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J-Term in Paris

Making Paris Modern: A Secret History of the City of Light

In this J-Term study abroad course, taught on site in Paris, and usually every year, students will consider the ghosts of history that haunt, yet continue to shape, the spaces and places of France's majestic capital city.  Readings in literature, ethnography, history, and urban studies, along with discussions of photographs, paintings, and films, will inform daily walking tours and site visits.  No previous knowledge of French is necessary.  Course taught in English, for College credit, though students wishing to receive credit toward the French major or minor may do so by completing all required work in French.

JTerm 2024
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J-Termn 2017

Paris is a city of many faces.  It has been likened at once to a battlefield, a beehive, a lion, a ship, an ocean, a volcano, a furnace, a sewer, a paradise, a brothel, a labyrinth, a beacon, and a star. Over the course of two weeks, students will consider these metaphors and be invited to invent their own.  To that end, we will explore some of Paris' most oft-visited sites--like the Musée d'Orsay, the Garnier Opera, Montmartre, and the Centre Pompidou--as well as a number of places off the beaten path. 

In their free time, students will have frequent opportunities to explore those places they might find most relevant to their own scholarly and professional interests.  They will be invited to stop, look and listen closely as the world goes by in a place where, as in most modern metropolises today, the increasingly hurried pace of life often prevents its own inhabitants, and most visitors, from ever doing so. 

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Courses and Credit

FRTR 2553: Taught in English.  No pre-requisite required, 3 credits.  Students from all schools of the University are encouraged to apply

FREN 3553: for French majors and minors who want to receive 3 credits toward their major/minor.  While the primary language of instruction will be English, students receiving credit toward the major/minor will complete all required work in French.  Students will also make daily use of their French language skills in small group discussion sections.

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Our home base of the duration of our stay will be the FIAP Jean Monnet, an international student center conveniently located in a safe and quiet neighbothood in Paris' 14th arrondissement, a short walk from Montparnasse and the Jardin du Luxembourg.  Students will share double rooms, each with en-suite bathrooms.  Daily buffet breakfast and dinner is included in the fee.

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Ari Blatt is Professor of French at U.Va., where he teaches courses on modern and contemporary French literature, film, and culture.  He spent a year studying abroad in Paris as an undergraduate, and has lived and worked in France, on and off, for many more years.  He delights in sharing his knowledge of the city with UVa undergraduates during an intense and always rewarding two weeks every winter.

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The course usually runs from Dec. 28-Jan. 10 each year. See here for more details.

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Tuition and program fees generally run around $3200-$3500, depending on whether students are eligible for in-state tuition. The cost includes lodging, most meals, and site visits and entry fees. In addition to tuition and fees, students will need to cover the cost of transportation to and from Paris.

View the program Budget Sheet online for additional details.

Financial Aid and scholarships are available for education abroad.  Application information is available at:

To Apply:

  1. Visit
  2. View the Education Abroad Workshop
  3. Complete the program application

Program Director: Ari Blatt
Professor of French
University of Virginia
Department of French
P.O. Box 400770
Charlottesville, VA 22904

Education Abroad Advisor: Yohanis Kassa

International Studies Office
208 Minor Hall
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4165
Phone: (434) 982-3010