French field study and internship programs

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Field Study & Internship

Year of European Study in french - YES in French


At IFE even math and science students agree: one plus one equals three: two well-integrated semesters of study in French, in Europe, yield far more than twice the benefit of one semester.



To encourage students to consider a year abroad, IFE has worked with various partners to develop several year-long options of serious academic merit and inter-cultural intensity, that are in addition fully adaptable to a variety of major fields.

Four ways to build a compelling year of discovery in France and Europe

- YES in French with IFE and Sciences Po
- YES in French with IFE and APA
- YES in French with IFE and your favorite JYA program
- YES in French with (FSI)² (year-long Field Study and Internship in two IFE cities)



- YES in French with IFE and Sciences Po ("French Field Studies" for students at Northwestern University and Vassar College)

This is probably the most intensive use a student can make of a year in Francophone Europe. The Fall semester is devoted to one of IFE’s Field Study and Internship programs (Paris, Strasbourg, Brussels), followed in the Spring semester by enrollment in Sciences Po, in one of the French-language-based programs at their main campus in Paris (topics in social science, history, finance, management, etc.) Through this program, students may spend up to eleven months in study, internship and comparative analysis in their field, in French, while developing a pre-professional network of French actors in that field.

The integration of these two program types is doubly rewarding

  • The steep cultural learning and language perfection resulting from one of IFE’s FSI programs is the ideal preparation for drawing the maximum benefit from being a student at Sciences Po, where students take classes alongside France’s top undergraduates in this rigorous social science university.
  • The intellectual rewards of this field-study-plus-classroom program accrue from the opportunity to explore thoroughly a subject of interest in a practical, field-level context, to complete a project of research on that subject, and subsequently to pursue background and theoretical studies in the classroom at Sciences Po.



Several program features are aimed at adding cohesiveness to the year as a whole

  • Students who spend the entire year in Paris may remain in IFE-arranged housing for the entire year.
  • During the Fall semester IFE accompanies students to a meeting arranged by IFE with the America Center of Sciences Po, to discuss academic advising issues, get briefed on exact dates and procedures for signing up for spring courses, and other details.
  • Between semesters students are encouraged to take up their internship again—or another one, arranged by IFE—in early January (depending on the start date of their Sciences Po program) in order to avoid losing ground linguistically or culturally.
  • During the second semester, at students’ request, IFE will arrange part-time internships starting midway through the Spring semester, and/or further internship experience on a full-time basis for the rest of the spring and summer, after the end of classes.



Who may participate in YES in French with IFE and Sciences Po?
Originally this program was organized by IFE, Sciences Po and Northwestern University for students from NU.
More recently it has been opened up first to students from Vassar college and now any institution already benefiting from an exchange agreement with Sciences Po, and approving one or more of IFE’s FSI programs.
Students from institutions linked with Sciences Po but having not yet approved an IFE program may wish to petition for permission to enroll in the latter, appealing to IFE to provide all necessary information for this petition process.


- YES in French with IFE and APA for advanced Francophone cultural and social studies

As one of the highest quality study abroad programs based on enrollment in the Paris university system, APA is a natural partner of IFE for providing a year of classroom instruction, field experience and research in an integrated and academically rigorous program, either in Paris, or split between Paris and Brussels. To be offered for the first time in AY 11-12, this structured year-long program includes several unique features.
With a broad range of university courses available at several levels (APA), and a highly individualized placement process for full-time mission-driven professional internships (IFE), the IFE-APA year-long program is ideal for tailoring a year of rigorous study abroad to meet a student’s academic and/or career goals.

  • Standard version: Students enroll in APA in the Fall semester to build knowledge and linguistic skills in preparation for the IFE (Paris or Brussels) Field Study and Internship Program in the Spring semester, with its major field research project.
  • Advanced version: Students enroll directly in the IFE (Paris or Brussels) Field Study and Internship program in the Fall semester and acquire the high level of linguistic/cultural skills and knowledge needed to enroll in advanced courses in the Paris university system through the APA program in the Spring semester.


- YES in French with IFE and your favorite JYA program

IFE works closely with several institutions who operate their own program in Paris or France (Brown University, Wesleyan University, Vassar College, Smith College, Swarthmore College, University of Virginia, Carleton College, Trinity College, and others). Students from these schools may elect to work with IFE to build a coherent year in the major field combining classroom, field experience and research, in one or more cities


- YES in French with (FSI)² (year-long Field Study and Internship in two IFE cities)

IFE’s "FSI-squared" provides enterprising students the opportunity to write their own European tale of two cities, in their chosen field, combining field work and research in Paris and Brussels or Strasbourg and Brussels. This cutting-edge concept is offered on an individual student basis, due to the importance of a triangular dialog involving the student, his or her academic advisors, and IFE to construct a rich and coherent academic year while fitting it to US academic equivalencies. The end result of this year will be a major research work arising out of internship and field study in two complementary sites.
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