The Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Paris (VWPP) is run jointly by Vassar College and Wesleyan University and is based on a comprehensive or whole-life approach to study abroad. The program has three goals: it seeks, first, to help students to become near-native speakers of the French language. It also permits students to study all aspects of French civilization—politics, art, literature, cinema, history—while simultaneously making regular progress towards the completion of their respective majors on their home campus. Finally, the program brings students into direct contact with French and European life over an extended period, heightening their awareness and understanding of French society and thought, as well as increasing their understanding of the United States in relation to other countries and cultures.
In order to make their experience in Paris as rich and valuable as possible, we encourage students to focus on the comprehensive endeavor of observing life and learning to live in France, and to seize the opportunities to improve their language skills and learn about French life that are offered to them at every moment of every day. The various components of the program—living in French homes, taking courses in French universities and about French culture, participating in extracurricular activities with French people, doing an internship, and visiting various sites in Paris and France—are intended to bring them into contact with contemporary French life. We also expect students to speak only French throughout the semester or year, and to find their own ways of contributing to the program and to the French experience of their fellow students.
Students may participate in the program for either one semester (fall or spring) or two semesters (fall and spring, or spring and fall).