Experiment in International Living: France - Cultural Discovery

Paris, France

Overview

Explore Paris and French regional culture, and then spend time in a bordering country, on this high school summer abroad program.

Program Description

Travel from Paris to a French border community and then to a neighboring country as you explore regional cultures and identities. The program commences with an immersive introduction to French history and culture in Paris. Visit famous sites and museums—such as the Champs-Elysées, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, or Louvre—throughout the city. Explore diverse neighborhoods, navigate the metro, and sample French cuisine in street-side cafés as you deepen your understanding of Parisian culture and the city’s role within France.

Following orientation, travel with your group to a community in southern France near the Italian border or, alternatively, to a French community near the German border. Become fully immersed in the daily life of a French family during a twelve-day homestay. Take advantage of the opportunity—afforded by the homestay—to learn some French and to gain a unique glimpse into French life and culture.

After saying goodbye to your host family, cross the French border with your group into either Italy or Germany to explore the landscapes and culture of a French neighbor. Whether you’re strolling through picturesque villages in Alsace, exploring the French Riviera, or visiting beautiful Cinque Terre on the Mediterranean, you gain deeper insight into the diversity of France and the culture of an adjacent country.

Sample Itinerary

Days 1–4
Orientation in Paris

  • Learn about the history and culture of France
  • Get to know other members of your group during activities and group discussions
  • Visit famous sites and museums throughout the city
  • Explore diverse neighborhoods, navigate the metro, and sample French cuisine in street-side cafés
  • Practice your French language skills

During the orientation period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.

Days 5–15
Homestay

  • Become fully immersed in the daily life of a French family and community
  • Do activities with your host family
  • Explore your host communities and the surrounding area
  • Visit surrounding villages and beaches
  • Get introduced to the culture of the French Riviera

During this period, you will stay in the home of a family. Sample host communities: Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, Saint-Raphaël

Days 16–20
Thematic Focus in One of Two Locations

Italy and the French Riviera (5-night excursion)

  • Hike through villages and vineyards perched above the Mediterranean
  • Go on a daylong excursion by boat to the Cinque Terre and see towns built on terraces overlooking the sea
  • Enjoy the beautiful Italian coast and relax on the beach in Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino
  • Go on a daylong excursion by train to the small country of Monaco and enjoy the city and the beach
  • Visit Menton and see the Jean Cocteau Museum

During this excursion, you and your group will stay in hotels.

OR

Germany and Alsace (5-night excursion)

  • Take a guided tour of Freiburg
  • Explore picturesque German villages in the region surrounding Freiburg
  • Go on an excursion to Titisee-Neustadt
  • Have a picnic in the Black Forest
  • Visit the city of Colmar and attend an open air movie at Natala Park, visit the Bartholdi Museum, bike through vineyards, and explore the city’s “La Petite Venise” district

During this excursion, you and your group will stay in hotels.

Day 21
Reflection and Wrap-up in Paris

  • Reflect with your group on your experiences during the program

During the reflection period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.

Day 22
Departure

About The Experiment

The Experiment in International Living is a non-profit organization that has been offering immersive experiential learning programs abroad since 1932. Today, The Experiment offers three-, four-, and five-week summer programs for high school students in more than 20 countries around the world.

Programs are designed to equip participants not only with essential cultural skills and, in many cases, language skills, but also with a deeper awareness of and sensitivity to critical global issues shaping the diverse communities and regions we visit. Each year, hundreds of Experimenters come away from their summer abroad with invaluable new skills, connections, awareness, and knowledge that help them to thrive—and lead—in diverse, intercultural environments.

The Experiment is committed to providing participants from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds with access to The Experiment’s immersive cross-cultural programs through its partnerships, scholarships, and other initiatives.

The Experiment places the highest priority on health, safety, and security. Each program follows a comprehensive structure designed to maximize the well-being of all participants while they engage in dynamic cross-cultural experiences. We have implemented specific risk management strategies that include a 24-hour emergency on-call service and regular safety reviews. We hire and train experienced adult group leaders and maintain longstanding partnerships with in-country offices to support each of our programs.

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