Deadline for study abroad in Paris nears

Students who enjoy a good soccer match, the ballet or wine tasting may find these cultural events even more fascinating when coupled with knocking out 12 units of general education in Paris as part of the study abroad program.

The deadline for the fall semester study abroad program to Paris, France is April 18, but students are encouraged to apply early for best choices in courses and accommodations.

“Paris doesn’t come along very often,” said Jon Hanson, the Sacramento City College English professor heading the trip. While the program is typically hosted in Florence in the spring, the fall program alternates among Paris, Barcelona and London.

“The last time Paris was offered was five or six years ago,” he said.

The Paris application is online under the study abroad program link on the Sacramento City College academics page.

The program, which runs from Sept. 6 to Dec. 5, shrinks a four-month semester into a three-month program, so students can travel on their passports with no need of a student visa.

American River College students will be able to study with students from throughout the district, and from Diablo Valley, Skyline and Santa Rosa colleges as well, as part of the study abroad program sponsored by the Northern California Study Abroad Consortium.

Students will have the option to stay in student housing, in a studio apartment or with another student in the home of a Parisian host family.

“If you’re really into language learning and cultural immersion, you’ll probably stay in a shared homestay,” said Hanson of the least expensive of the living accommodations.

Once you get to Paris, “everything is taken care of for you … You get to really focus on those 12 units that you’re taking,” said Hanson.

This program is ideal for adventurous students who have a few semesters under their belts. Students must be at least 18 years old and have completed 12 units with a 2.5 GPA to apply, and the 12 units students must take while on tour satisfy several general education requirements.

Students can also take advantage of a five-day pre-program tour in London for an additional fee.

The trip to Paris costs between $8,300 and $10,300, depending on accommodations, with an additional $1,300 airfare, “but that price shouldn’t scare you,” said Hanson. “Even though you don’t get financial aid here, you may get financial aid abroad.”

Scholarships are available and students can use their existing financial aid to pay for the classes, which are held Monday through Thursday.

“They’re trying to really improve the financial aid packages for study abroad,” said Patrice Gibson, an anthropology professor at ARC, who is going with students to Florence, Italy spring semester in 2015, “so that’s why we really encourage you to go talk to them … they might find some creative ways to help you out.”

Students are encouraged to visit Ge Lor in the Financial Aid department for more information about financial help.

The next informational meeting is April 8 in Community Room 1 in the student center from noon to 1 p.m.

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