The PICA Academic Studies Program in Paris
The teachers at PICA are all dedicated scholars and artists who regularly publish professional articles or present their creative productions publicly. Likewise, the faculty at PICA and our partner institutions are passionate and committed to education and the value of the study abroad experience. The vast majority of our teachers have all had extensive experiences living and working in foreign countries while having a real insider’s knowledge about life in Paris.
Clearly a central part of all study abroad programs is the interaction with the locals and the day to day life of living in a major city like Paris with all the richness it has to offer. We encourage students to make an effort to push out and experience as much as they can of life as a local resident–going to cafés, visiting the open fruit and vegetable markets, shopping in the various trendy boutiques, visiting the world class museums and the excellent private art galleries–and so much more. However, at PICA, a student’s academic studies must not be neglected as these studies are a wonderful compliment to all the more direct experiences of life in Paris and they will actually enhance a student’s experience and help them better understand and appreciate French culture with the knowledge they gain from their studies in class.
English Language Courses
The PICA project has been developed after years of teaching in a wide variety of different study abroad contexts and this has led us to choose to offer the majority of our classes in the English language. There have been innumerable excellent programs based in Paris which concentrate primarily on developing a mastery of the French language. We believe these programs are often excellent and offer great value to their participants. However, at PICA we feel these programs close out a very large group of students who simply don’t have the French language skills necessary to take a full course load of classes uniquely in the French language and because of this many very talented students are deprived of the remarkable experience living in Paris can offer them. In this way PICA can offer a rich collection of classes to students who wish to learn more about France and French culture by taking classes in Art History (which includes classes in history of art, architecture, cinema, fashion and photography), Studio Arts, Creative Writing and others with English as the language of instruction. These rich academic experiences will enable students to profit even more from their time in Paris as they will have a deeper understanding of the culture and history of France.
French Language Classes
While at PICA we understand that many students have little or no previous experience studying the French language, we believe that to live in a foreign country with a foreign language requires that the visitor make a real and concerted effort to obtain a basic foundation of language skills. It is for this reason that PICA makes it a requirement for all semester-length program students to enroll in a French language class. While learning a foreign language can be very challenging, we are convinced that the more students work at developing their French language skills, the greater will be their understanding of the French and their culture which in turn will enrich their overall experience abroad. Making the effort to improve one’s French during your stay in France is a crucial element to making the experience the most enriching it can be.
Classes offered during our short and long-term programs are offered by PICA teachers and sometimes in carefully chosen partner schools. One of our main partners is the Institut de langue et de civilization françaises which has a long history of offering classes to foreign students in Paris. Most students of the semester-length programs will take their French language course at the ILCF and some may also take one or more humanities classes in English offered by the highly qualified teachers of the ILCF. For those students who have a greater proficiency in the French language there will soon be the option of taking additional culture classes in French.
Learn more about our Class Offerings.
Read more about the PICA Faculty.
Other PICA pages which may interest you:
- Check out our page on Paris Student Orientation.
- Learn more about PICA Weekend Trips from Paris.
- Health and Safety Tips for your time in Paris.
- Learn about French Culture & Customs.
- Managing your Culture Shock when first arriving in Paris.
- Where to find Art & Photo Supply Shops in Paris?
- How to get ready to go back home (and avoid the worst of Reverse Culture Shock)!
- Recommended List of Paris Cafés & Bars.
- Where to go for Paris Nightlife.
- Where to Shop in Paris.
- Check out our always-growing PICA Paris Restaurants Page.
- Looking for Paris Vintage Clothing Shops?
- The PICA Paris Museums Page.
- Visit the PICA Paris Cultural Activities Page.
- Learn about French Culture & Customs
- Check out the PICA Day Trips from Paris Page.
- Learn about the Different Paris Neighborhoods.