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Paris by Foot 
by Jennie Walters, European Union Studies in Paris 2011

European Union Studies in Paris
An Interview with Program Director Francesco Saraceno

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Karey Fuhs
Assistant Director, IPD Study Abroad 

Schedule Appointment

Open to non-NU students.
Location: Paris, France
Institution: Sciences Po
Term:  Fall Quarter (2014 Program Dates: August 30 - December 13)
Application Deadline: February 10, 2015
Fellowship Application Deadline: February 10, 2015
Language Requirement: None - all classes are taught in English


The Northwestern IPD European Union Studies program is designed to provide students with a solid understanding of the political background and current dynamics of the European Union. Courses familiarize students with the issues and conventions governing the European economy, the structure of the EU and mechanisms for negotiation, and the roles of and interaction between major EU institutions. Developed jointly by faculty from Northwestern and Sciences Po, this unique program comprises seminars, lectures, and excursions to EU sites of historical and political significance. Past trips have been organized to the European Commission and NATO headquarters in Brussels and the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, as well as to historic and cultural sites in Paris and elsewhere in France. Students also take intensive French language classes.


Established in 1872, Sciences Po is one of Europe’s most distinguished and well-known schools of public affairs. The majority of France’s political leaders are alumni, including former presidents Jacques Chirac and François Mitterrand. The Paris campus, located near the Seine and within walking distance of Notre Dame de Paris and the Louvre, is the most famous of the seven Sciences Po undergraduate campuses located all over France. While the University primarily conducts classes in French, the education has a strong international dimension, where students are expected to study at least two foreign languages in addition to French. Many courses are offered in English. Forty percent of Sciences Po’s student population is international, with 60 different nationalities represented.


Accommodations and a meal plan are provided as part of the program package. Students have two options: living with a French family in a homestay or staying in a dormitory at St. John’s University Paris Campus. Students living with a homestay family will select between a "half board" meal plan option, with breakfast and dinner included daily, and a "bed & breakfast" option, with breakfast only provided daily. Students living in the dormitory will be provided breakfast daily.


Program courses take place at Sciences Po in Paris. This is a Northwestern program with a set curriculum, so students must enroll in the courses listed below. European Union Studies participants will receive letter grades on their NU transcript, and the grades are factored into their Northwestern GPA.

POLI SCI 363-SA: The Political Economy of the European Union (1 credit)
Students learn about the political production, structure, and regulation of economic activity in the EU.
Course Instructor: Francesco Saraceno

POLI SCI 364-SA: France and the European Union (1 credit)
This course provides students with a history of modern French political culture and institutions. It addresses France’s participation in European integration, the development of French social policy, and the political crises that informed the emergence of critical theory. The course is taken along with other IPD students abroad in Paris.
Course Instructor: Michael Loriaux

POLI SCI 365-SA: Decision Making in the European Union (1 credit)
This course offers an analysis, through lecture and simulation, of the European Union’s complicated institutional structure for political decision-making.
Course Instructor: Bruno Vindel

POLI SCI 366-SA: The Dynamics of Law Making in the European Union (1 credit)
Students examine the dynamics of law making in the EU and conflict or balance between domestic and regional law.
Course Instructor: Imola Streho

FRENCH 199-SA or 299-SA: French Language (2 credits)
While there is no language prerequisite to participate in this program, students are required to take intensive language training in French while in Paris. Four levels of language instruction are offered, corresponding to the various levels of student proficiency. In addition to basic language skills, the course covers cultural and social aspects of Parisian life.
Courses taught by various instructors.


Northern France
On one of the first weekends of the program, students will travel to see the beaches of Normandy and the American and German cemeteries from World War II. The trip provides a great opportunity for students on the program to get an introduction to France and to each other.

Brussels, Belgium
Students will visit the European Commission in Brussels. During their visit, they will meet with several speakers throughout the day to learn more about economics in the EU and relations with the US. Visits to the European Council and to NATO headquarters will also be scheduled if possible. Students will also have the opportunity to explore the city and sample the waffles and chocolates, arguably a cultural experience in itself!

Strasbourg of Luxembourg
Students will also visit either the European Parliament in Strasbourg or the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. On this trip, students will visit important European institutions and speak with representatives about the role of the EU in international politics, economics, law, and human rights.


Review the following cost information sheets for a breakdown of and information about program costs:
NUSP Student Budgets: Homestay & Dormitory Options (Fall 2014)

Students applying to this program may be eligible for IPD Study Abroad Fellowships and for external funding opportunities. Students participating in this program are subject to Withdrawal Policies for Northwestern-Sponsored Programs.

For more information about billing, finances, and financial aid for study abroad, please refer to the Money Matters resource page of the Study Abroad Office website or contact Krista Buda Bethel in the Financial Aid Office.