University of South Florida

School of Theatre & Dance

College of the Arts

FAQs, Paris Summer Program

Specific questions about the USF Dance in Paris Program can be directed to the Director of the Paris Program, Michael Foley

Can students from other colleges/universities apply to the Program?

The USF Dance in Paris Program partners with Barnard College/Columbia University (Colleen Thomas-Young and Virginia Commonwealth University (Scott Putman, so students from these institutions should contact their faculty representatives about applying to this program.  Non-partner university students are invited to inquire/apply to the USF Dance in Paris Summer Program, however there is a cap to the number of students who can attend this program, so space is limited. Students from institutions outside of USF should contact the Program Director for updates on space availability.

Are freshmen or first-year students allowed to apply?

The Program typically does not accept freshman or first-year students, however transfer students with an A.A. equivalent degree may apply if they meet the requirements.  There are also exceptions if first-year student applicants show a high level of social/academic maturity and excellent dance technique, so please inquire!

How much money will I need for personal expenses in addition to the program fee and tuition?

This varies greatly depending upon personal spending habits. It is recommended that a minimum of $200 – 250 per week be used to cover personal expenses, which is primarily for meals. Some students have survived on $15.00/day by avoiding restaurants and cafés and keeping other personal expenses such as souvenirs, phone calls, and postage to a minimum. The program fee is very inclusive: all of your transportation within the city of Paris (unlimited use of the metro and bus systems within metropolitan Paris), excursions to locales outside of Paris, like Versailles, and all classes/performances/museum fees. Your main personal expenses will be food. Each student has access to their own refrigerator and the residence has cooking facilities, so students can economize considerably by preparing their own meals. Students will have access to student cafeterias where a complete lunch or dinner will cost 5 euros (approximately $5.50). The Director will offer you numerous tips on how to conserve your funds if you're on a tight budget. Obviously, if you plan to do extensive shopping or to eat out frequently in restaurants and cafés, your expenses will be higher.

Will I need a visa to enter France?

You will need a valid passport, but U.S. citizens do not need a visa for stays in France of 90 days or less. It is recommended that if you do not currently have a passport that you apply for one at least 2 months before leaving for France. If you do have a passport, it must be valid for at least 3 months after your return ticket from France.

How much French will I need to know to survive in Paris?

The more French you know, the less alienated you'll feel, and the more you'll get out of your stay in Paris. This doesn't mean having to become fluent! Even a minimal vocabulary of 25 words and a few phrases will go a long way towards easing your daily encounters with the French. All of the classes/workshops under the auspices of the Program will be taught in English, although our French faculty do like to add some French language into their classes! The classes that you can take on your own at Studio Harmonic (you have a 10-class card) will be taught almost entirely in French, though.

Is there a University of South Florida (USF) campus in Paris?

No, there is not. The Program uses two major Paris dance studios, as well as the Centre de Yoga du Marais for our technique classes, but these places are spread throughout the city and easily connected by metro. We like to think of the beautiful city of Paris as our campus, as opposed to only one building where we go to live, learn and study dance!

Where do students live?

Students live in a student residence on the eastern edge of Paris that is a short metro ride to all classes and events. Students have their own single rooms that are equipped with their own full bathroom (sink, shower, toilet). Students are provided with linens and towels, as well as kitchen items, upon their arrival. The residence has laundry facilities, which all students are allowed to use. There is always a concierge on duty at the residence, which provides both security and maintenance of the building. 

What if I get sick or injured while I’m in Paris?

All students are enrolled in a very comprehensive insurance program while they are in Paris. This insurance covers most traditional medical costs, as well as reimbursing students for visits to the doctor. We have an extensive medical support network in Paris, which includes English-speaking general practitioners, osteopaths, dentists, and mental health care professionals.

Is Paris a safe city?

Student safety is our main priority, and despite recent incidents in Paris, the city remains a very safe place by urban standards. All students must take an on-line risk and safety orientation course through USF Education Abroad before they can go to Paris with the Program, in addition to an on-site orientation that address issues of safety and mindfulness while navigating the city. The Program gives each student a detailed Emergency Plan in the unlikely event of a city-wide incident. Students in Paris also have access to USF’s 24/7 International Assistance Line in case of any type of emergency.

Can graduate students enroll in the USF Dance in Paris Program?

Yes, and we have enjoyed having graduate students as part of the program!! Please note that the course number associated with the course is “undergraduate” and you would need to discuss with your home institution what credits can transfer based on the syllabus of each course. There is also the option to register for the Independent Study/Research course in Paris, which could go a long way toward fulfilling graduate coursework in Dance.

What advice do students in previous year's program have for future Paris Program students?

Among the many “tips” given by students in prior years, the following are the ones agreed upon by every student:

  • Learn some French before leaving for Paris.  Even a few basic words help!!
  • Do not overpack!!  Tip: if you cannot walk with your suitcase for a ¼ mile and go up and down a flight of stairs on your own without ANY help, you’ve overpacked.
  • Wear/bring very comfortable shoes.  You'll be doing a lot of walking and comfort is more important than fashion!
  • Bring extra funds for shopping or as a contingency fund in the event of an emergency (i.e., a backup credit or debit card or traveler's checks).
  • Buy groceries and assemble/cook your own meals rather than going out to restaurants.
  • If you know students going on the Program, try and share items to economize space in your luggage.
  • Be open to the greatest experience of your life!!!