Summer in Tours + Paris: FAQ
The Application Process
Q: Who is eligible to apply to this program?
A: Any student currently enrolled in an accredited U.S. college or university, who has at least completed FREN 102 “Advanced French II” or 112 “Intensive Advanced French II” (or their equivalent). A cumulative G.P.A. of at least 2.7 is required.
Q: How competitive is admission to the program?
A: The number of applicants may exceed the limited number of spaces (for logistical reasons, having more than 20 students in Tours+Paris is not manageable at this point). Therefore, while you may meet the requirements, there is always a chance that you will not be accepted; naturally, the number of qualified applicants has a direct bearing on this probability.
Q: What are the criteria for admission?
A: Beyond the minimum requirements (2.7 G.P.A., completion or French 102 or 112), we prioritize, in descending order: 1) good academic standing (not being on academic probation), 2) motivation as demonstrated in your statement of purpose, 3) seriousness of purpose and character as described in reference letters. Special consideration may also be given to Georgetown juniors who cannot go study abroad for documented reasons, Georgetown students who have applied for study abroad and have been given a conditional answer, and generally all those who have a compelling reason to attend the Tours+Paris program.
Q: How do I maximize my chances of being accepted?
A: 1) Make sure that your application file is complete, and delivered to the OGE office by the stated deadline 2) Take time to carefully compose your statement of purpose, explaining as specifically as possible why you want to (or need to) enroll in this program (not just “go abroad” or “go to France”). Try and get letters from referees who can write cogently about your seriousness of purpose, your maturity and motivation.
Q: Whom should I ask for reference letters?
A: Ideally, one of these letters should be from a teacher who can vouch for your qualities as a language student: seriousness, motivation, hard work, etc. The other can be from any academic professional (professor, instructor, dean, coach) who can vouch for your character, maturity, self-reliance, etc. Alternatively, you may submit a character reference from an adult in a position of authority with whom you have worked or studied, who has mentored or supervised you (employer, priest, pastor, supervisor). Do not submit recommendations from relatives, friends or peers.
Q: Is dedicated financial aid available for this program?
A: Yes, but it is limited. Each year, the French Department’s E. Joseph McCarthy Fund awards a limited number of scholarships. There is a separate application process, and scholarships are given away on a first-come first served basis. See details on the French Department’s web pages here. There are also scholarship opportunities through Georgetown’s Office of Global Education and outside sources such as the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program and The Corp’s Hoya Snaxa Scholarship.
Q: Will I need to return to campus after the end of classes in May for program orientation?
A: No—program orientation will take place in April. No further activities will require your presence on campus between the end of classes and the start of the program in Tours.
Q: Which courses do I preregister for when I apply?
A: FREN 119 “French Cultural Integration Workshop” and either FREN-281-62 “Politique française et l’Union européenne: Paris” or FREN-280-62 “Monde des Affaires: Paris.”
Q: How long does the program last overall?
A: Six weeks: about 2 continuous weeks for the initial Cultural Immersion Workshop (CIW) in Tours followed by 4 weeks of courses in Paris at the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie.
Q: Do we have weekends off during this time?
A: Students typically have weekends off and are encouraged to explore the cities of Tours and Paris, and their surroundings.
Q: Does the university arrange students’ travel?
A: No. You make your own travel arrangements. We provide detailed suggestions on how to get to Tours, however. (A Practical Guide is made available to all who enroll.)
Q: Do all students have to arrive at the exact same time?
A: Everyone is required to arrive in Tours on the Wednesday when the program before 5pm as there will be a mandatory orientation meeting at 7:00pm that night followed by dinner.
Q: Can I arrive a day or two earlier and stay at the same hotel?
A: If you want to arrive earlier, you will have to contact the hotel and book a room on your own (if one is available). They may redirect you to a comparable hotel nearby if they are completely booked.
Q: Are all program activities (field trips, lectures, etc.) mandatory?
A: Yes, all activities are mandatory, because they are, in fact, part of the curriculum and your participation is reflected in your grade.
Q: A good friend of mine/my parents will be visiting me in France during the program. Are they allowed to join us for program activities such as field trips?
A: Unfortunately, visiting families and friends may not come along for program activities, mostly for logistical reasons, but also because these activities are part of the curriculum (and because your friends or relatives would all have to speak French).
Q: Is it possible to leave the program early?
A: You should not (plan to) leave before the program is officially over, that is until the day when the last class at the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie is held.
Q: Is it possible to leave late?
A: If you wish to stay in Paris after the end of the program you might be able to arrange with your host family to stay with them for an extra day or two, although we cannot guarantee that they will agree to it, and they are not contractually bound to host you after the program is officially over.
Q: When exactly are students expected to leave Paris?
A: Courses at the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie officially end around noon on the last Friday of the program dates. There will be a goodnight dinner and cruise on the Seine on that last evening. Students should plan on leaving Paris the following Saturday (or on Friday after 11pm). This last night (Friday to Saturday) at your host family’s home is included in the program cost.
Q: How many credits will I receive at the end of the program and how will they be applied to my degree?
A: Assuming satisfactory completion of the program, each student will be award six credits. Students may receive credit for FREN 151, FREN 250, and above, depending on a number of factors. Prior to the start of the program, each student will receive a personal letter from the Program Director detailing exactly how his or her credits will be applied to their degree.
Q: I have an allergy and/or dietary restriction(s). Can I still attend?
A: Of course! Students should indicate any dietary restrictions on their OGE health form as well as communicate them directly to the Program Director. Our Housing Coordinators in Tours and Paris will then do their best to place each student in an appropriate home.
Q: Do I have to speak French the entire time?
A: Oui! With the exception of the on-site orientation at the very start of the program, all program activities will be conducted in French. Students will sign a Language Pledge in which they agree to speak French at all times (even amongst one another when no professors are present). While this may seem daunting at first, it is the only way to improve your level of French and ensure that you leave France having made as much progress as possible.
Q: I want to visit other countries while I’m in France. Is that allowed?
A: Yes. Students are free to travel as they like as long as they are present in Tours and Paris for all official program events and their classes AND as long as they provide the Program Director with a detailed travel itinerary in case of an emergency.
Q: Will my cell phone work in France?
A: Most likely, no (unless you already subscribe to an international calling plan). Upon arrival in Tours students are strongly encouraged to purchase a prepaid SIM card for their phone, which provides them with a French cell phone number and an easy way to communicate with their host family, the Program Director, and their local friends. All students must have a way in which the Program Director can reach them via phone (in case of emergencies). SIM cards in France are rather cheap and typically cost no more than 20 – 25 euros.
Q: What does the program fee cover?
A: The program fee covers tuition for six credits, room and board at the hotel (for the first two nights) and with the host family (for the remainder of the program), meals (breakfast and dinner daily in Tours; daily breakfast, three dinners per week and daily lunch at the CCIP in Paris), academic fees, international health insurance, and all official program field trips, activities, and excursions. The program fee does NOT include transportation to and from France, passport or visa fees, any additional meals, or individually organized activities or excursions.
Q: Do I need a visa to live in France?
A: Depending on your nationality, you may be required to obtain a short-stay visa to live/study in France for these six weeks. It is the student’s responsibility to verify with the French Embassy as to whether or not a Visa is necessary AND to obtain said visa before departure.