Semester in Paris
Institut Catholique de Paris

Gap Year Friendly

Fall in love with the language and culture in "The City of Light."

On the Semester in Paris – Institut Catholique de Paris program, improve your French language skills and knowledge of French culture at this French language institute tucked away in the heart of the city. Experience true cultural immersion on this historic campus, where you can relax on the grass and study in mosaic-adorned outdoor nooks. Outside of class, admire the intricate beauty of Notre Dame, sit and read in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, or practice French at a patisserie.

What to Expect:

  • Language: French and English
  • Average Courseload: 4-6 courses (12-18 U.S. credits)
  • GPA Requirement: 2.5


  • Between classes, eat lunch outside in the Luxembourg Gardens
  • French language and culture courses available, as well as limited courses taught in English
  • French classes tailored to your proficiency, whether beginner or advanced
  • Great support and cultural insights provided by local staff
  • Apartments located in a traditional French neighborhood

Program Details

Institut Catholique de Paris

Be a Parisian for a semester at the Institut Catholique de Paris (ICP). A respected, private university, ICP is located near the Latin Quarter of this dazzling city. This spot is famously known as the college-town neighborhood of the capital. Life might be bustling outside the campus, but the Institut’s front archway leads you to a pleasantly secluded quadrangle encircled by the college’s stunning buildings. ICP was built on the site of a 17th-century convent, creating a place of serenity and learning.

The university library, known as Bibliothèque de Fels, occupies two floors and has at least 600,000 volumes with 280 readers desks. The Institut instructs in both French and English. Choose to improve your French by focusing on language exclusively, or, if your French is advanced enough, you can choose from courses in French fashion, gastronomy, cinema, fine art, European politics, and more. Studying at ICP gives you the perfect launch pad to explore one of the world’s most compelling cities. Around the corner from campus, you’ll find the famed Luxembourg Gardens and St. Germain des Près. The rest of France and Europe is also beckoning you. Get inspired by the Institut’s motto, “An Open Mind to the World.”

Founded in 1875, the Institut Catholique de Paris (ICP) holds accreditation from the Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche.

Areas of study with 3 to 7 classes available

  • Art & Design

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

Areas of study with 8 or more classes available

  • French

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

On the Semester in Paris – Institut Catholique de Paris program, you will live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world while taking a variety of courses at the Institut Catholique de Paris.

Course load: First, choose the number of course hours that work for your academic level and schedule. Students take either 18 hours (equal to roughly 15 US Credits, generally a 4 or 5-course semester schedule) or 21 hours (equal to roughly 16-18 US credits, generally a 5 or 6-course semester schedule). See the prices and dates tab to compare program fees for the 18 and 21-hour options.

All students must take at least 6-12 hours of French language instruction (based on level, see below), and can choose to fill their remaining 18 or 21 credit hours with additional French instruction or electives instructed in either French or English.

General French:

Depending on your level, students must register for at least 6 credit hours of French language instruction.

Beginners (A1-A2) must take at least 12 hours of “General French” per week.

French Courses by Skill:

Higher-level French speakers (A2-C2) can take “French Courses by Skill” that are divided into Oral French, Phonetics, and Written French. Each of these are 3 credit hours each.

French Subject Courses:

Conducted in French, there are approximately 6-10 courses offered per semester that range in subject matter but are designed for upper-level students interested in taking courses instructed in French. Courses range in topic from art history, architecture, literature, international relations, cinema, and other humanities and culture foci. All French Subject Courses are 3 hours per week each (in a 12-week semester that equals 36 in-class hours).  Course catalogues for each term are released approximately 1-2 months before the start of that term, but for those who are waiting for their release, we recommend you refer to the previous year’s catalog (for example, if you are planning to attend next Fall, look at this past Fall’s list), select 8 courses you would be willing to take, and list them in order of preference on your Course Selection Worksheet.

You can use the courses from previous terms below as a good indication of what to expect for your semester, as they don’t typically vary too much from year to year. Once the new courses have been finalized they will be updated here.

Fall 2018 French Subject Courses
Spring 2019 French Subject Courses

English Courses:

Also offered are “civilization” courses instructed in English, which are 4 credit hours each (approximately 3 US credits).

These courses cover History, Humanities, Literature, Research, Art History, International Relations, Politics, and Cinema, to name a few.

The English elective courses offered for the Fall 2021 term are are TBD, but Fall 2018 courses are listed below(click the title for syllabus):

Great Authors in French Cinema
The European Union Today
Architecture in a Changing World : Paris 1789-1914
Fashion in France 18th – 21st century

The English elective courses offered for the Spring 2021 term are TBD, but Spring 2019 courses are listed below (click the title for syllabus):

Intercultural Adaptation in France
The European Union Today
French Gastronomy
Fashion in France 18th – 21st century

Why Life in Paris

Paris is famous for its romantic atmosphere, rich history, and incredible influence on fashion, design, art, cuisine, and culture. While in Paris, you can visit iconic structures like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, Notre-Dame Cathedral, or Sacré-Cœur in the neighborhood of Montmartre. Be sure to check out the many museums, art galleries, gardens, and monuments around the city. After strolling down a Parisian street by day, go out and experience the city’s famous nightlife!

With roughly 12 million residents, the comprehensive public transport system makes it easy to get around. Additionally, the unique layout of the streets and districts form a clockwise spiral out from the city center. The “quartiers” of Paris create a checkerboard of culture that awaits your exploration. You’ll feel a sense of community wandering past their local shops, bakeries, cafes, and markets. Enjoy your time in “The City of Light” getting to know what it’s like to live as a true Parisian.

Live La Vida Local

  • Sacré-Cœur Basilica

    Take a view on the city in front of Sacré-Cœur Basilica, discover small streets of the Montmartre hill and grab a coffee at the Café des 2 Moulins - café of Amélie Poulain.

  • Canal Saint-Martin

    Take a walk at Parc des Buttes-Chaumont and have a picnic at Canal Saint-Martin.

  • Jardin des Plantes

    Relax at Jardin des Plantes and take a mint tea at the Grand Mosque de Paris.

Apartments in Paris


You’ll live in off-campus shared apartments, with single or double occupancy rooms in traditional French neighborhoods with modern living arrangements. Your housing in Paris is approximately a 30-minute commute to campus via public transportation. Invest in a monthly Navigo Pass to not only make your commute a breeze, but allow you to explore other neighborhoods of Paris.

Check out the photo gallery to get an idea of what your housing could be like. The apartments pictured are ones that have been available in the past.


Each apartment has a fully-outfitted kitchen, including appliances, pots and pans, dishes and dining implements so you can put your French cooking skills to the test and make your own delicious meals!

Inclusions and Amenities

  • Bed linens
  • CommutePublic Transportation
  • Double Room
  • Kitchen Equipment
  • LaundryOn-site
  • Maintenance Service
  • Renter's Insurance
  • Single Room
  • Study Areas
  • Wi-Fi

Notes on French Housing

There are washing machines and drying racks in the apartments, but no dryers since Parisians don’t use them! The beds are 90cm x 200cm

What's Included


Program fees are in U.S. dollars and include the following:

  • Full-time tuition and fees (18 or 21 hour course options)
  • Housing
  • Academic advising
  • Medical and accident insurance
  • CIS Abroad support services before, during, and after the program
  • Financial aid counseling
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • Airport pickup
  • CIS Abroad on-site orientation
  • On-site support
  • Paris Walking Tour
  • Day trip to Versailles and one or more overnight excursions
  • Guided tour of the Louvre and Orsay museums
  • Ticket for a theater show
  • Institut Catholique de Paris official transcript

Welcome & Orientation

Upon arrival, take part in a comprehensive orientation program. Learn the “do’s and don’ts” of life in Paris, like how to get around by public transportation, how to stay safe, what to do in case of an emergency, and who to contact if you have any questions. Your site director will tell you all about their favorite places in town (restaurants, museums, markets etc). And join your program group for a wonderful welcome meal, giving you a taste of what life in Paris is like.

Farewell & Re-Entry Program

Though you’re not an astronaut returning from space, re-entering your home culture after being abroad can be shocking to the system. Your site director will walk you through some of the things to expect and help you reflect on your time abroad so that you can remember the highlights. Also, enjoy a fabulous group meal as you bid adieu to the City of Light.

Program Excursions

While participating on a CIS Abroad program, you'll be able to take part in built-in day trips at no additional cost. These trips are subject to change from term to term; listed below are excursions that have run in the past.
3-Day Trip to Côte d’Azur

3-Day Trip to Côte d’Azur

Surrounded by Riviera neighbors like aristocratic Monaco, red-carpet Cannes and resort town Saint-Tropez, Nice will seduce you by the beauty of its neighborhoods, fabulous markets, an enticing old town, glorious architecture and internationally renowned gastronomy. We will explore its most important monuments, churches, gardens and the footpaths that link the surrounding hillside to the old town. During this three-day trip, we will also explore the breathtaking Monaco and visit other pearls of the French Riviera such as Cannes or Antibes.

2-day Trip to Rennes and Mont-Saint-Michel

2-day Trip to Rennes and Mont-Saint-Michel

Spend a day in the amazing city of Rennes whose history goes back more than 2,000 years and which is recently named by L’Express as “the most livable city in France”. On the following day, we will go to the Mont-Saint-Michel, a magical island topped by a gravity-defying medieval monastery. One of Europe’s major pilgrimage destinations for centuries, this holy mount is one of the most unforgettable and stunning sights in Europe, set in the bay where the regions of Normandy and Brittany merge.

Boat Cruise on the Canal Saint Martin

Boat Cruise on the Canal Saint Martin

A cruise from the Parc de la Villette to the Musée d’Orsay will allow us to experience the atmosphere of “Parisians’ Paris.” This cruise, commented by a guide, combines not only some of the landmarks of the City of Lights, but also some more secret sides of Paris. It will take us through four double locks with swirling waters and two swing bridges. We will share the pleasure of the walkers strolling along the banks of the Canal Saint Martin lined with pretty boutiques and charming cafés and slide under the mysterious and spectacular vault of the Bastille.

Site Director

Travel Tip:

Travel is not only, as Mark Twain said, fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. It is also the best possible recipe for happiness, so explore, dream and discover.

Travel Tip:

Travel is not only, as Mark Twain said, fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. It is also the best possible recipe for happiness, so explore, dream and discover.


Drasko was born in Belgrade, Serbia, and graduated from the University of Belgrade – Faculty of Law, where he also obtained a master’s degree in constitutional law. He worked as an associate in a law firm in Belgrade and was hired by the Official Journal to analyze the jurisprudence of the Serbian highest courts. However, he decided to continue his studies abroad and came to France in 2013, where he obtained a second master’s degree in comparative law at Sorbonne University. Drasko was a participant of numerous seminars, conferences and summer schools in Serbia, France and worldwide. He is a national rowing umpire in Serbia and in France and he raced several half marathons. He completed a skydiving course and has an international diver certificate. Drasko is a self-proclaimed expert in finding the best low-cost train and airplane tickets.

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!

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:

Program Suspended

This program is currently not available for the Academic Year 2021/22. Please consider other options by exploring our Open Semester Programs in 2022, Open January Programs in 2022, or consider a Virtual Internship.

We monitor international indicators and health standards in the country where we operate and our risk management team makes decisions based on those factors and our own policy. We will reopen programs as we are able.

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: February 6 (Estimated)
  • Departure: May 31 (Estimated)
  • Price: $13,990 - $18,290 (Estimated)
  • Application Deadline: May 1 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: September 2 (Estimated)
  • Departure: December 19 (Estimated)
  • Price: $13,890 - $16,990 (Estimated)
  • Application Deadline: Oct 1 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: February 6 (Estimated)
  • Departure: May 31 (Estimated)
  • Price: $13,990 - $18,290 (Estimated)
  • Application Deadline: May 1 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: September 2 (Estimated)
  • Departure: December 19 (Estimated)
  • Price: $13,890 - $16,990 (Estimated)
Additional Information:

Low end of range: Double Room
High end of range: Single Room

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.