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La Maison Francais
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What Alumnae Have Done with French
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Study Abroad & Junior Year Abroad

Smith's long-established Junior Year Abroad programs in Geneva and Paris attract about 30 students each year. Students live in university housing or with French-speaking families, attend classes with their French and European peers, and come back with near-native language skills and a real understanding of the culture. Majors find that this experience opens doors to careers in international relations, business, law, art and teaching.

Majors in French studies who spend the year in Paris or Geneva will normally meet certain of the requirements for the major during that year.

Students reflect on their experiences abroad

Smith in Paris

Advisers: Hélène Visentin

Faculty Directors

2013-14: Peter Bloom, Ross Professor of Humanities, Music (Fall), Martine Gantrel, Professor of French Studies (Spring)
2012-13: Robert Dorit, Associate Professor of Biology
2011-12: Peter Bloom, Ross Professor of Humanities, Music (Fall), Hélène Visentin, Associate Professor of French Studies (Spring)
2010-11: Brigitte Buettner, Priscilla Paine Van der Poel Professor of Art History

French-speaking students live abroad for a full year in a French home. Students study at the Paris universities with Smith program courses offered by French professors, volunteering, interning and enjoying excursions and cultural activities in a select group of 25 students. Students are advised by a Smith faculty director and a Parisian associate director at the beautiful Reid Hall Smith Center in Montparnasse. More...


Students going on Smith College Junior Year Abroad (JYA) programs to Paris must meet the following requirements:

Smith in Geneva

Adviser: Jonathan Gosnell

Faculty Directors

2013-14: Denise Rochat, Professor Emerita of French Studies
2012-13: Jonathan Gosnell, Associate Professor of French Studies
2011-12: Anna Botta, Professor of Italian Language & Literature and Comparative Literature
2010-11: Jonathan Gosnell, Associate Professor of French Studies

The program begins with a three-week orientation including intensive French language study, culture and history courses, and excursions. During the semester, students study in French and/or English and follow one of two tracks:

Track A (Geneva International Internship Semester)
Intern at an international organization for three to four days per week; study French; take History of International Organizations and a Practicum course at the Smith Center; enroll in at least one university course. Available fall or spring. Requires 3.0 GPA. Available fall semester for students with at least one year of college-level French or equivalent and spring semester for students with any level of college French.

Track B (University Studies in French or English)
Enroll in four to five Smith Center and university courses each semester, including French language. Part-time internship optional. Available for the academic year for students with two years of college-level French or equivalent; and spring for students with at least one year of French or equivalent. Requires 3.0 GPA.