Paris Winter Program FAQ

The Program is open to all Undergraduate Stanford students, in all disciplines. There are however two pathways, which offer different opportunities under separate and distinct conditions:

A. STEM/Pre-Health pathway: This pathway targets students in STEM studies, by offering them upper-range core-courses in English, either in the fields of Physics or Bio-chemistry at the Stanford in Paris center. The opportunity allows STEM students, who never thought it possible before, to now study in Paris. The usual French language pre-requisite for the students enrolled in these core courses is waived. As France is one of the leading countries in the world of scientific research, the Stanford faculty members on campus and Stanford Alumni in France have cultivated and enhanced relations with their French colleagues overseas, in research institutions and in hospitals. The Paris Program therefore also offers a wide range of part-time internships in the fields of Biology, Engineering, Bio-engineering and CS.

B. The Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences pathway: winter quarter is an intimate and very special time to study the humanities and arts in Paris.  Museums are relatively uncrowded at this time of year, and Art History classes are held there on-site, under good conditions. In addition, small seminars in history, sustainability, and art practice classes are offered in French. Part-time internships and on-site research can be done as well. For these students, the French language prerequisites is required.

Once you have been accepted to the program, you will begin receiving a series of emails describing each opportunity, about two months before the start of the program. We will be soliciting responses usually a month before the program begins. After Skype interviews, you will know upon arrival in France, in the first week of the program, if your application has been accepted by the sponsoring institution.

If internships or special opportunities are offered for two or three units, there is some flexibility involved, and a “trial period” in most cases is acceptable. This would be the case, for example, regarding the Media and Medical Internships, Practice Art, and Music classes. If, however, internships are offered for 5-6 units, that would imply hands-on work for two or three days a week, and the sponsoring institution will be expecting your active participation, usually within a team. Please therefore do not apply for these internships unless you are sure you can reasonably commit yourself to them, and that you are motivated by their content or framework.

Click on the opportunity that interests you and the related information will download. The descriptions will be based on the year in session, and offerings may change from year to year, but the descriptions will give you a general idea of the breadth and depth of the opportunities offered.

Absolutely. If you have completed first-year French upon arrival in Paris, all opportunities will be available to you.

There are excellent reasons for staying during winter and spring quarters in Paris, no matter which pathway you are pursuing. The most important will be your capacity to fully come to terms with a new culture. You will truly benefit from it, rather than dashing through the experience. All students who have stayed two quarters relished the fact that during the first quarter, they could calmly set the stage for individual work, research or internships they would be doing in the second. A wider range of internships in spring will be available to you, since by that time you would have mastered the city, the language and the underpinnings of the culture. You therefore will have more to contribute to your sponsoring institution, and your participation will be all the more rewarding.

For students in the Humanities pathway, you will be able to attend courses at the Sorbonne Paris University (IV) in fields such as literature, history, philosophy and music, for example. This is not possible if you are staying in Paris only during the winter quarter.

And finally, if you are not a French or European resident or citizen, your winter-spring visa may allow you to continue your stay in France, and legally work there, should you so wish. This is not possible if you are only attending spring quarter with the Stanford in Paris program.

Two major opportunities will be available to you:

1. The world-famous Institut Pasteur is generously offering two full time positions in their labs for the summer, open exclusively for students attending the Paris program in the winter. Applications are due end of January, and in February on-site meetings are scheduled at the Institut to give both the students and the Institute the chance to become acquainted mutually, before making a commitment for the summer.

2. The France-Stanford Center offers summer research grants for students returning to France in the summer.

For most nationalities, no visa is needed if you return over the summer so long as legal French and European laws are respected regarding the length of your stay.