Dr. Andre Colombat
Dean of International Programs
Office of International Programs, MH 148
Thank you for your interest in our study abroad programs! The goal of this page is to help you better understand the American University semester study abroad program and highlight distinguishing features and components that will interest you as a parent. More detailed and updated information are given to your son or daughter in information sessions, academic reviews, workshops, and pre-departure orientations. Once you read this information, we strongly encourage you to discuss this with your son/daughter first. Please know all information is given to the students, and we ask students to share all of this with you.
Sending students abroad is a partnership that includes students, parents, university personnel, and our overseas partners. We realize that you will have questions, and if our website or your son/daughter cannot answer those questions, we will be happy to discuss the study abroad process and program information with you. Please keep in mind that due to the FERPA federal regulation (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act), we will not be able to discuss specific information regarding your son/daughter; however, if your son/daughter is willing to sign a waiver form indicating the specific information to be shared with you, we will be more than happy to discuss specific matters regarding your son/daughter.
We hope you find this information helpful in assisting your son/daughter to accomplish his or her goal of learning, living, and serving abroad. We look forward to working with you and your son/daughter.
Visit the The American University of Paris – AUP website.
Students must submit a completed, online application by December 4 (Wednesday after Thanksgiving break) of their sophomore year. Students will need their advisor’s electronic permission, and if applicable, their coach’s approval and signature to study abroad. All students must declare their major and any intended minors before they submit their study abroad application online. Students will be turned down for the AUP program if they have not declared a major. We strongly recommend that students submit any paperwork that involves declaring a major and/or minor or any change of major or minor far in advance of the December 4th deadline, since the above forms have to go to several different departments before it is officially declared.
Criteria for Acceptance
Students must apply to be considered for admission. Typically, sophomores with a cumulative GPA of a 3.00 or higher can be considered for the AUP program. Students with a solid 2.800 (without rounding up) can apply, but all admission into this program is based on the competitive pool of the applicants for that given year. Students accepted into the AUP program must maintain a cumulative GPA of a 2.800 or higher during their last semester before going abroad. In addition, students must be able to find enough courses that will work in their declared degree program and not have a history of serious disciplinary problems or continued small incidents on campus before and after acceptance.
Registration requests are sent and preregistration takes place before students leave for France. However registration will be finalized once the student arrives abroad. It is recommended that students prepare in advance for their time abroad by having as many course options as possible. Students with double majors or students with majors and minors may have difficulty finding enough course options for abroad. If students still choose to study abroad under these circumstances, parents need to be aware their son or daughter may have to take summer courses and/or sixth courses to keep them on track for graduation.
As part of the process, we ask students to meet with their major advisor or department chair to discuss their study abroad plans. This is extremely helpful, because students can get recommendations on how to schedule major or minor courses at Loyola based on what is may be offered abroad, or indicate any potential problems missed by the student.
Students cannot request to have their final examinations moved to another date. Students are expected to take their examinations on the scheduled dates. The final examination process is a very formal one and will be explained in detail during the on-site orientation. Since we do not have the examination dates in advance, students who finish their exams early can change their return ticket portion only to come back early if they desire. However, students must have completed all of the final examinations and class assignments before changing any airline tickets. Students/parents are responsible for any ticket changes.
Length of Stay
The fall semester begins during the very last days of August. The program ends in late December, before Christmas. The spring semester begins in early January. The program ends in early May.
To understand how housing works in Paris, please visit the AUP website and read the information on housing. It is very informative. Price ranges (in Euros) are also listed to give you an idea what rent could cost in Paris. AUP also gives you information on each housing option available to Loyola students.
AUP does not have any dormitories. AUP will assist our students in selecting housing in Paris. Students who choose to have AUP assist them with housing are housed in Paris or its immediate suburbs. Depending on where you decide to live, it is possible that you might have to use public transportation (Metro or bus) to get to classes from your housing.
Students pay rent (per month), utilities, phone, internet fees and other incidental living expenses while in Paris. Students should come to Paris with enough money (in Euro) to cover their living expenses for the first couple of weeks. This will include the first month’s rent and a security deposit. In some cases, the security deposit has been as much as the first month’s rent. Please budget accordingly.
Regardless of the housing arrangement selected, all students must complete the AUP Housing Preference Form, which will be included in the Accept Packet. You must indicate whether you want AUP to assist you with housing or if you are going to arrange it on your own.
Rooms with French or American Household through AUP
AUP’s Housing Office assist students in finding housing with French hosts in Paris. We recommend that students consider this home-stay option. The reason we recommend this option is because you can know before you arrive where and with whom you are living. Also, you are not living alone, but have some companionship with the French hosts.
The definition of host or family is varied, just like it is in the states. In the majority of cases, however, the French hosts are older and may not have children living with them. Depending on the French host, they may have rooms where two students could live. Some of the French hosts may speak English and are involved with their American hosts while others are more independent and less involved. There may be certain rules for using the kitchen. When choosing this housing option, expect not to have overnight guests, which include family members. Students can choose to have partial meals or no meals in this arrangement.
Independent Rooms Arranged through AUP
AUP’s Housing Office assists students in finding housing in Paris, which also includes independent rooms ("chambre de bonne"). Students can be housed all over Paris, although the majority are placed in the districts around AUP, particularly Districts 7 and 16, but it may also include districts 6, 8, and 15. Students find housing by the end of orientation. If you do not find housing by the end of orientation, you can continue to stay at the hostel until you do.
The independent room is typically a "chambre de bonne." The "chambre de bonne"/independent room is an old servant's room that has been converted into student housing. The "chambre de bonne" is a single occupant room and it is usually small, modest, and furnished. Most are located at the top of a French apartment building, usually a six-story walk-up. Some of the buildings may have elevators while others do not. The rooms are equipped with basic cooking facilities, such as a hot plate, small refrigerator, a shower and basic utensils. The toilets and showers are usually shared with other tenants and are located in the hall. Utilities, internet and phone are extra.
Studios are also an available housing option. Studios are slightly bigger and include a shower and a toilet in the room. Studios are more expensive because of having these items in the room. These are usually single occupant rooms, too. However, with this housing option as well as the independent rooms, it all depends on what is available when you arrive in Paris.
Independent Housing Arranged by the Student
In recent semesters, some Loyola students have been making their own housing arrangements by using housing agencies. This arrangement is independent from AUP and Loyola. The student is responsible for making these arrangements. Finding housing on your own may be challenging, but some of our Loyola students have been quite successful. This option will be more expensive. The housing agencies will charge you an agency fee or finder’s fee, which could be the equal to 12% of the annual rent. Plan to have money available in France. There may be other charges, too.
Some of the agencies that Loyola students have used in the past are listed below. However, neither Loyola nor AUP can vouch for or recommend any agency. This arrangement is strictly between the student and the agency. If problems arise from choosing this option, neither Loyola nor AUP can intervene on the student’s behalf. You should discuss these agencies with students who used them in the past.
Meals are not included. Students will have to shop for groceries and cook their own meals. Past students suggested that you shop at Franprix or Monoprix supermarkets. Students usually cook their own meals in fully furnished kitchens in the apartments. This is one way to cut down on costs abroad. There are supermarkets and open air markets in the area to get fresh produce and meats. Eating out can get expensive. There are inexpensive cafés, local hang-outs where students can buy inexpensive meals. If eating out at restaurants, we advise students to check with the waiter or waitress before ordering if they accept major credit cards. Some places may not accept credit cards, only cash.
Costs and Benefits
Students/parents pay to Loyola the following charges:
- Loyola tuition;
- Loyola housing;
- Reduced comprehensive fee;
- Program fee; and
- Study abroad deposit to hold your place in the program.
Students receive the following benefits on the Paris-AUP program:
- Tuition fees covered at AUP
- Official airport pick-up and drop-off (students have to arrive on specific days indicated by AUP)
- Onsite orientation
Items not included in the Loyola charges but should be budgeted for:
- *Meals (past students suggest budgeting $1,500–$2,500);
- Bedding packages;
- *Visa and Campus France fee (to study in France);
- Cell phones and other communication expenses;
- Medical and dental check-ups (immunizations up to date);
- *Start-up costs (bedding, cleaning supplies, etc.);
- AUP health insurance (if you do not have a health plan that is valid abroad);
- *AUP health care fee;
- *AUP housing insurance fee for apartments rented with the support of AUP Housing services;
- *Travel to and from the departure city/airport (United States); and
- *Personal travel (hostels, hotels, airline or rail tickets, food, etc.).
These items do not normally occur but could happen depending on the student and unforeseen circumstances:
- Airline ticket change (student wants to come home early);
- A hotel stay abroad for an emergency (snow storm or flight cancellation);
- Lost keys or room damage;
- Illness (payment of services rendered expected at the time of service); and
- Summer school (student is behind in their degree program or a course is not offered abroad).
This is a Loyola sponsored study abroad program. This means that Loyola financial aid (academic scholarships, grants and other controlled sources of aid, with the exception of college work study), may be used to help with educational expenses. Students on athletic scholarships should consult the athletic department to see if this aid can be used abroad. Parents should contact the financial aid office to discuss your financial aid package and how it works with study abroad. Conversations should be made with them before your son/daughter submits the study abroad deposit to Loyola.
Students can easily use both American credit cards (MasterCard and Visa mostly) and American ATM cards to pay for goods and services in France. This is especially useful for visits to the hospital and payments for air travel. Make sure your child contacts their bank and credit card company prior to their departure in order to let them know he/she will be in France for a specific period of time. It is also good to let the banks know if your child traveling outside of France, too, so their card will not be deactivated.
It is a good idea to check with your bank in the US to see if they have any affiliation with a French bank (BNP-Parisbas for Bank of America; Société Générale, etc.). This may cut down on ATM/Debit card user fees. Past students recommend that students take out enough cash to last a few weeks. This cuts down on withdrawing monies every week and thus incurring bank fees.
Students reported spending anywhere from $2,800-$9,000 during a semester. These funds are primarily used for travel, meals, and entertainment. The exchange rate and other factors can affect spending amounts.
Documents for Abroad
Currently, the following documents are required to study in France:
- Valid, signed passport (with 6 months left after the program end date);
- Student Visa (obtained in the United States);
- Letter from health insurance company verifying health coverage that is valid abroad;
- Official letter of acceptance from AUP; and
- Letter of support from Loyola University Maryland.
All students must have comprehensive health insurance, which includes hospitalization coverage. You will be required to provide proof of health insurance to AUP and to Loyola.
All full-time students are automatically enrolled in the AUP Student Health Care Plan, through European Benefits Insurance, at the beginning of each semester, unless you have an exemption. If you want an exemption to use your private health coverage abroad, it must be a comprehensive insurance plan that includes hospitalization and medical coverage outside of your home country. Your plan must also be equal to or have a higher level of coverage than the AUP Student Health Care Plan.
If you are choosing to use your private U.S. health insurance while in France, you would be required to complete a Health Insurance Coverage Certificate. The document must be received by the Bursar’s Office by the start of the spring orientation. The Health Insurance Coverage Certificate will be included in your spring 2010 Acceptance Packet. If AUP accepts it, then you will be exempted and not charged.
If you do not submit to AUP the completed and signed Student Health Certificate by the designated date or if your plan is not up to the standard the French government is looking for, you will be automatically billed for health insurance through AUP. If you choose not to pay the health insurance bill, you will not receive your official transcript from AUP. Keep all receipts associated with any medical expenses.
If you and your family decide to purchase the AUP Student Health Care Plan through European Benefits, you should have your parents keep you on their U.S. health insurance while you are abroad in the spring. This is a must in order to be able to participate in the On-Call Travel Assistance program.
In addition to completing the Health Certificate form for AUP, you will also need to provide the office of international programs at Loyola with a letter stating that you are covered by a comprehensive health plan in the States. If you want to use this plan abroad, the letter must also state that it is valid overseas. If you are opting to purchase the AUP Student Health Plan through European Benefits Health, you still need to submit a letter from your US health insurance company verifying you have coverage through the spring term in the States.
Before going abroad, students should make sure their immunizations are up to date before departing overseas. You can consult the CDC website or Loyola Student’s Health Center to determine what immunizations are required to study in Europe. In some cases, health care providers abroad may make recommendations to students to obtain additional shots after arriving in France, like the Hepatitis C shot. There could be different strands of diseases found abroad than in the United States. In cases like this, it is usually left up to the student and his/her parents/guardian as to whether or not you want your child to receive any additional immunizations abroad.
Shipping medications is not recommended. In many instances it is illegal. We suggested that you obtain from your doctor and pharmacist enough medication(s) to last for the duration of the program. In addition, we also recommend bringing the name, molecule, dosage, and the breakdown of the medication just in case the student needs to purchase a particular medication(s) while abroad. This information should be noted on a doctor’s stationery or prescription pad and in the medication brochures.
Keep in mind certain medications considered legal in the United States may be deems illegal abroad. This should be discussed way in advance of departure so that other arrangements can be discussed in the event your son/daughter will not be able to take or obtain a certain medication(s) abroad. In addition, allergy shots and flu shots are not automatically provided to our students.
For allergy shots, students who will need to continue their allergy routine while abroad must get a letter from their doctor with the name and dosage of the allergy serum, and further details on the illness as to why the shots need to be administered abroad. AUP cannot guarantee that the Health Center there will be able to administer the allergy shot, as there may be licensing issues.
Travel to and from France
Student purchase their own round-trip tickets once AUP announces the official dates of its academic year and the days when they wish students to arrive and depart.
Due to registration being finalize abroad, we do not know in advance exactly when each student’s last final examination will be. If students want to change their return ticket only, they will have to contact Frosch Travel, not the Office of International Programs, to facilitate the change.
On-Site Support >>
Arrival and Contact Information
On the arrival days specified by AUP students will be picked up by motor coach at the airport with AUP staff and graduate students and taken directly to AUP. Please understand it may take a few days for students to get established, obtain cell phones (if purchasing them abroad), and recover from jet lag.
André Pierre Colombat, Ph.D – Baltimore
Loyola University Maryland
Office of International Programs
410-617-2910 or 2920
The American University of Paris
6, rue du Colonel Combes
Tel: 011 33 1 40 62 07 20