Paris Overview


The academic objective of the Paris program is to offer students an essential tool for understanding the underpinnings of French culture, language, politics and society. Participants in the program will be able to come to terms with both the myth and the reality of France today, through participation in courses offered in French, in internships, and through ongoing research in French centers of higher learning. During their stay, students will be expected to explore and make good use of all the exceptionally rich resources Paris has to offer.


Please see the Language Prerequisite page for more detailed information.

Related On-Campus Courses

Please see the list of related on-campus courses for more detailed information.


Students studying in Paris can arrange a directed reading guided by a mentor who is either a Stanford faculty member or a local Paris faculty member.  For the latter, we call this an "independent study."

  • Those interested in pursuing a directed reading should work closely with their academic advisor and the Paris Program Director in developing these projects. Students planning to work with a Stanford faculty member should also consult with this mentor as well.
  • A Directed Reading Proposal (PDF) must be submitted to the Bing Overseas Studies Program office at least one month prior to the quarter of intended study.
  • A directed reading may be taken only in addition to twelve units of regular coursework offered directly by the program.


The Paris Program offers courses that provide credit toward Stanford graduation and most classes also count toward an undergraduate major. Students must enroll in a minimum of twelve units from the courses offered through the program. For a list of all BOSP courses offered in the current academic year and planned for the next, and for information on which courses earn departmental credit or fulfill General Education Requirements, please refer to the BOSP course database. For information on courses scheduled for the current academic year and for enrollment, please refer to Axess.

Coursework at local institutions

A number of possibilities exist to attend courses, lectures and seminars outside the Stanford program, as listed below. The scope of these arrangements is limited and you should not rely on this as part of your regular academic program in Paris.

Please see the list of local partner institutions for more detailed information.

For most arrangements with a local institution, the Director of the Paris program should be informed at least a month before the quarter you are attending if you are interested in this option.

Host Institution

Our host institution, the ISEP, is one of the highest ranking engineering schools in France, best known for its research in digital technologies, and serves as a strong gateway to the international engineering community. In France, it is accredited by the National Engineering Committee (CTI) and the “Conférence des Grandes Écoles”. The school is located in the heart of the left bank of Paris, and its labs, built in the beautiful park of Issy les Moulineaux, not far from the center, are open to our students as well. Every quarter, our students are welcome to participate in exciting ongoing research with students in the fields of Micro and Nanoelectronics & Radio Communications; Signal, Image and Telecommunications; and Research and Development in Information sciences. In addition, the program offers a rewarding interdisciplinary project ("Puissance Trois") where Design students, ISEP engineering students, and Stanford students team up to create an innovative product.

For students who are not necessarily engineers, many other means of interaction are encouraged as well: a vibrant language partner program plays a major role at the Stanford in Paris Center, and cultural events are offered onsite in the ISEP.


You will encounter French culture through field trips, classes and on-site studies that make use of the rich resources of Paris and the surrounding area. Art History classes often meet on-site in churches and museums, and visits include some of the city's most famed monuments: the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Notre Dame de Paris, Sainte-Chapelle or Versailles.

Of special mention is the “Introduction to French Society” class (ISF), a required course that is intended to explore the underpinnings of all aspects of French society and culture, through lectures, projects with French students, and studies of special venues.

Destinations change every quarter and in the past have included well-known regions such as Normandy, Provence, or the Loire Valley, as well as key cities such as Bordeaux or Marseille.