Recommended Programs

Recommended Programs
The mission of our recommended programs in France is to:
  • register students in courses taught in French alongside French students
  • expand cultural experience through life with a host family, internships,cultural events, etc.
  • provide academic and logistical support.  For example:
    • applying for the carte de séjour
    • facilitating the opening of a bank account
    • enrolling in courses

The Center for University Programs Abroad (CUPA)

The Center for University Programs Abroad (CUPA)

CUPA is a rigorous immersion program enhanced by personalized methodology and language-mentoring and by the extensive academic, cultural and personal resources provided to its students. A mutually demanding and rewarding relationship exists between CUPA and its participants, based on interaction, dedication, and individual advising, and common values of respect, responsibility, and independence.  CUPA offers semester, year, and summer programs.

American Year Abroad (AYA)

American Year Abroad (AYA)

Founded in Paris in 1960 by Stetson Holmes, late Vice President of the American University in Beirut, Lebanon, the AYA Paris program (L'Année Universitaire à Paris) is based upon a convention with the Université de Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) and operates as an association à but non-lucratif selon la loi de 1901. AYA students may take supplementary courses at the Institut Catholique and may study or perfect their French at the Cours de Langue et Civilisation Françaises de la Sorbonne. Since its founding, approximately 1,500 students have studied with AYA Paris. The Paris office of AYA is located at the Columbia University study-abroad center, Reid Hall (4, rue de Chevreuse), in Montparnasse. The Academic Year Abroad Paris Program (L'Année Universitaire à Paris) usually begins with an orientation period extending from the third week in September to the first week in October and moves on to the academic year proper (mid-October to the end of May).

Academic Programs Abroad (APA)

Academic Programs Abroad (APA)
The uniqueness of APA is that it offers American college students the opportunity to discover a new culture by immersing themselves in French academic, cultural and social life.  We believe that it is only through immersion, however surprising and difficult it may sometimes be, that one will be able to fully comprehend the very heart of the French culture and society and therefore able to master the language. Take classes in one or several Parisian universities (over ten to choose from) and study in any desired field. For each university course, APA creates an additional course called a "Cours Complémentaire".  This "cours" or course is taught by the actual University instructor as as means of suppont to help students to bridge the gap between the French and American Educational systems and prior curriculum difference.

Optional joint internship with IFE:  A valuable complement to APA Paris’ university-placement know-how, the IFE provides solid expertise in intensive cross-cultural learning in workplace settings. They offer an ideal setting to help you perfect your language skills and acquire comparative knowledge and experience in your chosen field.

Institut d'Avignon

Institut d'Avignon

The Institut d'Avignon offers a six-week intensive program in French Literature, History, and Theater studies, founded in 1962 by Michel Guggenheim & René Girard.  Some courses carry graduate credit. The Institut director and faculty members are French professors, teaching in colleges and universities in the United States and Europe. Classes are held at the Médiathèque Ceccano. Library and research facilities are available to the students in the Médiathèque Ceccano, with its fine collection of 250,000 volumes, and at the Université d’Avignon. Applicants for admission must have strong academic records and have completed a course in French at a third-year college level or the equivalent.

At the Médiathèque Ceccano, and during all activities of the Institut, students are required to converse only in French. Students will be asked to sign a pledge agreeing to comply with this rule.  During the Avignon Festival, students will have an opportunity to attend plays produced by various French drama groups. The cultural and architectural wealth of Provence will be explored on Wednesdays.

Christian Destremau Scholarship Fund


  • Christian Destremau is one of the most loyal supporters of Bard's French Studies Program. His generosity has enabled us to send our most motivated students to study in France. A number of these students are now pursuing graduate work in the best French departments around the country. Destremau is a freelance French historian. His co-authored Louis Massignon: Le Cheikh Admirable (written in 2005 with Jean Moncelon) won the Grand Prix de la biographie de l'Académie française. The book documents the life of one of Lawrence of Arabia's great rivals, a legendary professor at the Collège de France whose writings about Islam remain essential today. His most recent book is Ce que savaient les Alliés (What the Allies Knew)--the gripping account of the thousands of secret messages, unearthed by Destremau in the British Library, and written by the German and Japanese during World War Two. Destremau's discoveries and daring interpretations are creating a sensation in France; they are already forcing us to reassess what world leaders and politicians really knew. Destremau has been very active with Human Rights and has volunteered in Pakistan and Afghanistan.