Hamilton in France provides students a solid academic experience based on the deep Hamilton College commitment to a liberal arts education and personal exploration.
Founded in 1957 as Hamilton College Junior Year in France, the program is supervised and directed by professors of the department of French at Hamilton and is open to qualified students at American colleges and universities. Each resident director brings extensive personal experience to directing study abroad programs and a deep knowledge of the educational system and of cultural and daily life in France.
Hamilton in France is small enough to provide the individual advising and personal support each student needs to rise to the challenges of the experience. The integrated academic, linguistic and cultural components of the program allow students to progress in their academic discipline, acquire excellent linguistic proficiency, gain confidence and be more informed citizens of the world.
A year's study in France can help secure graduate fellowships and assistantships, admission to graduate school in any discipline and teaching positions and other employment opportunities that require autonomy, flexibility and responsibility.
Hamilton in France welcomes students who are in good standing after their sophomore year, above the fourth semester level in French (fifth semester level for Spring students), and who major in a wide variety of disciplines: anthropology, fine art, art history, cinema, communication, comparative literature, economics, English, French, government, international studies, history, literatures, mathematics, music, philosophy, the natural sciences, sociology, theater and world politics.
Students apply with the understanding that the linguistic component of the program is paramount. Students are required to sign a pledge to speak only French with members of the program. This pledge is one of the features that distinguishes Hamilton in France from most other American programs in France.
Advised by the director, students design an individual and well-balanced curriculum around their academic majors and interests. Students select appropriate courses from among a variety of in-house courses (organized by and for Hamilton in France students) and a large selection of courses at various branches of the Paris university system and other institutions of higher education affiliated with Hamilton.
Hamilton's traditional annual academic program (eight and a half months) gives students an exceptional opportunity to acquire deep, long-lasting linguistic proficiency and to make progress in their academic discipline/major as they gain a deeper knowledge of life in France and in Europe. The annual structure of Hamilton in France fosters the highest academic standards and linguistic proficiency for both annual and semester students.
While Hamilton in France is primarily an annual program, we also welcome a limited number of semester students from affiliate schools. Priority for the semester option is given to students in science, mathematics, and computer science; to students studying off-campus elsewhere for a semester; and to students whose academic constraints at their home institutions do not allow them to spend an entire year abroad. To ensure linguistic cohesion, students applying for spring-only are expected to have completed the fifth semester of college-level French.
Fall semester includes the Biarritz orientation; the spring orientation takes place in Paris and includes a weekend excursion.
Students stay in carefully chosen French-speaking homes within the Paris city limits. Students often cite their homestay experience as one of the memorable highlights of their time in Paris. Living daily in a French-speaking home offers exceptional linguistic and cultural immersion. Our hosts do understand, however, that students are young adults and need independence.
Hamilton in France offers full board in Biarritz and half-board in Paris.
Hamilton in France offers a full program of weekend excursions in various regions of France, as well as cultural and cocurricular group activities in or around Paris that are included in the general tuition and fees. In addition, students are reimbursed with a small stipend each semester for local cultural exploration.
Hamilton in France also provides assistance in locating extracurricular activities, such as volunteering, sports, music and performance.