Return to the search form Return to your search results

CIEE Paris Open Campus

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Academic Year


Paris, France




- Minimum UI and Cumulative GPA of 2.5

- Good academic and disciplinary standing

Application Due:

10/1 for Spring

3/15 for Fall and Academic Year

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

This program, located in Paris, France, is unique among study abroad programs. CIEE's Open Campus block model program is designed for maximum flexibility and academic rigor, which provides each student with the opportunity to design the right study abroad program to suit their academic needs. Students choose an academic track (Language, Literature, and Culture; Business; Communications, Journalism, and New Media; Health Sciences; or International Relations and Political Science), and program length (either 12 or 18 weeks). The CIEE Paris Global Institute also offers opportunities for students to engage in internships, research, or service learning projects for academic credit. Related outings include participation in conferences and outside classes or observation in the streets and neighborhoods of the city. The program is administered by the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) on behalf of a consortium of which The University of Iowa is a member. Participants join a group of students from other U.S. colleges and universities. UI students earn resident credit on this program.

Academic Program

Academic Tracks

Students must pick from one of the following academic tracks:

  • Language, Literature, and Culture
  • Business
  • Communications, Journalism, and New Media
  • Health Sciences
  • International Relations and Political Science

Block System

UI students must choose at least two and at most 3 academic blocks during either the fall or spring semester. Each academic block is six weeks long. Students need to take at least two courses per block, which typically equates to 6 semester hours per block.

Two Academic Blocks

  • Two courses per block
  • At least two courses in the chosen academic track
  • Two additional electives
  • CIEE Academic Project (internship, research project, service learning) is optional and can be used as an elective during the second academic block

Three Academic Blocks

  • Two courses per block
  • At least two courses in the chosen academic track
  • Four additional electives
  • CIEE Academic Project (internship, research project, service learning) is optional and can be used as an elective during the second or third academic blocks

Internship, Research, or Service-Learning Project

Participating in an internship, research, or service-learning project combines a practical community-based project with a CIEE academic seminar, and is designed to challenge you to combine your course-based learning with practical experiences in relevant community-based projects. The project is intended to consist of a new project (or an extension of an existing project) that meets the demonstrated need of a local community organization. You are required to develop a diagnostic plan and to produce a full project proposal that will be reviewed for approval by a service-learning committee by the end of the previous academic block of study. The project will include a community needs assessment, data collection, and final presentation. CIEE is committed to ensuring that final projects are left as usable resources for CIEE’s community partners. The service-learning seminar that accompanies the project work covers the core service-learning principles of engagement, reflection, reciprocity, and public dissemination.

Study Tours

Study tours are built into the curriculum for each academic track and typically occur mid-way through each academic block. These study tours are designed to further help students to adapt interculturally, build understanding, and communicate effectively. Specific destinations and content will vary from block to block, allowing students who spend two or three blocks in Paris to participate in multiple study tours and experience multiple locations. Each of the activities are specially tailored to each track discipline.

Majors in the humanities or social sciences should be able to do upper-level work in their fields. Content classes are set up so that the more advanced students can go deeper into issues that interest them, while others work at a more introductory level. Students select from courses taught in English or French depending on their level.

CIEE classes are with CIEE students only.

Program Dates

Fall semester: Mid-August to the beginning of November for two academic blocks; mid-August to mid-December for three academic blocks.

Spring semester: Beginning of January to the beginning of April for two academic blocks; beginning of January to mid-May for three academic blocks.

For More Information

Students are required to meet with the program adviser in the UI Study Abroad office before initiating an application. Further program details can be found at the following external link to CIEE's website: CIEE Paris Global Institute Program Website.

The CIEE Paris Global Institute

The Paris Center is located in the lively Sentier neighborhood in the 2nd arrondissement, less than a minute away from the passages and cinemas of the Grand Boulevards, a 10-minute walk from the Palais Royal, and a 15-minute walk from the Louvre. The Sorbonne Nouvelle is a 20-minute bus ride away. The Global Institute in Paris has four classrooms, a library space, and a small computer area for student use, in addition to staff offices.

Students with the appropriate level of French are encouraged to audit or take one class at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3, Université Paris Diderot Paris 7, IRCAM, or the Collège International de Philosophie. Students who opt to combine CIEE courses with one local direct enrollment course should be prepared for a local French university experience. This typically involves a greater focus on independent student work outside of the classroom. They will also need to work closely with CIEE staff to prepare for the French university course examination system.


Paris, one of the great cultural and intellectual centers of the Western world, is also one of the world's most majestic and beautiful cities and displays proof of a long and vigorous past, from the ruins of an ancient Roman bath to the Cathedral of Notre Dame to the innumerable monuments built to reflect the glory of France and its rulers. The city is known for its cafés (one for every 200 inhabitants), its parks (Bois de Boulogne, Jardin de Luxembourg, Bois de Vincennes), its street life, and its markets. It remains a center for culture, art, fashion, gastronomy, and intellectual life.

US Department of State Country Information

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.


Shared Apartments: Most students live in shared apartments in Paris with other CIEE Open Campus students. Student apartments are located throughout the city, but will be within a 45-minute commute of the Global Institute.

Homestay: A limited number of homestays may be available, with preference given to those whose universities require living with a local family.

Weekend Homestay: Students living in shared apartments with other CIEE Paris students can experience a homestay with a Parisian host. This opportunity allows students to experience the traditions and daily rituals of French life with local Parisians! The CIEE housing coordinator will provide detailed information about student housing prior to arrival.


Shared Apartments: Meals are not provided for students staying in apartments. Each apartment has its own kitchen where students may prepare their meals.

Homestays: Students who live with homestay families receive breakfast daily plus five additional meals per week.

Travel Arrangements

Students make their own travel arrangements to arrive in Paris by a designated date. Specific information will be provided in post-acceptance materials from CIEE.


Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing. Students who have an active case with the dean of students or who are on academic or disciplinary probation will not be accepted onto the program. Students must have a UI and Cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 to be considered.


The Program Fee is charged on the U-Bill and covers tuition, housing, group excursions, orientation and other support services, and the UI administrative fee.

The semester fee varies based on how many academic blocks a student participates in. Please see below for relevant cost information:

PDFSpring 2020 estimated cost for (2) two academic blocks

PDFSpring 2020 estimated cost for (3) three academic blocks

The Iowa Regents mandatory International CISI insurance will also be collected on the U-Bill at $1.31 per day, based on the dates of the program.

How to Apply

Before starting an application for this program, students must meet with the study abroad advisor for this program to discuss their program selection and receive information about supplemental materials that are required for an application. Appointments can be set up in person at 1111 UCC or over the phone at 319-335-0353.

After meeting with your study abroad advisor, click the following application link to being the UI online application: Link to UI Study Abroad online application.

You will also need to apply on CIEE's website. Click the following application link to being the CIEE online application: Link to CIEE Study Abroad online application.

Application Deadline

Spring: October 1

Fall/Academic Year: March 1

Acceptance Packet

To read and retain for your own records:

Orientation Information

Before the end of the respective semester prior to your study abroad semester, you will participate in an in-person, program-specific orientation with the UI Study Abroad advisor for this program. You will also need to complete an online pre-departure orientation via ICON, which is required by the Study Abroad office and includes more general details about study abroad, as well as very specific information regarding your health and safety while abroad.

Additionally, before arriving on-site, you will begin your study abroad experience by participating in a CIEE Online Pre-Departure Orientation, held in advance of each block. Meeting with you online, CIEE Paris Resident Staff share information about the program and site, address frequently asked questions, and give you time to ask questions before coming on-site. The online orientation allows you to connect with others in the group, reflect on what you want to get out of the program, and learn what others in the group would like to accomplish. The CIEE goal for the pre-departure orientation is to help you understand more about the program and site, as well as your goals for the program, so that you arrive to the program well-informed and return home having made significant progress toward your goals.

Each semester block begins with a mandatory on-site orientation session for new students including an introduction to Paris and French society and culture, academics, first day survival skills, and guidance on health and safety. Excursions and walking tours serve as a general introduction to the local transportation systems and major points of interest and help familiarize you with local resources and amenities. The orientation typically lasts 2-3 days. While students continuing from previous academic blocks must attend certain components of the orientation, they will also have a “mini-break” between blocks.

There are no photos available for this program yet. Do you have any photos to share with us? If you do, please contact us at:

1111 University Capitol Centre
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802

Phone: (319) 335-0353
Fax: (319) 335-0343