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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.

Cultural Activities

A wide range of activities and day-trips will be offered to immerse yourself in French culture and historical heritage.

Volunteer opportunities at sports clubs, arts organizations, youth centers, churches, schools, and other community organizations. Build new skills and intercultural competencies through the CIEE Academic Internship and become an active participant in the Paris professional environment. Pursue a research project of your own design incorporating independent, local field-work. Combine course-based learning with practical, relevant project experience to meet a community-defined need.

  • Participate in day trips to another region in France or to a neighboring country (Normandy, Champagne, Belgium)
  • Meet young locals through a vibrant language exchange with Parisians; volunteer with one of our community service partners; or discover your own passion with an interest group in music, sports, art, or film
  • Explore the hidden corners of Paris culture, art, and society through two extra-curricular activities a week
  • Treat yourself to fresh baguettes and croissants at every boulangerie and take a stroll in the gorgeous squares and parks that line the city
  • Practice French with conversation partners
  • 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

    Steps to Studying Abroad

    1. Before initiating an application with CIEE, students must complete a Discover Study Abroad session at the University of Iowa. 
    2. After completing the Discover Abroad session, students must call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 to be assigned to the appropriate study abroad advisor.
    3. Once assigned, students must meet with their study abroad advisor to receive program application instructions.

    Study Abroad
    1111 University Capitol Centre
    Iowa City, IA 52242

    Phone: 319-335-0353

    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.


    For as long as the United States has existed, France has been considered a center of culture within the world and has had a significant impact from contributions to food, art, fashion, and sciences. The largest country in the European Union is also one of the greenest, with stunning natural views and iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Lourve and the Palace of Versailles. The French people are passionate about their country and their way of life. Explore a rich history by visiting classic churches, dive into French cuisine, and enjoy a glass of wine or latte at any of the wonderful French cafes.

    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.

    Living Arrangements

    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.


    US Citizens

    If you do not have a passport, it is important that you apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you receive it before the program begins. US citizens can find more information about how to apply for a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

    Important notice for students without a valid passport or whose passport will expire within the next 12 months:

    US citizens can find more information about how to renew a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

    Students without a valid passport should apply for a new passport or a passport renewal as early as possible.

    Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. If your passport is not valid for at least 6 months after your anticipated date of return to the US, you must renew your passport before applying for the visa you will need to enter your host country.

    Expedited processing service is available for US passports (although this still takes several weeks and is at an additional cost). UI Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.

    Non-US Citizens

    Students who are not US citizens should contact Ryan Ourada ( for information on how to ensure that their passport is valid for the duration of their time abroad.


    Students will work with their program provider to make travel arrangements to their program site. The cost of travel is not included in the course fee. UI Study Abroad will not arrange a group flight to your study abroad destination.

    Do not purchase plane tickets until you have received instructions on how to do so from your program provider.

    Local Transportation

    Within your host city and around the country, students will utilize public transportation such as buses and trains. Excursions and general travel require a lot of walking, so bring some comfortable shoes!


    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:

    PDFFall 2021 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 15

    Acceptance and Confirmation Materials

    Coming soon.

    Health & Safety Planning

    In addition to submitting their Confirmation of Participation form, students should review the following:

    Study Abroad Resources

    Passports and Visas

    Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

    Students are also encouraged to complete the PDFHealth Preparation Guide for International Travel form with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.

    Scholarships & Financial Aid

    For more information about receiving financial aid while studying abroad, please review the following:UI Financial Aid Information

    You can find more information about options for funding your study abroad experience including scholarships on Undergraduate Scholarships for Study Abroad.

    In addition, take a look at CIEE Scholarship website for information about scholarships offered directly through your program provider.


    U.S. passport holders should follow the Visa batch process instructions provided by CIEE. Make sure to submit all required documents by the submission deadline. Otherwise you will have to apply for your student visa independently.

    U.S. Citizens will need a student visa if they are going abroad for a semester, or academic year. Typically, they will not need a visa for the summer sessions.

    Non-US Citizens- should refer to the Campus France Visa website for more information on French visa requirements.

    UI Study Abroad will hold advising appointments and/or information sessions to provide details on the visa application process. UI Study Abroad staff can provide some assistance on the French visa application process, but ultimately the individual traveler (the student) is the person who is responsible for providing correct information on the visa application and securing the visa and all other required documentation prior to travel.

    Prior to starting the visa application process check in with CIEE for more information; they have a preferred timeline that students need to follow.


    In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.

    Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

    You are required to complete the International Programs ICON course "Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation" prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals, and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions, you can email

    Program-Specific Orientation

    This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.

    Predeparture Resources

    CIEE will provide you with a variety of pre-departure resources to prepare you for your study abroad experience. These will include a packing list, cultural information, housing instructions, etc. Ensure that you thoroughly review any information provided to you by CIEE and refer back to it if you have any questions.

    These materials may be periodically updated to reflect new program information prior to departure. Be sure to check your CIEE Account often.

    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