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Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: Paris, France
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring, Year
  • Budget Sheets: Fall, Spring
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: French Language Prerequisite: 5 Semesters of college level language
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0 Credit Available For: College
Type of Program: Semester/Year Study Abroad Housing Options: Homestay, Program Provided Housing, University Residence Hall/Apartment
Application Deadline: Fall/Year: March 1, Spring: September 20
Program Description:

Program Snapshot

BRD LogoColumbia in Paris at Reid Hall

Reid Hall, owned and administered by Columbia University, is located on the rue de Chevreuse in the Montparnasse district of Paris near the Luxembourg Gardens. The Program offers students the opportunity to take challenging courses in French both at Reid Hall and in the French university system.  The Reid Hall Program is designed for students who not only want to learn French, but who also wish to broaden their intellectual horizons and cultivate a critical perspective on the European tradition. The program challenges students to step outside the boundaries of a traditional French language program and use French as a means to further their understanding of their own particular area of study.
For additional information, visit the Reid Hall Program website
The City of Paris

The capital and largest city of France, Paris is one of the most populated metropolitan areas in Europe. Known as one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, Paris is a center for the arts, intellectual discourse, and gastronomy. It has been an important and central location for over two thousand years, and is today one of the world's leading cultural and financial centers. The city offers a wide array of art museums, musical and theatrical venues, architectural landmarks, stunning gardens, and some of the world's top institutions of higher learning, all of which make Paris an ideal location to explore scholarly and cultural pursuits.

Did you know…?

The city of Paris is divided into twenty administrative districts, or arrondissements, each with its own unique character, history, and cultural attractions.



The Reid Hall Program is for College credit only.
Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0

Language Prerequisite: Grades of B or better in all French courses.  Successful completion of at least French 202 by the end of the academic semester (fall or spring) prior to departure.  


Language of Instruction



A full course load at the Reid Hall Program consists of a total of 5 courses per semester.  Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.

Upon arrival at Reid Hall, Penn students take a language assessment to determine their placement in the Reid Hall language course. All students enroll in a French stylistics course at Reid Hall called Academic Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Students are required to take four additional courses, all taught in French, selecting courses from Reid Hall and four French universities (Institut d/Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po), University of Paris I (Pantheon Sorbonne), University of Paris IV (Sorbonne), or University of Paris VII (Denis Diderot).

All Penn students must take one or more courses in direct enrollment at one of the above French universities. 

More information on courses through Reid Hall and the available French universities can be found here and here.

Grading Scale

As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average.  The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school. For more information on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.

Grades are reported to Penn on an A-F scale. 

Special Features

BRD ParisOrientation Activities

All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by Reid Hall prior to the start of each semester. All students will begin their studies with a week-long orientation followed by a French language practicum. More information about orientation activities will be provided upon acceptance to the program.

Language Courses

Upon arrival in Paris, students take a language assessment to determine their current level and placement into program language courses. Depending on the results of this assessment, students take either one or two language courses run through the Reid Hall Program. More information can be found on the program website.
BRD Paris
Group Excursions

The program offers many activities that will help students engage with the cultural life of Paris including: social and cultural activities with French university students; excursions with French student groups to the Loire Valley, Vaux le Vicomte, Mont Saint Michel, and Belgium; French cuisine and wine workshops; local concerts, plays, and performances; student teaching and volunteer opportunities.


BRD Reid HallParticipants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.

Penn requires all students with the minimum level of French 202 to live with a host family.  As part of the homestay students will receive a simple breakfast each day and four dinners per week with the family. 

Students with a higher level of French are encouraged to live with a host family, but may opt to find private accommodation in Paris or apply to live in French dorm. 

The location of homestays and other types of accommodation can vary significantly and students should expect to have a commute of 20-60 minutes to Reid Hall.

Information regarding accommodation can be found on the program website.

Cost and Finance

Penn Abroad Financial Policies

Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs.  Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare.  Please see the program budget sheets below for more information.  For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.

Financial Aid and Study Abroad

In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs.  Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.

Budget Sheets

Academic Year

Scholarship Opportunities

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program: Competition for awards for study abroad, for US citizen students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a 2-year or 4-year college or university. 

Next Steps

For information on the Penn Abroad application process, click here.

To open an application or learn more about the program, please click here to schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager.

For a student perspective on life and academics in Paris, contact a Penn Abroad Past-Participant or Exchange Student.