France: La Cité Cosmopolite – Urbanism in The City of Light
The City of Light is more than a museum. Paris pulses with the energy of commerce, community and cultures from across the planet. Get to know La Cité Cosmopolite beyond the monuments and boulevards. Become a working Parisian engaged and culturally aware. With the help of Napoleon’s architects, the great urban planners of days gone by and today’s working Parisians, you develop a deep understanding of how Paris functions, celebrates artistic treasures and preserves cultural traditions and quality of life.
You and your new friends live in a small locally owned hotel in central Paris during an action-packed introduction to French language and culture. Meet with a master baker, visit Notre Dame, buy baguettes and fresh cheeses for a picnic lunch in the Jardin du Luxembourg and practice your French language skills while learning about Paris as a living and working city. Then take the TGV to your host community to become part of a local family. While shopping for fresh produce in outdoor markets, visiting local Chateaux with fellow Corps members and cooking with your new host family, you become integrated into daily life. Return to Paris for an intensive urban studies project. You intern with a local business, work with the children of Les Enfants de la Goutte d’Or, volunteer at a soup kitchen, and travel on foot, by bus and by metro through many of the eclectic neighborhoods of Paris. With all that you’ve learned about urbanism, travel to another European city to explore urban design. Spend your final few days back in Paris visiting familiar restaurants, favorite neighborhoods and preparing for the journey home.
Orientation in Paris
- Climb the steps of the Eiffel Tower.
- Feast your eyes on the masterpieces of the Louvre.
- Navigate the metro like an expert.
- Speak French in stores, cafes and neighborhoods from Montmarte to the Left Bank.
Family and Community Stay in Blois, Le Mans or Nantes
- Go native.
- Develop your French language skills.
- Cook with your host mother.
- Attend local festivals.
- Become part of a new family.
- Get together with other Corps members to participate in excursions and day trips with your Corps leader.
Seminar in Paris
- Meet with local community leaders.
- Visit non-profit organizations.
- Engage in community exploration exercises to learn about demographics.
- Explore the 20 arrondissements of Paris.
Field-Based Exploration in Paris
- Intern at a local cafe or shop.
- Prepare the daily soup for hundreds at La Chorba, a Parisian food bank.
- Play with children at a community center for recent immigrants.
- Pack your bags and head to the train station.
- Travel to Lyon, Marseille or Amsterdam.
- Reflect on all that you’ve learned about urbanism as you explore in a new environment.
- Return to Paris for a final meal in a favorite restaurant.
- Discuss re-entry and prepare for the journey home.
Program: France – La Cité Cosmopolite
Start/End: New York’s JFK International Airport
Dates: Late June – Early August (5 weeks)
Prerequisite: At least 2 years of French