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Yale Summer Session in Paris: Belle Époque France

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International Study Award (ISA)

The ISA provides a stipend for one credit-bearing summer study abroad experience for eligible undergraduates receiving a Yale scholarship. You must apply to Yale Study Abroad and be approved for a Yale Summer Session Programs Abroad or Non-Yale Summer Abroad program. Yale Study Abroad does not administer the ISA. For all ISA-related details, including how to request funding, when it gets disbursed, how much funding you can expect, and more, visit the ISA website.

Program Information


Paris, France




Tuesday, May 28, 2024 to Saturday, June 29, 2024



Area of Focus

Arts & Humanities

Distributional Requirements

Fulfills Hu distributional requirement


Study Center

Course Number



2 Yale credits


R. Howard Bloch    |   Ellen Handler Spitz 




[NOTE: Program details (overall status, dates, costs, etc.) are subject to change each summer, and the information on this page will be updated as such details are finalized.]

A study of important works of literature, painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and the decorative arts in turn-of-the-century France (1870-1914). This course will acquaint students with the principal literary and artistic forms, social trends, political movements, scientific theories, and technological innovations of the Belle Époque, with visits to museums, architectural monuments, theatre, and art nouveau cafés and restaurants in Paris. Principle authors: Zola, Gide, Proust, Apollinaire, Huysmans, Maupassant, Mallarmé, Colette, Alain-Fournier, Barbey d’Aurevilly, and Feydeau. Participants will be contacted after the deadline to choose to take the course as FREN, HUMS, or LITR.

The class will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. and students should expect about 12 hours of work outside the classroom each week, as well as excursions and other program activities.

A note about your instructors:

Ellen Handler Spitz is Senior Lecturer in Humanities at Yale. She has written numerous books on the arts, literature, and psychology, and from 2001 to 2019 served as Honors Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Maryland.

R. Howard Bloch is Sterling Professor of French at Yale and has written widely on the literature and art of the Middle Ages as well as the late nineteenth century.  His latest book is Paris and Her Cathedrals (W.W. Norton).


Yale Summer Session Programs Abroad updates program budgets in late January. Please note the year listed on the button below.

Summer 2024 Budget

Trips and Activities

The program will visit the Orsay Museum and its collection of Impressionist paintings, the Gustave Moreau atelier and museum, the Rodin Museum, the Camondo Museum (a grand bourgeois home of the Belle Époque), Monet’s gardens and house at Giverny, and the Museum of Decorative Arts. Students explore by foot Fin-de-Siècle architectural monuments in Paris, eat in authentic period cafés and restaurants.  We shall attend a theater performance from the period if one is available in English.


[NOTE: Students are required to stay in program-provided housing.  There is no option for individually-arranged housing.]

Students will live in an international dorm at St. John's University - Paris Campus, in double-occupancy rooms. A continental breakfast is included daily at St. John's; students will be on their own for lunch and dinner each day. A student cafeteria with discount prices is located only two metro stops from the dorm.


Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements and are expected to arrive in Paris on the first day of the program, and depart no earlier than the last day of the program (see 'Dates' above); additional information will be provided upon admission.


For course content questions contact instructor, R. Howard Bloch.  For general program questions contact the Study Abroad staff.

Important Information Before Applying

  • All YSS Programs Abroad are intensive, highly structured academic programs for Yale credit and grades.
  • Students may only apply to one YSS Program Abroad per summer.
  • Admission is not guaranteed. Applicants should anticipate that more students will apply than there are spots available, and Yale College students should apply to a backup Non-Yale Summer Abroad opportunity.
  • Ensure that your transcript reflects how you have met the pre-requisite, if applicable, prior to applying.
  • Participants must commit to the full program dates. Late arrivals and early departures are not permitted.
  • Participants are required to be enrolled in all program courses.
  • Participants should expect evening and weekend requirements. Students who have questions about religious observance during a YSS Program Abroad are encouraged to Meet with an Adviser.
  • Program-arranged housing is required for all YSS Programs Abroad. Students are not permitted to secure independent housing. Students who have housing-related questions about placements, allergies, religious observance, or disability-related access are encouraged to Meet with an Adviser.

Apply to a YSS Program Abroad

Yale Study Abroad Adviser

Lauren Perrino