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.
Weekend excursions to regions outside of Paris bring students in touch with some of the diverse histories, landscapes and traditions that make up the country’s rich cultural heritage. Past excursions have taken student to Burgundy to visit the beautiful city of Beaune and to explore the old villages and vineyards for which the region is rightfully so well-known, to Brittany to climb to the top of “La Merveille”—the Mont St. Michel—and to the town of Pont-Aven where Paul Gauguin first stopped in his search for ethereal light and lifeways far from the urban metropolis, or to Avignon—“city of the Popes” and home to one of Europe’s most prestigious theatre festivals and gateway to the haunting landscapes of Provence.
Special travel seminars allow smaller groups of students to participate in specialized two to three day excursions to explore an idea, a theme, or a historical problem. These have included visits of the extraordinary Paleolithic cave paintings in the Dordogne, to southern France to follow on the tracks of Cezanne and Van Gogh, or to the high mountain plateau of the Vercors near the Alpine city of Grenoble, where students learned about the heroic struggles of the French Resistance during World War II. Wonderful opportunities to get off the beaten track, these trips allow students to dig more deeply into a particular aspect of French life, culture or history, and to spend a privileged moment with an expert member of our faculty.
"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 F., NYU Paris student