You’re in! This Hub Page is your one-stop-shop for all program related information prior to your departure.

Everything you need to do before studying abroad will be addressed on this page – think of it as a living checklist. Be sure to check this page regularly, as many of the sections above contain action items with specific deadlines. We will also update this page with new information throughout the semester.

Phases 1, 2 and 3 contain time-sensitive action items, so be sure you’re staying on track! Each phase contains a self-check so you can double check to see if you’ve completed everything along the way.

The “In-Country Guide” contains a wealth of information about the place you’ll be calling home for the next semester. Be sure to read through that section to learn about everything from cultural customs, to academic differences, to daily life.

[— Phase 1: First Things First (Admission – April 1) —]

  • Log in to your online application and confirm your participation in the program. Then complete the checklist of items on the “Pre-Departure Documents” tab.
  • Once you complete the pre-departure process, you'll be registered for this program as a placeholder block of credits.

Please take the time now to review our website for details about the cost of your program. You may find our budgeting worksheet to be an important planning tool. We also encourage you to consider applying for study abroad scholarships as early as possible.

We understand that preparing for your time away can seem overwhelming because of the abundance of information being shared with you. We have designed this online presentation to communicate general pre-departure information that applies to all BU Study Abroad programs, and help you navigate the pre-departure preparation process.

Pre-departure Roadmap

Visa Process Overview

One of the most vital tasks you will complete in preparation for your study abroad experience is applying for a visa. BU Study Abroad will help guide you through this process, but it is your responsibility to apply for and secure your visa.


A visa is an official sticker that is affixed to your passport before your departure that gives you permission from the French government to be a student in France, and must be presented to the border officials at the port of entry.


All students studying in France for more than 90 days (except students who hold a current passport from the European Economic Area member state or Switzerland) must secure a long stay visa for students prior to departure.

Important note: If you are planning to study in France for more than one semester, please contact your Program Manager immediately, as there are additional requirements for students planning to study in France for more than 180 days.


You must apply at the French Consulate that has jurisdiction over either your university address or home address (refer to instructions below for information about each consulate). If you attend school in one jurisdiction and live permanently in a different one, you can choose the jurisdiction in which you prefer to apply.


Now! The visa application process is lengthy, typically taking around two months from start to finish, so begin it now to allow adequate time to receive your visa. All French Consulates require students to schedule an appointment to submit visa materials, which must be booked several weeks prior to the appointment date. You will also need time to gather documentation required for your visa appointment, such as visa letters, passport photos and proof of residency.

BU Study Abroad recommends scheduling your visa appointment to take place at least 6 weeks prior to your program start date, if possible. You will leave your passport at the consulate at the time of your appointment for processing. Processing typically takes up to 3 weeks, during which you will be without your passport, so you will need to plan your visa application and international travels accordingly.

Please note that French Consulates will not accept visa applications more than 3 months before the program’s start date. Be sure to confirm whether the consulate at which you are applying has more specific requirements regarding the timing for applying for a visa.

Beginning Your Application

First: Make sure you have a passport that is valid for at least six months after the program’s end date. You must have a passport before your visa appointment, and the passport must be valid for at least three months after the end of your program (six months is recommended by the US State Department). If you need to apply for or renew your passport, please do so immediately.

Next, please visit the French Student Visa Instructions page to view the full process.

Detailed information about your housing options (dormitory for with French hosts) is found here on the BU Paris website. As the Housing Coordinator needs to know your preferences as soon as possible, please make sure to submit the Housing Questionnaire below as soon as possible. Please note that spaces in the dormitory are limited and allotted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please submit the Course Selection Form as soon as possible. Note that your courses will not appear on your BU transcript until after the program has ended and grades are reported; this is normal.

Although you already submitted an Advisor Support of Participation form as part of your application, you may adjust your course enrollment plans as you learn more about your program. Be sure to do so in consultation with your academic advisor (or your home institution’s study abroad office, if you are a visiting student), especially if your courses were pre-approved. You should determine, preferably prior to the start of the program, the precise degree requirements these courses will fulfill. It is your responsibility to research how the courses taken abroad apply towards your overall academic requirements and progress toward your degree. Non-BU students should be certain you understand how courses you take with BU Study Abroad will transfer to your home institution.

Flight Information

Each semester, we work with Advantage Travel to offer an optional suggested flight, round-trip from New York to Paris. The cost of the group flight is not included in the program fee. Students are not required to take the group flight, however all students are required to submit their round trip itinerary for our records by emailing it to Keep in mind that late arrivals and early departures are not permitted. Regardless of whether or not you book the suggested flight, all students are responsible for making their own way from the airport in Paris to their program housing. Detailed arrival instructions are provided here.

Why should I book a spot on the group flight? Although airfare is not included in the cost of the program, all travel booked through Advantage Travel will be monitored by the travel agency on the day of departure, and they will be able to assist with any schedule changes, delays, or missed connections. The flight also allows you to travel with other students from the program.

How do I reserve a seat on the group flight? Specific booking instructions and detailed group flight itineraries will be emailed directly to students.

What if I need to book a connecting flight to the departure city? If you will be traveling from elsewhere prior to the group flight, Advantage Travel can also assist you with reserving a flight to the departure city.

What if I want to arrange my own travel? If you prefer to travel independently from the group, you are welcome to do so. Advantage Travel can assist you with reservations from a different airport or on different dates, or you can make a reservation completely on your own. You must arrive by August 27 (depart U.S. August 26) and depart on December 16, 2017. Housing will not be provided before or after these dates, and late arrivals/early departures are not permitted. 

Arrival Information

Detailed Arrival Day instructions can be found here

CAS IP101: The Global Learning Experience (1 credit)

All program participants are invited to enroll in an online course that is designed to both complement and enhance your semester abroad. The Global Learning Experience is a self-paced, one-credit, Pass/Fail course with brief readings and assignments designed to accompany students through the experience of living, studying and interning in a country and culture different from their own. Students will post their work, experiences and observations to an online platform which will trace a student’s individual path of activities and achievements abroad from an academic, personal and professional standpoint. Discussion boards will link students not only with the course instructors but with students studying on other BU Study Abroad programs around the world. We encourage you to learn more at the link above.

Have you completed everything in Phases 1? Here is a self-check to make sure you’re on the right track. Make sure you’re keeping track of any upcoming deadlines and budgeting enough time to complete them on-time. If you missed a deadline, be sure to check in with you Program Manager and complete that task right away.

You should have completed:

  • Confirmed your participation via your BU Study Abroad Application, paid your program deposit, and filled out the accompanying online forms.
  • Watched the Pre-departure Roadmap Webinar
  • Submitted the Housing Questionnaire – ASAP
  • Submitted Course Form- ASAP
  • Registered for an Internship Interview with EUSA
  • Registered for the “Global Learning Experience” 1-credit course (optional)

[— END Phase 1 —]

[— Phase 2: Core Preparations (April 1- July 15) —]

French Student Visa Instructions

Note: This information has been prepared by Boston University Study Abroad based on the most recent information provided by the relevant immigration agency (E.G. consulate, embassy, etc.). It is each student’s responsibility to compile and apply for their visa based on their specific citizenship. Visas are granted by foreign governments only, Boston University does not play a role in visa issuance, nor can we influence immigration policy. While we do our best to keep instructions as up-to-date as possible, visa requirements are subject to change without our knowledge. Ultimately obtaining a visa in a timely manner, and related costs incurred, are a student’s responsibility. Failure to acquire a visa will preclude participation in the program.

EUSA, our internship placement team, will be reaching out to each of you directly with an email that reviews the placement process in detail. There will be a webinar held on May 23. At that time you will be able to schedule your individual Skype  interview with an EUSA representative.

Please check your email regularly throughout the pre-departure process for instructions from EUSA.  You will need to upload a résumé in the EUSA online registration, so please follow these instructions and sample for preparing your CV (résumé) in French. You will have the interview (in French!) with EUSA either on the phone or via Skype to discuss your three areas of interest for your internship, as well as your background and academic and professional goals. Remember that it is essential to be flexible and open-minded throughout the internship placement process.

Once in Paris, you will have an interview with your internship supervisor, and throughout the second half of the semester, you will work full-time in your internship placement, which is unpaid.  You will also complete an extensive internship project and oral presentation to earn four Boston University academic credits.

Fall 2017 Internship Consultation Preparation Orientation recording will be emailed to you.

Pre-placement Meetings are individually scheduled with EUSA and will take place via Skype.


The pre-departure meeting will be held on the Boston University campus on Tuesday, April 25 from 5:00- 7:00 pm. You are strongly encouraged to attend the Campus France workshop from 4:00 pm-5:00 pm if you have not yet completed this step. The meetings will be held in CAS 316.

If you are not able to attend, you will be able to access the presentation here after the meeting: RF17_Paris_PreD

If you have questions for an alum of your program, please feel free to contact: Fiona Laird

Please also note that this meeting is intended for participants of the program only. Due to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), parents/guardians are not permitted to attend this session.  In the event that any parents do come to the meeting, we will kindly ask them to exit the room regardless of how far they may have traveled to get to the meeting. Therefore, please plan accordingly.  We do, however, encourage you to share relevant information about the program with your parents, as we understand that they may be curious about what to expect with your experience abroad.

International Health Insurance and Evacuation Coverage:

All students participating in our programs will be automatically enrolled in a plan which includes comprehensive health and evacuation insurance. This coverage is provided by HTH Worldwide, and policy information will be sent to you via email. In the meantime we encourage you to review the insurance information we provide on our website. If you need assistance in planning for your medical needs abroad—such as determining coverage of a specific case, availability of prescription medication, or scheduling an appointment with a doctor or counselor—you can contact HTH Worldwide even before you are officially enrolled in the plan. Use the HTH contact information at the link above and identify yourself as a Boston University program participant in need of assistance with “pre-trip planning.”

Preparing To Live in France:

Study abroad can be both mentally and physically challenging, so it is important for you to prepare as much as possible now for your health and safety during your time abroad. We recommend that you consult the CDC website for France (specifically for study abroad/extended stay travelers). They recommend being up to date on all routine immunizations, and recommend a few more. Be sure to discuss these recommendations and any other health conditions you may have with your doctor before you depart.

In addition to the above, we recommend that you consider the following:

  • Take the time now to read the BU Study Abroad Health and Safety webpage.
  • If you have not been feeling well, make an appointment with your doctor for a checkup.
  • If you anticipate needing any dental, optical, or other procedures, plan to have them completed before departure.
  • If you are experiencing any emotional, eating, or substance abuse issues, seek professional counsel and consider deferring your participation in an overseas program, if necessary.
  • If you have had difficulties coping with change, stress or anxiety in the past (whether or not it was professionally diagnosed), or are hoping that time spent overseas will help you solve a problem facing you at home, or on campus, you should talk to a medical professional before studying abroad.

If you have a mental health, emotional, learning, or physical disability that would require reasonable accommodations in order to complete the requirements of the program, you must obtain approval from BU’s Office of Disability Services. To initiate the approval request process, complete this Request for Accomodations Form (RAF) and submit it to or 19 Deerfield St. second floor, Boston, MA  02215. Please note that certain accommodations that you receive on your home campus may not be available at your program site, so the earlier that you are in contact with their office for advising, the better. The process for arranging accommodations may take several weeks.

If you are currently consulting with a mental health professional, you must seek their counsel about the advisability of your participation in a study abroad program, especially as related to your adjustment to new cultural, academic, and housing environments and the availability of therapeutic or medical support while you are away from your home campus. If you have questions about the support available at your program destination, please contact

Have you completed everything in Phases 1 and 2? Here is a self-check to make sure you’re on the right track. Make sure you’re keeping track of any upcoming deadlines and budgeting enough time to complete them on-time. If you missed a deadline, be sure to check in with you Program Manager and complete that task right away.

You should have completed:

(From Phase 1)

  • Confirmed your participation via your BU Study Abroad Application, paid your program deposit, and filled out the accompanying online forms.
  • Watched the Pre-departure Roadmap Webinar
  • Submitted the Housing Questionnaire – ASAP
  • Submitted Course Form- ASAP
  • Registered for an Internship Interview with EUSA
  • Registered for the “Global Learning Experience” 1-credit course (optional)

(From Phase 2)

  • Attended Campus France workshop and/or completed Campus France application- APR 25
  • Attended your pre-departure meeting – APR 25
  • Attended EUSA Internship Webinar- MAY 23
  • Submitted flight information
  • Made appointment at the consulate for your visa- between MAY 27- JUL 14
  • Made any necessary doctors appointments and located your nearest travel clinic for immunizations.
  • Contacted HTH for “Pre-Trip Planning” (if necessary)
  • Contacted BU Disability Services to plan for academic accommodations and other support services (if necessary)

[— END Phase 2—]

[— Phase 3: Final Considerations (December 20 – Departure)—]

International Travel Registry

All students are required to report their confirmed travel plans through the Boston University International Travel Registry by July 15, regardless of whether you have reserved a spot on the group flight or will be traveling independently. Registration allows BU to communicate with you when incidents affecting travel and operations occur overseas, including natural disasters, civil unrest, or outbreak of disease.

While in Paris, you will not need to open a bank account. You can use a debit card with a 4-digit PIN to withdraw cash from ATMs. (We recommend bringing a second back-up credit card, also with a 4-digit PIN, in case you lose your debit card.) You’ll be using cash for most small purchases; Europe has a bit more of a cash-based culture, and people use debit cards much more frequently. You can certainly use a credit card for larger purchases, such as online and travel-related purchases.

You may want to try to obtain cards (debit and/or credit) with a chip in them, ideally accompanied by a PIN number. There are many kiosks in France that only accept cards with chips, so you may find this kind of card very helpful throughout the semester. To learn more about chip cards, you can read this article. Also, this FAQ page addresses questions about chip cards; #8 refers to using such cards overseas.

It’s essential that you call your bank and credit card companies to let them know you’ll be studying abroad. You’ll need to tell them what country (or countries) you’ll be visiting, and the dates you’ll be away. If you don’t let them know, they may freeze your accounts, assuming your card has been used fraudulently. When you call your bank, you should ask them about the fees you may incur when using your debit/credit cards internationally.

You will find extensive information on cell phone usage in France on this page.

Make a plan BEFORE you leave home to manage your loved ones’ expectations

  • Consider the reality of how much time you will have to talk with people from home (time differences, class and internship schedules, etc.)
  • Decide the best mode of communication
    • Skype/Facetime; think of alternatives too (e.g. have your parents call your mobile from Skype)
    • Email, messaging, and apps (WhatsApp)
  • Be conscious of the fact that the wi-fi may not be as accessible or reliable as what you are used to in the U.S.


Student Identification 

Bring your student university I.D. card with you.  It is always helpful to have an extra form of photo I.D. 


The most important thing to remember when packing clothes is that whatever you pack will probably be more than you will need. Paris can be cold during the winter months, so bring along plenty of warm clothes. Fall, winter, and even spring can be cool and wet, with average temperatures between 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit from November to May. Layers of various weights are the best way to have a warm and flexible wardrobe both indoors and out. No matter what semester you’ll be in Paris, make sure you bring rain gear and an umbrella. A coat with a removable lining is probably your best bet to cope with the changing seasons.


Since you should plan to bring as little as possible, you will do best to bring clothes that are easily mixed and matched. It’s a good idea to bring more dark colors than bright ones; dark clothing does not show dirt and wear as easily as light clothing, and therefore may require less washing. The main component of French students’ wardrobes is jeans, but you should be prepared with some semi-dressy clothes for special occasions and nights out. Sturdy and comfortable walking shoes are needed for city life as well as travel. You may need flip-flops for the shower and bring a towel and bathrobe since you will be sharing a bathroom in the residence hall or in your French family housing. Remember that you will probably buy clothes in Paris, so it’s best to leave some room in your suitcase.

On the Job

There is no specific dress code for internships, but keep in mind that you will be placed in a professional assignment and that the French put great value on personal appearance and presentation. Men should bring several dress shirts and ties and one sport coat. Women may wear pants during the internship. Men should wear a tie at least on the first day of the assignment.

Appliances / Alarm Clock

Leave electrical appliances (especially hair dryers & flat irons) at home. Fairly inexpensive models can be purchased at many Parisian department stores such as Monoprix. A must so you can be on time for classes and for your internship is a battery-powered travel alarm clock. Coupled with the alarm on your cellphone, you’ll be sure never to be late to a rendez-vous.


The program facilities are equipped with a computer lab with 10 PC computers and a printer for student use. Students who wish to use the available computers should bring their own flashdrive to save their work. We have WIFI and encourage you to bring your laptop. If you are bringing your own computer, keep in mind the following:

Make a complete backup of all the information/ software on the computer. If the computer has one, bring along the computer system maintenance or operation system disk.

Computers should be insured, under your family’s general household policy or a specialized student insurance policy to the full value of the computer including any peripherals such as a modem, CD ROM, etc. Check with companies such as Safeware ( or National Student Services ( for specialized coverage.

A security kit is essential, because of the possibility of theft. There are a range of kits available from Kensington ( or Targus (

Check whether your computer has a built-in transformer which can handle voltages of 110 (U.S.) to 220 (Europe).  Most newer computers are equipped with this. If so, all you will need to get is an adapter.  If your computer can handle only 110 volts, then you will need to get a transformer, which can be quite bulky and expensive. Consider buying these before leaving.  Sometimes electrical surges can result in the computer’s hard drive overheating. A surge protector is always a good buy.

If in doubt, consult your computer’s manufacturer or the instruction manual for information on using your computer abroad.

Make sure that you are entirely familiar with the workings/ programs of your computer as we do not have a technical or computer support department in our Paris office.

You must ensure that your computer is loaded with up-to-date anti- virus software. Boston University students can either visit the Boston University Web site to download the free software for both Mac and PC laptops, or visit the BU IT Help centers at 179 Amory Street and at Mugar Library with your laptop for configuration. Help is also available through the IS&T website at, by writing to, or by calling 617-353-HELP (4357). Visiting students should consult with the computer/technology support department at their home institution.

Don’t have your parents send you a portable computer as it can get caught up in Customs.


If you are a non BU student, make sure you know your address, username and password.  You need them to access on-line resources.


You should use the Boston University Center’s address until you are settled and can notify your family and friends of your new address. We encourage you to have mail sent to your residence as soon as it is established and not to the BU Paris office. Airmail takes about four days to get to Paris. Boston University will not take responsibility for mail which arrives after the program ends.

Mailing address:

Name of Student
c/o Boston University
3 bis rue Jean Pierre-Bloch
75015 Paris

The mailing address at the dormitory is: TBD

UPS/FedEx/DHL shipments should be limited to documents.

Avoid having personal items, gifts or medication sent to you. The cost of shipping and potential customs tax may well exceed the value of the item and can be assessed well after delivery. We recommend that packages be sent via the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, FedEx, or DHL. No matter how the package is sent, be sure to mark the package clearly as USED PERSONAL ITEMS NOT FOR RESALE (in the case of sending extra clothing) or UNSOLICITED GIFT (in the case of birthday presents, etc.)  Packages are inspected by customs agents and duty will be collected from the student if the forms are not filled out correctly.

Textbooks and Course Materials

You will obtain your textbooks in Paris, but do bring a good French/English dictionary, such as Le Robert & Collins, and a good grammar book.


Bed linens are provided, but you should bring at least one towel.

Prescriptions and Drug Store Items

You should be sure to bring copies of prescriptions for any medications you may need and for glasses or contact lenses. Since it sometimes can be difficult to get the appropriate equivalent medication, we recommend that you bring an adequate supply of whatever medications you may use while abroad. Any medications you do bring should be in the original, properly labeled bottles. You should also bring an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses. You also might want to bring your preferred over-the-counter drugs (Tylenol, cold medicine, and sore throat lozenges), a supply of deodorant, a thermometer and contact lens solution.

Odds and Ends

Appointment book or calendar to note your interviews, class schedule and excursions.

Guidebooks to France and Europe.

A gift for your French host. You can bring a book with photos from your hometown, a calendar, or anything that represents the place where you are from.

Parent Passports

Encourage your parents to have a valid passport in the unlikely event of an emergency that would make it necessary for them to travel to France.

BU Students: 

The Fall 2017 payment deadline is August 3, 2017. You will use the StudentLink “Money Matters” tab to view and pay your bill, as usual.  Any questions regarding your bill or making payments should be directed to BU Student Accounting Services at

Non-BU Students:

The Fall 2017 payment deadline is August 3, 2017. Please contact your home institution to discuss your specific billing arrangement with Boston University.  Any additional questions regarding your bill or making payments should be directed to  Additional information can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Have You Changed Your Mind?

If you are considering withdrawing from your Study Abroad program, please thoroughly review the Boston University Study Abroad Policy on Refunds. Please keep in mind that at any time after your admission to the program there may be non-recoverable costs associated with withdrawing from the program. Examples of non recoverable costs may include, but are not limited to, housing costs, excursions or academic costs. It is important to note that the program starts on August 27 and is 16 weeks long. The last day to notify our office in writing of your withdrawal prior to being responsible for a portion of the program fee is August 19.

Have you completed everything in Phases 1, 2 and 3? Here is a self-check to make sure you’re on the right track. Make sure you’re keeping track of any upcoming deadlines and budgeting enough time to complete them on-time. If you missed a deadline, be sure to check in with you Program Manager and complete that task right away.

You should have completed:

(From Phase 1)

  • Confirmed your participation via your BU Study Abroad Application, paid your program deposit, and filled out the accompanying online forms.
  • Watched the Pre-departure Roadmap Webinar
  • Submitted the Housing Questionnaire – ASAP
  • Submitted Course Form- ASAP
  • Registered for an Internship Interview with EUSA
  • Registered for the “Global Learning Experience” 1-credit course (optional)

(From Phase 2)

  • Attended EUSA Internship Meeting and Interview-TBD
  • Attended Campus France workshop and/or completed Campus France application- APR 25
  • Attended your pre-departure meeting – APR 25
  • Submitted flight information
  • Made appointment at the consulate for your visa- between May 27- July 14
  • Made any necessary doctors appointments and located your nearest travel clinic for immunizations.
  • Contacted HTH for “Pre-Trip Planning” (if necessary)
  • Contacted BU Disability Services to plan for academic accommodations and other support services (if necessary)

(From Phase 3)

  • Submitted your travel plans through Boston University International Travel Registry- JUL 15
  • Called your bank and credit card companies to let them know you’ll be studying abroad. Asked about any banking reciprocity agreements they may have, as well as any fees you may incur.
  • Decided if you’re going to use your current mobile phone abroad, or get a new phone after you arrive in France. If you’re going to use your own phone, be sure to get it unlocked at least a week ahead of departure.
  • Made a reasonable communication plan with your family and friends
  • Settled your Boston University Student Account – Billing Deadline Early AUG
  • Reviewed your packing list and purchased any essentials
  • Read your “In-Country Guide”

[— END Phase 3 —]

1.       Get To Know Paris

Paris, the capital of France, is a bustling international hub with something for everyone...

From beautiful architecture and fascinating museums to world-famous fashion and cuisine, you will be surrounded by new and exciting opportunities to discover all that the City of Light has to offer!

It will be to your advantage to conduct some research on France before embarking on your semester overseas. For an overview on the history, geography, climate, politics, demographics and more you can start by visiting the following sites:


Le Monde
Le Figaro


Culture Smart! France, a quick guide to customs & etiquette; by Barry Tomalin, (Kuperard Press, 2007)
My Life in France by Julia Child (Anchor Books, 2006)
Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong: Why We Love France but Not the French; Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow,  (Sourcebooks Trade, 2003)
Culture from the Inside Out: Travel and Meet Yourself ; Alan Cornes, (Intercultural Press, 2004)
French and Americans: The Other Shore, Pascal Baudry,  (Les Frenchies, Inc., 2005)


Jacques Brel, Olivia Ruiz, Barbara, Benabar, Edith Piaf, Serge Gainsbourg
Georges Brassens, Sanséverino, Noir Désir, Oxmo Puccino, Booba
France Gall, Camille, Yelle, Bigflo et Olli

Spotify offers a wide variety of French music playlists to introduce you to new and classic French music.
Le Tour de France: a huge collection of French music from all genres
Les Viral 50: the most shared music in France
L'essentiel du Rap Français
L'essentiel de la Chanson Française
L'essentiel du Rock Français
Métro, Boulot, Morceaux: songs named after Parisian métro stations
French Holiday: relaxing classics


400 CoupsCyrano de Bergerac de Jean-Paul Rappeneau
Le dernier métroA bout de souffleAu revoir, les enfants
Les parapluies de CherbourgHiroshima, mon amourLa reine Margot

The ArtistLa HaineParis, je t’aime
IntouchablesGainsbourg, vie héroïque
Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie PoulainUn prophète
Les triplettes de Belleville PolisseSwimming Pool,
Les adieux à la reineLe roi danse
AmourPopulaireLes femmes du 6e étageL'esquive
Le passéLa Cité roseYves Saint LaurentCasse-tête chinois


My Parisian Life
Lost in Cheeseland

2.      Daily Life

BU Paris student favorites:

France is known worldwide for its fine cuisine and café culture. Lucky for you the BU Paris alum have shared some of their favorite spots to eat and drink in the city so that you have a place to start! Check out their suggestions here.

Thinking of staying in and cooking at home? Have a look at this food shopping and recipes guide.

Language preparation

Even though you will enroll in intensive French language courses in Paris, you need to brush up on your French before your departure so that everyday life is easier for you.

Try watching French movies and French news on television or on the internet. Your language studies will have a greater impact. You should begin reviewing your French early! Converse with a language partner and begin to familiarize yourself with idiomatic and colloquial French. If you would like to brush up on your reading skills, pick up French newspapers and magazines to read or read them online. L’Express and Le Nouvel Observateur are two examples.

Goal Setting

There is more to preparing for your semester in Paris than applying for your visa or deciding what to pack. You’ll also need to identify your own goals and objectives:

Establish some general priorities before you go—academic, personal, linguistic, and professional—and try to keep them in mind throughout the semester.

Think about how you might accomplish those goals.  Remember to keep an open mind — learn from all your experiences.

Cultural Awareness

During your time abroad, you can expect to experience many changes that will challenge your sense of order. Consider the following list of factors in the physical and cultural environment that vary from place to place: climate, language, non-verbal communication, market life, religion, family life, use of space, entertainment, recreation, food and drink etiquette, expression of emotions. Culture shapes and molds our thoughts and actions, telling us what is important and what is right. You may find certain aspects of a culture hard to adapt to, such as eating raw meat or voicing your political views. It is important to keep in mind the distinction between adapting and adopting. You do not have to change, but try to understand. The first person you meet in a cross-cultural interaction is yourself.

“Living in a foreign culture is like playing a game you’ve never played before and for which the rules haven’t been explained very well. The challenge is to enjoy the game without missing too many plays, learning the rules and developing skills as you go along.”
--Robert Kohls

How much do you know about your host country?  (You can do the same exercise for your own country.)

Name as many people you know, who are prominent in France today. In what field/area are they (politics, athletics, religion, philosophy, the arts, etc.)?
Are there national heroes and heroines? If so, can you name any?
What is the place of religion in French life? Is there a predominant one? How are other religions considered?
What is the place of education? Is it free? Mandatory? How do public and private schools compare? How do students select a university? Are there universities considered better than others in the country? How selective is the application process?
What are the “Grandes Ecoles”?
Are there other languages spoken besides the dominant language? What are the social and political implications of language usage?
What is the attitude to foreigners (Europeans, non-Europeans) in France? How much is this related to history?
France is known for its food and wine. What is the attitude toward eating? Drinking?
Are there things/ topics of discussion taboo in this society?
What are the large circulation newspapers? What is their attitude toward the government? Toward the United States?
What kinds of programs do you find on TV? Are the channels public, private? How much advertisement is there?
What is the normal work schedule? How much free time do people have? How much holiday time?
Are there recreational activities/sports more popular than others? How much do French people practice a sport, and what kind?
What is the etiquette for dinner: if you are invited, should you arrive early, on time, late? If late, how late? Are you expected to bring something?

3.      Student Life

The BU Paris Academic Center

  • Located close to shops, restaurants and the green open spaces at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.
  • The center is open during the week and hosts classrooms, a kitchen, a multimedia resource center and more!
  • Click here to read more about the facilities.

Program Activities

Almost every course will have from 2 to 3 different course-related activities outside the classroom.

There will be visits to the wine museum. You will attend a performance at the Comédie Francaise.

Your French class might include a cooking class but there will also be many more surprises!!

Experience culture on a college student budget? Yes, please!

The Cultural Passport or 'passeport culturel' will reimburse you for cultural activities that you attend in Paris! Learn about the opportunities and restrictions here.

4.      Money Matters


France uses the Euro as its currency, making it easy and convenient to travel to many of its neighboring countries that also use the Euro! At this time (February 2017) 1 euro= 1.05 US dollars. This will be important to note when planning a budget for the semester.

Chip cards

Take note that European cards have chips in them. Many credit cards in the U.S. are starting to use chips as well, which will be handy for your semester in Paris. To learn more about chip cards, you can read this article. Also, this FAQ page addresses questions about chip cards; #8 refers to using such cards overseas.

To tip or not to tip?

Though it may seem uncomfortable coming from the U.S. culture, you should know that in Paris there is no need to tip in taxis or at restaurants! The on-site staff will be able to answer any questions you may have about specific situations.  

Budget for Abroad

Of course you will want to plan a budget for your semester in Paris! Here you will find an estimated costs sheet for the semester. This is subject to change depending on your personal spending habits and the strength of the dollar, but it will be a guide and resource for you to understand the typical costs accrued by students over the semester.

We suggest completing your own budget worksheet, which will allow you to conduct research into how much money you will spend on the things that matter most to you while abroad (whether it be travel, dining, shopping, museum visits, etc).  

5.      Traveling

Public Transportation in Paris

While in Paris you will have the opportunity to use a reliable and affordable public transportation system to navigate the city. In order to purchase a transportation pass you will follow these instructions.

For more information on schedules and locations of the public transportation options near you:

Of course, there are also options for sharing taxis to get around the city- especially at night!

Exploring Paris and France...

will be made easy with the robust guide offered by the BU Paris web page. Here you will find information on traveling through the neighborhoods of Paris as well as planning day trips and weekend getaways.

Travel outside of France

France is in a prime location for travel throughout Europe by plane, train and bus! If you decide to independently travel outside of France, perhaps to neighboring Spain or across the channel to England, please be sure to fill out the travel plans form so the on-site staff are in the loop on your whereabouts!

6.      Staying Healthy

You will receive detailed information regarding health during orientation when you arrive in Paris. Always feel free to get in touch with the Program Director, Renee Pontbriand, if you are ill and need assistance seeking any medical attention. The on-site staff are there to help in these situations, so please do not be embarrassed or shy if you do become ill- getting sick while abroad is common as you become familiar with a new life-style, diet, etc. It is best to seek treatment for any illness sooner than later so it does not get worse.

Here you can read more information on what to do if you run into any health issues while in Paris. You will also find a useful list of basic vocabulary to help you navigate!

7.      Staying Safe

Embassy of the United States, Paris

Address: 2 Avenue Gabriel, 75008 Paris, France
Telephone: +33 1 43 12 22 22

Just as in any large city, you will want to take extra precaution in keeping a close eye on your personal belongings and remain alert and aware. Pay attention to your surroundings and be present (not on your phone!) while walking around the city.

For local safety tips and security measures from the Paris staff please click here.

It is also a good idea to check in with the State Department's travel recommendations.  

8.      "Being You" Abroad

Identities Abroad

As you prepare for your study abroad experience, you’ll want to consider aspects of your identity and how these may be perceived and treated in the culture you’ll be spending time in. You may encounter varying and even opposing perceptions of your identity, which could include your gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, ethnicity, and possibly several others. Although some of this will be covered in your on-site orientation, we encourage you to do some research into social norms, cultural mores, and local practices before your program begins. We want you to participate as much as possible in the host culture and should be prepared for the experience, which can be both personally challenging and rewarding.

LGBTQ Resources

Disability resources

Women’s and Gender Resources

Racial and Ethnic Students from the Global Majority

Resources for Religious and Spiritual Groups Abroad







Resources for all Students

[--- END In-Country Guide ---]

[— The Fine Print —]

Academic, Disciplinary and Financial Standing

Boston University Study Abroad reserves the right to rescind admission to or continuation in any program if an applicant’s academic or disciplinary record is not satisfactory. Boston University students placed on expulsion, academic suspension, or residence separation are not eligible to participate for the duration of the sanction. Deferred separation status will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Non-Boston University students are expected to verify their eligibility to study abroad with their home institution.

In addition, your Boston University student account must be in good standing. University policy requires the withholding of educational services, including participation in a BU Study Abroad program from any student whose financial obligations to the university are due and/or unpaid.

Students’ Responsibilities While Abroad

In completing your online pre-departure forms, there are a number of terms and conditions that you have agreed to by your electronic signature. We suggest that you review the following with your family, parent/guardian or other interested party:

  • Student Declaration (includes a link to the Boston University Policy on Refunds—also below)
  • Participation Confirmation
  • Housing Agreement
  • Assumption of Risk, Waiver of Claims and Release of Liability Form

Policy on Refunds

All students should thoroughly review the Boston University Study Abroad Policy on Refunds.  This policy applies to all students and should be thoughtfully read when considering a withdrawal from a program. If you have questions, please contact our office.

[— END The Fine Print —]

[— Calendar —]

Program Dates

The fall 2017 Paris Internship Program begins on August 27 (depart U.S. August 26) to December 16, 2017.

Tentative Academic Calendar

Departure US:  Saturday, August 26 2017

Arrival day:  Sunday, August 27, 2017

Orientation:  Monday, August 28, 2017

Classes start: Thursday, August 31

Fall break: Saturday, October 21- Sunday, October 29

Internships start: Monday, October 30

Internships end: Friday, December 15

Departure:  Saturday, December 16, 2017

The detailed orientation schedule & semester calendar will be posted on the BU Paris website approximately two months prior to the program start date.

Neither late arrivals nor early departures are permitted. We urge students to not make any weekend or mid-semester break travel plans until they arrive on site and receive the finalized course and program schedule. During the semester, students must fulfill strict attendance requirements and will be very busy with classes, program activities, and assignments. If family and friends plan to visit, please schedule trips to take place before the start of on-site orientation, during a scheduled program break, or after the semester ends. The first and last weeks of the program are critical to students’ success and require your full attention. By timing visits to coincide with scheduled program breaks, you can meet attendance requirements and take full advantage of your study abroad experience.

[— END Calendar —]

[— Contacts —]

Program Contacts

As you prepare for and embark on your study abroad experience, you will be in contact with various staff members from BU Study Abroad, both in Boston and abroad. To avoid missing important information, please add “” to your address book. Please keep all emails in a folder for your reference as you prepare for your semester abroad. Here are the names and email addresses of some people who will be in touch with you this semester, and/or whom you may want to contact with questions.

In Boston

Kaela Conroy – Your Program Manager located in Boston – for any program-specific, pre-departure or visa questions.

Sheerley Zinori – Participation and financial aid information.

Caitlin Bueno – Deposit, account and billing information and transcript issues.

In Paris

Bios for the BU Paris staff, faculty and internship placement team are found here on the BU Paris website.

Questions? Contact the BU Paris staff directly at the general Paris Email: Questions about the internship placement process can be directed to EUSA at

[— END Contacts —]