This program is one of the oldest Study Abroad programs in the SUNY system. Geneseo has joined with Oswego and Binghamton in a partnership to make this program more widely available. Students follow a curriculum at the Sorbonne called the Cours de Civilisation Française on the basis of their preparation in French, their interests, and the results of evaluation tests that are given on arrival in Paris. All classes are taught in French but are intended specifically for non-native speakers. Students can choose courses from: French History, French Literature, Social and Economic Geography of France, French Politics, and French Art History.
Particularly popular is the Program Director's course on French culture that turns all of Paris into a classroom. Students visit the historical quarters of Paris and study on-site Paris's wealth of architectural and fine art treasures. A program of cultural activities, field trips, ballet and opera is also offered as an option. Tickets/entry fees are subsidized, enabling students to attend events at greatly reduced costs. The SUNY Oswego-Binghamton-Geneseo Paris Program's resident director, Céline Garelli, assists students in selecting courses, organizing orientation and special excursions, and assigning housing. She is one of the several reasons why this program is superior to most other Paris study abroad programs.
The Country and City
Paris is one of the world's great capitals. Founded before the Romans invaded, Paris has a wonderful history. The architecture of Paris is a tribute to its rich and glorious history, from the medieval cathedral of Notre Dame to the more modern testaments to French creativity, the pyramid outside the Louvre Museum and the Centre Pompidou. Great boulevards, like the Boulevard Hausmann, were created as defensive measures against revolutionaries. It is a city of 10,000 restaurants, over 200 art galleries, and a vivid nightlife. An efficient public transportation system makes exploring this magnificent city quite easy. Safe, reliable, and inexpensive rail, road, and air systems put Paris within a few hours' reach of all Western European countries.
The world-famous Sorbonne is part of the University of Paris. Founded in 1170, it is the second oldest university in Europe. Around 1257, Robert de Sorbon established a college that bears his name. Over time the Sorbonne name was applied to the university as a whole. The old Sorbonne buildings, where our students will take most of their courses, are located in the city's Latin Quarter. Students walk along the Boulevard St. Michel, read and sip drinks at the cafés of the Place de la Sorbonne, and absorb the intellectual, cultural, and social atmosphere of the legendary Left Bank.