Study Abroad: Paris

Photo cortesy of
The Louvre

Faith Gates, News Editor

The city of lights, the city of love and soon, the city of  exchange students. Santa Rosa Junior College’s Study Abroad program is heading to Paris, France for its fall semester-long adventure Sept. 6 to Dec. 5.

SRJC students will be going with College of San Mateo, Diablo Valley College and Sacramento City College students and teachers. SRJC media professor Michael Traina has traveled to more than 30 countries and went on the 1999 and 2006 London Study Abroad trips with another college. He will teach Media 4, 10 and 15. Traina said Paris has many opportunities for students wanting to pursue film.

“Paris is the birthplace of movies,” Traina said.

“Few cities have what Paris has to offer,” Traina said. He expects students to gain a lot from the experiential learning style.

“I think students learn more in a semester studying abroad than in their whole college experience,” Traina said.

SRJC students have to take one class from SRJC and the INTDIS 90: Study Abroad Life, Culture and Language class. The class is taught by local professors with about two hours a week of guest lectures focusing on different aspects of Paris and France or an activity and two hours a week of survival French. All classes will include weekly cultural activities like tours, performances and sports games.

The trip is open to students 18 years and older who have completed 12 transferable college course units with a cumulative 2.25 grade point average. The price of the trip is $8,395 – $10,395, which is more than the trip to Italy this spring semester.

“It’s a little more expensive to live in Paris,” said SRJC study abroad coordinator Patty Warne.

The $8,395 price is for the shared homestay option. With this option a student stays with a screened, local family in a shared room with included breakfast every morning. Traina said most of these families work with the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) and have hosted many students before.

“Sometimes students make a life-long relationship with some family members,” Traina said.

The other option is staying in an apartment with two students per room with one to three rooms per apartment with a shared kitchen and bathroom for $10,395, no meals included. A third option is staying at the Foyer International d’Accueil de Paris  (FIAP) where all classes will take place. There will be two students per room with daily breakfast and five lunches or dinners weekly for $10,395. All options provide Internet access. Single rooms are available for another $545 at the homestay and $2,000 at the FIAP. The fee includes an unlimited pass to museums, a travel pass for the metro and bus and a 24-hour help service  for students through AIFS.

Warne says the money is worth the trip. “Almost all students who have gone and come back say it has changed their life,”  she said.

An optional European tour is available before the trip from Sept. 2-7. It will travel to London, Brussels and Bruges for five days and four nights. The price is $995 and will include accommodation, breakfast and transportation. Additional fees include personal airfare, a $250 refundable damage deposit, passport fees, a $65 optional medical insurance upgrade, a $90 optional personal effects coverage, food, personal expenses, tuition, textbooks and additional excursions.

Knowing French is not required because most French citizens know English, but learning some phrases is good. “It’s a common courtesy approaching them in French than assuming they know English,” Traina said.

David Danielson, a philosophy professor of 24 years at College of San Marin, will teach Philosophy 100, 244 and 300. The language and literature professor from Sacramento City College, Jon Hanson, will teach English Literature 303 and 345 and English-Writing 302. Kris Koblik, art history professor from Diablo Valley College will teach Art History 196, 197 and 199. All teachers have been to Paris before.

Five scholarships are available for this trip. First is a Ava and Sam Guerrera Study Abroad Scholarship for $2,200, paid in two disbursements. The student must have completed the previous Fall 2013 semester and be currently enrolled in the Spring 2014 semester at SRJC with a 3.0 GPA. The Ruth Parlé Craig Study Abroad Scholarship awards $800 to a student who has a 3.0 GPA and is currently enrolled in the Spring 2014 SRJC semester. Both scholarships require filling out an application and answering two narrative questions. Three AIFS Study Abroad Scholarships are available; two are $500 and one is $1,000, requiring a 2.25 GPA and answering three narrative questions along with the application.

Priority Application is due April 18 and late applications are accepted on a space availability basis until June 20.