Hamilton in France


A Unique Program for Each Student

With the advice of the director, each student designs an individualized program of studies reflecting his or her academic major and interests. Credit is given only to courses taught in French and in which all work is in French (with the only exception of up to two courses in English for English majors).

Students can choose from among the following:

  1. Four to six in-house courses per semester organized for Hamilton in France students and taught by Paris faculty. These courses are organized like courses at small liberal arts colleges.
  2. Two or three courses per semester organized by and for a consortium of American colleges (Hamilton, Middlebury and Smith) taught by Paris faculty. The format of those courses resembles courses at small liberal arts colleges. Link to Consortium course list
  3. A wide variety of courses at one of the Paris universities and institutions affiliated with Hamilton in France.

Advising and Course Planning

The resident director, a full-time Hamilton College faculty member, is the main advisor. The director works closely with participants and advisors at their home institutions. Advising for students starts well before departure and continues during orientation and throughout the year.

Before departure, students plan their academic program taking into account their major, professional goals and sense of curiosity and adventure. They also consider a list of courses taken by past students. Advising is not only about choosing courses; it  fosters curiosity and helps students adjust to new environments. The advising process aims to  develop student adaptability and flexibility.

Once in Paris, students learn to navigate an educational system very different from that of their own campus. For instance, the French system is highly centralized but course schedules are often not determined before September, and instructors do not always provide detailed syllabi. French students are used to attending lectures and taking copious notes. On the other hand, they are not required to do homework on a daily basis but final exams are comprehensive.

The resident director is the prime intermediary between the Paris institutions and students. The director provides information as soon as it is available and works with each student to finalize a program of studies as early as possible.