Courses in literature, art history, politics, and cinema through the university are complemented by regular outings in and around Paris. Art history students, for example, often meet in one of the city's world-renowned museums for lectures or for student presentations on a particular work of art. In a similar fashion, urban sociology students discover Parisian monuments and neighborhoods in a new light through the on-site explanations of their professor. Politics and history students can take advantage of program-wide excursions to round out their classroom experience, by visiting for example, the vestiges of the papal city-state in Avignon. Theatre students attend both fringe events and prestigious national theatres at least twice a month. NYU Paris thus offers students academic courses of a very high standard within a rich and varied cultural milieu.
A two-week, two-point workshop in French Language and Culture at the start of the program is mandatory for all students. This course helps students, depending on their level, to improve their abililty to understand everyday or more advanced French, to participate actively in discussions, to read French text, and to compose oral and written reports in French. For students who have already studied French, the French workshop activates their acquired knowledge of French language and culture and thus strengthens their ability to immerse themselves immediately and successfully into their new Parisian lives as well as their courses at NYU or in the French university system. For students who have had no French at all, this workshop helps familiarize them with the basic tenets of French grammar and pronunciation. It also provides a basic historical and political orientation to help students better understand contemporary life in France. The workshop culminates in an group day-trip to a magnificent abbeys or medieval village near Paris, with a gourmet lunch included.
"I'll never forget picnicking with my French host family and butchering the language as my host sister laughed, kindly...tasting escargot for the first time, in a restaurant facing the Notre Dame cathedral..."
- Fletcher Findley, NYU in Paris student