Embark on a creative exploration of art and culture, from the City of Light to the French countryside, on this high school summer abroad program in France. Visit galleries and world-renowned museums—such as the Musée d’Orsay and the Louvre—and have drawing, painting, and photography sessions under the guidance of a French artist. Trace the footsteps of the famous artists who have been inspired by the region of Provence, including Cézanne and Van Gogh. Learn the art of Provençal watercolor, and fill a canvas with your own impressions of Provence’s landscapes and extraordinary beauty. Visit photo exhibits in the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, set up a photo shoot in Pére Lachaise or the Belleville Market, and explore Paris’s arrondissements with a French photojournalist.
During the homestay period in Les Baux-de-Provence, meet with local artists and craftsmen, participate in a pottery workshop, and enjoy regional food, while becoming fully immersed in the daily life of a French family and community. Take day excursions with your host family or Experiment group to nearby cities of historical and artistic significance, such as Marseille, Avignon, and/or Arles. You’ll also create a carnet de voyage (travel book) with assistance from a French artist. As your artistic journey unfolds, take advantage of continuous opportunities to enhance your French language skills and knowledge of French culture.
Note: Participants should bring a working digital camera with them on the program. A drawing kit will be supplied once in France.
Orientation: Paris, 2–4 days
Homestay: Les Baux-de-Provence,* 13–15 days
Other Accommodations: Hotels
* Homestay locations can vary.
Orientation in Paris
During the orientation period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.
Thematic Focus in Provence
During this period, you and your group will stay in hotels and hostels.
During this period, you will stay in the home of a family. Sample host community: Les Baux de Provence
Thematic Focus in Paris
During this period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.
Program Reflection and Wrap-up in Paris
During the reflection period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.
Please note: This itinerary is only a sample and is subject to change. Because of factors such as group size and availability of in-country offerings such as festivals, your experience — including sites visited and the number of days spent in each location — may differ somewhat from the one presented above.
These are leader bios from summer 2014.
Camille was raised in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, and in May 2014 she received her BA in linguistics from Barnard College at Columbia University. Camille spent the spring of 2013 studying Tibetan and Himalayan culture in Nepal, Bhutan, and India through SIT Study Abroad, where she researched linguistic human rights in the Tibetan diaspora. During her semester abroad, she also volunteered at an NGO, The Tibet Hope Center, as an English conversation guide. Within linguistics, Camille has loved studying French phonetics, the morphology of Swahili, and the semantic relationship between Tibetan and Buddhism. She spent her non-academic time in college leading and arranging music for Barnard's all-female a cappella group and working as a community habilitation worker for a company that provides services for disabled youth. Before that, she spent time volunteering as an ESL teacher, traveling throughout France and Greece, kicking soccer balls, and inventing her own smoothies while working as a barista. Camille currently works as a researcher and program manager at the NeuroLeadership Institute in New York.
A two-time Experiment leader to France, Sarah Heck developed a love for traveling and experiencing different cultures while growing up in Europe. With a German father and an American mother, she was exposed to multiple cultures at an early age. While studying at the University of Washington, she spent a year in Paris through a direct exchange at Sciences Po. Upon her return to Seattle, she interned at the French-American Chamber of Commerce and the World Affairs Council. After graduating with a BA in international studies and French, she spent her summer traveling through India, Cambodia, and Vietnam. In her free time, Sarah enjoys watching foreign films, going to art expositions, biking, photography, scuba-diving, and exploring different countries and cultures. In fall 2014, Sarah moved to Réunion, off the coast of Madagascar, where she serves as a teaching assistant through the French Ministry of Education.
It is strange how I transformed more in the course of five weeks than my lifespan of sixteen years; it goes to show how much awaits us all abroad. Honestly, I feel more experiment-sick than homesick! Life is filled with surprises, and with curiosity anyone can discover the next best thing… I still cannot fathom how amazing this summer voyage was, and I can’t wait to go back to France, and revisit all the places I’ve seen and friends I’ve made!
Roxy Moinzadeh, Santa Monica High School
I loved my homestay experience! We were matched up perfectly and couldn’t ask for a better family. We were constantly outside the house; may it be going to the many beaches or having a 3 day hike on the Pyrenees Mountains which was fantastic! Although we may have not understood each other 100% of the time, the relationship was strong and they made me feel as part of the family and never left me out of their own family discussions. It felt as if I was at a home away from home. As for what I have learned, I was able to appreciate how close family bonding can really have an impact on the entire family in a positive way and I am glad I was [able] to be there with them.
Armando Nuno, San Lorenzo High School