities in one trip
  • All program-related travel (except round-trip airfare from the U.S.) included

Program Details

IAU College

IAU College, a not-for-profit institution of higher education, has been operating study abroad programs for US college and university students since 1957. IAU College has received students from more than 700 colleges and universities, with over 20,000 participants over its long history. The oldest and largest American institute in southern France, IAU College has recently expanded program offerings outside of France to compare and contrast the languages, cultures, landscapes, and contemporary issues within and between broader European and African locations and contexts.

With operation bases in both the US and France, as well as staff and faculty who travel to and research throughout much of Europe and Africa, IAU College’s programs offer a unique cross-cultural perspective. While proud of their French foundation, IAU College are equally enthusiastic about their multi-disciplinary and comparative multi-country study abroad programs. Through intensive study, travel, and reflection, IAU College’s thematic traveling programs allow students to gain leaps and bounds personally, academically, socially, and culturally. IAU College continually strives to deliver on its mission of providing “an international education that inspires intercultural awareness and prepares students for responsible roles in a global community through the study of European and Mediterranean history, languages, cultures, and contemporary issues.”

CIS Abroad is proud to collaborate with IAU College to offer this unique “traveling seminar” or travel-study program.

Accreditation(s): IAU College (formerly the Institute for American Universities) holds an Absolute Charter awarded by the Regents of the State University of New York, is registered with the French Ministry of Education and recognized by the Recteur of the Université d’Aix-Marseille.

Areas of study with at least 2 classes available

  • Art & Design
  • Communications
  • Humanities

Don't see your major listed here? There may still be courses available. Browse our programs by major.

Course approval: Before you go abroad, it is best to get two or three classes approved. This gives you some flexibility in setting up your class schedule. Think about courses required for your major, but also courses that fulfill your elective requirements.

Course descriptions and catalog:

The following are the expected courses for January 2022:

European Studies 303: Europe and the Urban Space
Anthropology 301: The Artist and the City
Literature 375: The European City in Literature
Communications 375: The European City in the Visual Arts
Geography 201: Europe and its Cities

For details or syllabi, please contact your designated CISabroad staff or a study abroad advisor.

Why Life in Rome, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Paris, London, and Prague

This three-week program is absolutely packed with travel and exploration. You’ll visit four countries and six cities so you can experience a wide range of European cultures. Expect to see and do things that provide genuine insight into the places you’re visiting.

The program kicks off in Aix-en-Provence (or just “Aix”), a lovely university town and great place to get oriented to your fellow participants and program staff. Aix also happens to be one of the most charming cities in France. The winding streets of Aix are often filled with visitors from around the world. In spite of its global appeal, Aix feels quaint, and you can walk across the center of town in just fifteen minutes. From your home base in Aix, you’ll also spend some time in Marseille, the largest port on the Mediterranean coast.

We’ll then hop a train up to Paris. Famous for its romantic atmosphere, rich history, and incredible influence on fashion, design, art, cuisine, and culture, Paris provides the perfect location to dial up the program energy a bit! This densely populated city is the capital of France and considered a cultural capital internationally. While in Paris, you can visit iconic sights like the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral (to witness the restoration efforts), and the Tuilerie Gardens. Just strolling along the Seine River and watching life go by can be a magical experience in Paris.

We’ll fly over to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. Widely considered one of the European continent’s most beautiful, best-preserved cities, Prague is small enough to avoid being overwhelming, yet large enough to hold many treasures. From the hill-top Prague Castle, you can see Charles Bridge over the Vltava River and the city beyond.

The final destination on this epic jaunt around Europe is the “Eternal City” of Rome. If you’ve ever wanted to glimpse the past while also enjoying the thrills of a modern city, you’ve come to the right place. Rome offers countless historical attractions alongside a vibrant cultural scene. As the hub of European politics, art, and fashion, it’s an appropriately culminating stop on a tour of Europe’s great cities.

Live La Vida Local

  • Rich Culture, Then and Now

    This program was designed to emphasize the cultural richness of each destination visited. It shouldn't come as a surprise that cities renowned for their cultural heritage dating back a couple centuries still maintain a certain sense of pride and rich cultural traditions nowadays. "When in Rome" (or any of the other program's culturally-rich cities) do as the locals do, whether that is strolling the promenade, sipping espresso at a streetside cafe, lounging in the park, enjoying a fine meal, or simply people-watching in the plaza.

  • Awe-Inspiring Monuments

    Awe-Inspiring Monuments: From the Colosseum and Pantheon to Fascist-era architecture, Rome alone will allow you to visit a wide range of landmarks of historic and cultural significance spanning a wide timeline. Enjoy a glimpse back in time while walking through places like the old town of Prague. Equally inspiring are more contemporary places like Palais Garnier in Paris, and Soviet-era remnants in Prague.

  • Field-Based Studies

    In other words, ditch those books for the real thing! This study-tour type program not only moves frequently between destinations, but also within each impressive city. Enjoy tours of historic districts, archaeological sites, palaces, gardens, museums and just about anything of aesthetic, historic, and/or cultural significance. Bring extra memory and charging capability for your preferred photo capturing devices!

Housing for your program


Housing will be shared rooms with up to four people per room. Students will stay at hotels, hostels, student dorms, and/or homestays in each location. Breakfasts will be included most days.

Inclusions and Amenities

  • Double Room
  • MealsBreakfast
  • Triple Room

What's Included


Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

  • Cities on itinerary are Rome, Paris, Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, London, and Prague
  • Visits to museums, galleries, and historical monuments
  • All program-related travel (except round-trip airfare from the US)
  • Breakfast daily and most dinners
  • Housing
  • Medical and accident insurance
  • CIS Abroad support before, during, and after the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial aid counseling
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • On-site orientation
  • Tuition and fees
  • IAU College official transcript
  • La Vida Local cultural program

Welcome & Orientation

This traveling study abroad program packs a lot in a short amount of time. That said, it’s of utmost importance that students respect and can confide in the professors and program leaders. We’ll start building good rapport among all program attendees and establish expectations through a comprehensive orientation. We’ll cover local topics such as culture and language, as well as rules, regulations, guidelines, and expectations of the program in general.

Since we’ll be moving at such a quick rate, we’ll typically provide a briefing of each location before or upon arrival, as well as city tours and tours of various places of interest. While you can’t expect to learn your way around each new city, you’ll always have resources and the program staff and local guides of whom to ask questions about each location. Program activities are sufficient, allowing you to see most iconic sights. However, you’ll also have free time to explore, and with just a bit of preparation you can be sure to make the absolute most of your time!

Farewell & Re-Entry Program

While your academic and personal learning and growth will continue long after this amazing and engaging program is over, we’ll have to part ways eventually… Swap contact details and plans to share your treasured memories in digital form, and plan a European reunion with the friends you’ve made. We’ll also provide resources so you’ll know what to expect upon your “return to reality,” which will likely come with a dose of “reverse culture shock.” Not to worry though, as you’ll have plenty of resources to continue to process your experience, whether that’s through involvement at your school, through our ambassador program, or by planning your next study abroad program with CIS Abroad (for which you’ll get a discount!). If friends and family can’t appreciate all that you experienced, we know of some great “support groups” (one being us)!

Your Support Staff

CIS Abroad Advising & Support
Travel Tip:

You’ll be supported every step of the way!

Global Advising

Our advising team will help match you with a program that fits your academic and personal needs. Once you have selected your program our advisor will help you complete your Online Application.

Program Enrollment

Once you’ve started your application and submitted the $90 deposit, you’ll be assigned a program enrollment coordinator who will guide you through the enrollment process to get you abroad!

Barbara Castaldo
Travel Tip:

Everyday we have many activities scheduled, classes in the morning, visits in the afternoon, so it is very important that you come prepared.

COVID-19 Plan

We believe that study abroad is still possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, but certain policies and procedures will need to be in place to ensure every student can be safe and healthy during their semester abroad.

Learn more about CIS Abroad’s Risk Management Team’s three step process for operating  our programs around the world and important program refund policies.

Read more below for information related to this program:

On-Site Program Modifications

We want your time abroad to be an experience of a lifetime. We also know that it is a unique time to be going abroad. Below is some helpful information to you so you can make the best decision for your finances, academic career, and personal health and safety.

Our Financial Commitment

CIS Abroad is working with international partners to create refund and withdrawal policies that limit the financial impact on students and families should COVID-19 change a student’s plan to travel. See our refund policy page for more information.
To insure yourself from additional loss, such as the loss of airfare, or any other non-recoverable loss after your program begins, we recommend purchasing trip protection insurance, aka CFAR/IFAR insurance.

Our Academic Commitment

CIS Abroad has carefully selected programs where there is minimal to no academic risk.*

If a student must quarantine or miss classes due to sickness, remote academics are guaranteed. These may be synchronous or asynchronous, i.e, live or recorded.

If a city or country goes on lockdown due to sickness, remote academics are guaranteed. These may be synchronous or asynchronous, i.e. live or recorded.

* If a student cannot travel to their destination due to COVID-19 restrictions, remote academics are guaranteed on select programs and in certain courses. If accessing remote academics from the US are important to you, please contact our advising team to learn more about which program locations or courses are right for you.

Our Health & Safety Commitment

CIS Abroad has developed a site-specific risk management plan for every location so that health and safety protocols are monitored, managed and communicated throughout the semester. We have developed a COVID Care Package included in our program fee to make traveling and living in a host country easier on students, especially those first few weeks on-site:

  • COVID compliant airport pick-up and transfer to housing.
  • Access to quarantine housing upon entry, if quarantine is required when entering the country; this housing may incur additional charges.
  • Information and assistance on meal delivery, if quarantine is required when entering the country.
  • COVID-safe classrooms and campus facilities as well as access to masks, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies according to country and location specific standards.
  • Vaccine requirements for all participants to ensure COVID-safe program excursions and guaranteed housing with vaccinated students.
  • Access to accommodation if isolation is necessary due to positive COVID test or exposure; this housing may incur additional charges.
  • Access to COVID testing; this testing may be an additional charge.
  • Medical and accident insurance that covers COVID-related illness (except for on programs operating in the USA).
  • Cultural activities and reflection that emphasize safe, local exploration geared to the specific context of being abroad at this special time.

*if quarantine is required upon entry, we will let you know 60 days before a program starts, or as soon as the information is known to CIS Abroad. Your program coordinator will keep you updated as to any changes in dates, arrival, local restrictions and costs. If it is required, this may entail an earlier departure date and an additional housing and meal cost.

We recognize not every student, family, or university will allow travel this year, despite the risk mitigation outlined above. Should students apply for 2022 programs, and then choose to defer to a future program, we would be happy to move that student’s application to a program with a later start date. We are committed to providing our innovative virtual programs to meet your internationalization goals.


We plan to show you the best of what your location has to offer this term; great culture, great food, and interesting people. On the Excursions tab, you can see the day or overnight trips we usually offer. It is too soon to know if we can offer those same experiences or if we’ll stay a little closer to our program base. Just know that great experiences await you.

Dates & Prices

ADVISOR TIP: Please WAIT to book flights until you have received confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork. Dates posted here are subject to change.

  • Application Deadline: Oct 1 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: December 28 (Estimated)
  • Departure: January 14 (Estimated)
  • Price: $6,290 (Estimated)
  • Application Deadline: Oct 1 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: December 28 (Estimated)
  • Departure: January 14 (Estimated)
  • Price: $6,290 (Estimated)
Additional Information:

As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.

CIS Abroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.