Dear future student,
One of NYU's largest global academic centers, NYU Paris is a vibrant and dynamic place where you will find the best opportunities to make the most of your study away experience. At NYU Paris, you will enjoy a life-changing experience without having to make a break in the course of your studies. Our mission is to accompany you through this journey.
You will soon discover that Paris is a diverse and cosmopolitan city that offers an enlightening mix of history and modernity. Home to some of the world's most renowned museums, Paris is also one of the world's principal technology hubs.
The courses taught in our state-of-the-art academic center reflect this mix: in addition to numerous courses in the humanities – French language, philosophy, art history, politics, literature, history and more -- we now also offer courses in music technology, media and communications, mathematics, computer science... Our courses are taught by top-rate instructors and count toward numerous major requirements. Students receive one-on-one mentoring from an academic advisor, get guidance on life outside the classroom from a dedicated student life team, and have access to an on-site counselor.
Studying at NYU Paris is a fantastic human adventure. You will have the opportunity to meet local students, to take courses in our partner universities, to enjoy some of the many cultural events and overnight excursions we curate, to engage in humanitarian volunteer work, to contribute to building community... the possibilities are endless!
Alfred Galichon, Director
NYU Academic Center in Paris
NYU Paris is located in the Latin Quarter, the thriving historic and intellectual heart of Paris. Students will have the opportunity to benefit from the numerous cultural, artistic, and academic institutions of this wonderful neighborhood, as well as to get to know the city through faculty-led visits and walking tours. There you will take classes, attend lectures, and study in the library. You are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop; however it is not mandatory as the center is equipped with computer labs. Various student lounges provide places to meet up with friends or interact with NYU Paris staff, including the director, associate directors, housing coordinator, student life staff, librarians, and faculty—all of whom advise you during your stay in Paris and support your adventures in France.
NYU Paris is fully equipped with desktop computer stations and laser printers. The wifi connection is accessible throughout the facilities, including of course, the Library.
A brand-new, modern, state-of-the-art space where you can concentrate and study.Photo credit: Romain Philippon
Study on you own laptop in a quiet space.Photo credit: Romain Philippon
Or use the library's free-access iMac computers (both run Mac OS and Windows).Photo credit: Bob Handelman
The NYU Paris library contains materials in French, as well as some English-language books, on literature, art history, cinema, fashion, literary theory, and French and European history, among others. In addition, the library has both French and English-language periodicals (Le Monde, The New Yorker, Art Press, etc.), an extensive film collection (DVDs in both French and English), and other resources that may help you in your coursework and outside research.
One of the most captivating cities in Europe, Paris retains its timeless legacy as an artistic, intellectual, and literary pacesetter. The Eiffel Tower, symbol of the city, dominates the skyline. North of the Seine, the Right Bank is home to monumental buildings, grand boulevards, and major museums, including the Louvre and the Centre Pompidou. The Left Bank (rive gauche) invokes a Bohemian and intellectual atmosphere with its university communities, cafés, restaurants, jazz clubs, and chic boutiques.
Though a metropolitan environment, Paris adheres to its dedication to small businesses and local vendors. Thus you will find yourself in quaint locales that immerse themselves in intimacy and friendliness. As such, keep these tips in mind when venturing throughout the city:
- The city is more like a giant village, there are limited skyscrapers so you will often feel like you are in a small city.
- The city basically closes on Sundays which is important to keep in mind when making plans. In particular, this can greatly affect arrangements for grocery shopping.
- Business hours are much different as stores tend to close earlier than in New York.
People & Culture
Paris is a cosmopolitan city and its inhabitants represent a fantastic mix of cultures, religions, backgrounds and wealth. Though it is impossible to generalize about such a diverse population, you may find that Parisians tend to be more formal than most Americans when it comes to language, dress, common courtesy, and even food.
Some stereotypes about the French include that they are typically smokers, fashion icons, slim and slender, drink wine and coffee like water and are the ultimate romantics. While these archetypes can prove to be true, it is important to keep in mind that each person is an individual. The French focus on the riches of life - from small delicacies to family life, and take time to indulge in them. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you are engaging in a refreshingly rich culture:
- French people are relatively private. The culture is much more intimate and close knit groups can come across as closed. This may give the impression that the French are rude or play into the idea that they do not like Americans. But do keep in mind that this is a different culture, with a different structure for friendship and different expressions of amity.
- Saying “Bonjour,” “Merci,” and “S’il vous plait” goes a long way. In fact, the most important thing is that you try to speak French whenever possible. If somebody snubs your efforts by speaking back to you in English, keep trying!
- The French are very proud of being French, from food to clothing to language. It is especially important to be complimentary and respectful of French culture — though this is a good rule of thumb no matter where you go.
- In France, the concept of customer service is much different than it is in the US. You will find that, contrary to the US, the customer is NOT always right. This can be frustrating, but try to remember that most French have a much different relationship to work than most Americans do. You could say that they work to live, whereas many Americans live to work.
Paris is divided into 20 arrondissements (districts) that spiral out like a snail’s shell from the center. The Seine River then cuts across the entire city, dividing it into the right (rive droite) and left (rive gauche) banks. Each arrondissement offers its own unique character, just like the different neighborhoods and boroughs of New York. Though you’ll get to know your own arrondissement best, you will inevitably spend time in almost all of them, experiencing Paris’ diversity firsthand.
The city center. This quarter is bustling with tourists sightseeing and shopping and with 9 to 5-ers rushing to work at the area’s many office and government buildings. The first offers a lot of the attractions that you are already familiar with, but it is usually jam-packed with tourists, so it doesn’t give you a truly authentic impression of Paris.
Attractions include: Palais Royal, Louvre, Jardin des Tuileries, Place Vendôme – Famous square bordered by glittering jewelry and haute couture designers. Place de la Concorde – admire Haussmann’s city-planning skills. It’s a straight line from this point, up the Champs Elysees to L’Arc de Triomphe. Musée de l’Orangerie – home to Monet’s water lilies.
3eme and 4eme arrondissements
The 3rd and 4th arrondissements compose the Marais--a quaint, hip neighborhood that is now home to Paris’ Jewish and gay communities. It boasts some of the oldest houses in the city, known as hôtels, which belonged to the city’s wealthy elite. Some of these homes have been converted into museums. The Marais is a popular area for Sunday strolls, as most restaurants and stores are open here on that day, while the rest of the city is nearly shut down. It also hosts a lively bar scene at night. The 4th arrondissement is also home to Paris’ two islands, Ile-de la-Cite and Ile-Saint-Louis, both charming, compact neighborhoods that offer lovely views of the city from their banks.
- Centre Pompidou
- Musée Carnavalet
- Musée Picasso
- Place des Vosges
- L’As du falafel
- Vintage shopping
- Sainte Chapelle
St. Germain was once the center of the left bank’s artistic and literary community, but it’s now become one of the wealthiest and most fashionable neighborhoods in Paris. The quarter attracts with the charm of its twisting streets, filled with art galleries, boutiques, pâtisseries and bookshops.
- Café de Flore and Café des Deux Magots – hangouts of Hemingway, de Beauvoir and Sartre.
- Pierre Hermé – arguably some of the best macarons in the city.
- Saint Germain-des-Pres – oldest church in Paris.
- Jardin du Luxembourg
- Cire Trudon – candle maker to Versailles.
- Le Bon Marché - beautiful luxury department store. Make sure to check the food section!
This quarter is characterized by the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, which runs its full length. Though the Champs-Elysées is one of the most well known streets in Paris, you might be somewhat underwhelmed at first visit. The area is very tourist and consumer driven, with an endless supply of nondescript flagship stores. There are also a few major nightclubs, rendering the neighborhood popular with the late night crowd, but walking around alone at night is not recommended. Go see the Christmas decorations there!
- Avenue Montaigne – home to main fashion houses.
- Arc de Triomphe
- Grand and Petit Palais – traveling art exhibitions.
Two of Paris’ major train stations are located in the Tenth, so it has a tendency to be loud with lots of traffic. But, the section around the Canal Saint Martin has become increasingly chic and residential. This sector spans the area from Place de la Republique to the east side of the district and is filled with trendy, urban bars, cafes and restaurants.
- Canal St. Martin
- Place de la République
The 12th is a residential area with a lot of parks, most notably the Promenade Plantee. This park sits above the street, with boutiques situated under its stone archways (featured in the film Before Sunset). In the twelfth you will also find the beautiful Gare de Lyon and the Opera Bastille. Old warehouses at the Cour St. Emillion have recently been redeveloped into bars, shops and restaurants.
The Fourteenth is home of the famed Montparnasse district, once a hangout for American ex-patriots in the 1920s, including Hemingway and Fitzgerald. Many of the bars they frequented still exist (Le Dome, La Rotonde) as expensive brasseries along the Boulevard Montparnasse. Here you will also find the much- debated and hated Tour Montparnasse towering over the neighborhood’s grand apartment buildings, as the only skyscraper within city limits. The area’s many middle to upper class families and students reside alongside two major macabre landmarks: the large Montparnasse Cemetery and the Catacombs.
- Tour Montparnasse
- Montparnasse Cemetery
The 16th is a very posh bourgeois district. The grand avenues are lined with leafy chestnut trees and beautiful 19th century architecture, housing lots of “old money” families and older couples.
- Musée Marmottan - Monet
- Bois de Boulogne
- Trocadéro - Iconic view at the Eiffel Tower
- Palais de Tokyo - Contemporary art space
- Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
- Musée de la Mode
This district combines the picturesque hill town of Montmartre with the infamous sex trade of Pigalle, birthplace of the Moulin Rouge and the cancan. Wandering through the meandering streets of Montmartre can be most rewarding, though the tourist traps near Sacré Coeur with their harassing portrait painters and overpriced cafes, should be avoided. The 18th remains one of the few still affordable areas of the city. Although gentrification is largely underway, it is one of the most diverse arrondissements.
- Le Sacré Coeur
- Place du Tertre
- Brasserie Barbès
- Le Lapin Agile
- Le Moulin Rouge
- 104 - Art space/concert venue open to all
The 20th is home to working class residents, like its neighbor, but its immigrant community, Belleville, has become increasingly gentrified. Père Lachaise, the famous cemetery, is a must-see for tourists looking to honor Paris’ most celebrated deceased laid to rest in a small city of tombs including Jim Morrison (Doors). The 20th has been steadily on the rise for the past years.
The 2nd is the smallest arrondissement and home to the Bourse, Paris’ stock exchange. There’s not much to say about this neighborhood because it’s a little impersonal, just a stop on the way from the first to the Marais.
Le Quartier Latin. This neighborhood sits across from Notre Dame and is the heart of traditional left bank intellectual and academic culture. It is home to a lot of students attending the Sorbonne, which adds to its youthful, lively atmosphere, rife with bars and restaurants.
- Caveau de la Huchette – jazz and dancing in a cave that dates back to the Middle Ages.
- La Fourmi Ailée – restaurant and salon de thé in the former home of an academic bookshop.
- Rue Mouffetard – street market by day, busy bar scene by night.
- Jardin des Plantes – beautiful garden and fun zoo.
- Grande Mosquée de Paris – stop in for the mint tea and beautiful architecture.
- Shakespeare & Co. Bookshop
This neighborhood hosts many important historical sites and government buildings. The imposing architecture offers a somewhat closed off atmosphere, but in general the area is very chic.
- Eiffel Tower
- Rodin Museum– go on a nice day to take full advantage of the sculpture garden.
- Champs de Mars
- Orsay Museum
- Hotel des Invalides – resting place of Napoleon.
- American Library of Paris – great place to get away and study.
- Musée Quai Branly
This neighborhood is a shopper’s heaven and an important business district. Major department stores Printemps and Galeries Lafayette are within walking distance on Boulevard Haussmann, warranting a visit. Galeries Lafayette, especially, boasts a wide variety of options from fashion, to home goods, to gourmet foods. The area near the stunning Opera Garnier, home to the Paris Opera, seems most like New York, with large buildings spread out over overwhelming boulevards.
- Opera Garnier
The Eleventh is a vibrant, youthful residential neighborhood that has seen a lot of gentrification in the past few years, but has managed to retain its sense of community with many family-run shops. Formerly a purely working class enclave, the cheaper rents have attracted student and young professional residents, leading to the development of a strong nightlife scene centered around the area to the east of the Bastille (Rue de la Roquette) and Rue Oberkampf off the metro stop Parmentier.
The 13th is a middle and lower class residential area that centers around Place d’Italie and lies just south of the Latin Quarter. The Butte aux Cailles is a small hill southwest of Place d’Italie with a very lively community and bar scene. The area is home to Paris’ Chinatown, offering the city more diversity. Many urban redevelopment projects took place in the past years in the sections bordering the Seine, including France’s new national library. The river bank hosts many bars, restaurants, concert venues and clubs (most of them on boats).
The Fifteenth is a very residential neighborhood with no significant tourist sites, making it the perfect place to observe quotidian Parisian life. The area offers cheaper rents, attracting lots of middle class French families and a variety of cafes and local shops.
The 17th is very quiet and residential. Though less prestigious than the Sixteenth, the 17th is equally expensive in the areas surrounding the Arc de Triomphe. The Batignolles neighborhood has gained in popularity in recent years. Not as touristic as other areas of the city, you might want to explore the 17th to see real parisian life.
The 19th seems like the type of place where real Parisians live. Though the area is home to many housing projects for working class residents, it is seeing regeneration and gentrification take place. It feels very bobo (bohemian-bourgeois) sort of like Brooklyn with warehouses situated between hip boutiques and galleries. To the far north is the Parc de la Villette home to Paris Philharmonie and the fun science museum. But, the gem of the district is the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. The hilly park offers a small lake surrounding a tall escarpment with a temple placed on top from which visitors can take in impressive views of the city.
- Les Buttes Chaumont
- La butte Bergeyre - looks like a small village
- La Philharmonie
- La Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie
- Parc de la Villette