Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Tufts in Paris, 1965
Tufts in Paris, founded in the fall of 1965, gives Tufts students an opportunity to experience French life and culture while continuing their studies.
Unlike other early Tufts Study Abroad programs, Tufts in Paris was designed primarily for undergraduates. The program encourages French majors to apply, but also accepts non-majors who demonstrate proficiency in French. Students participating in Tufts in Paris attend classes at the University of Paris, focusing mainly on French language, culture, history, and politics. Students are housed with French families, and are required to eat breakfast and dinner at their host's home six times a week. Allowances are given for lunch, and students can otherwise arrange their free time as they choose.
Prior to beginning studies at the university, students participate in a month long orientation program, which includes lectures as well as visits to historical sites, museums, and other European cities.
The first year of the Tufts in Paris program proved very interesting for participating students. As one of their classes focused on French politics, they were able to discuss the circumstances surrounding the first French elections since World War II, which took place while they were on the program. In 1968, Tufts students in France were also present for the onslaught of student and worker strikes, during which much of Paris was shut down due to rioting and picketing. This caused minor complaints among students, as it disrupted class schedules and took many of their French peers out of the classroom.
Early in the life of the program, students also complained about their living situations. Many claimed that living with French families was not a good experience, as many of the families viewed visiting students as only a source of income and a curiosity for their friends. This improved by the late seventies and early eighties, and the program once again began to garner rave reviews.
As of 2000, Tufts in Paris enrolls thirty students each year, and continues to be a popular option for Tufts students desiring study abroad.
Source: TAR, TD, OBS