RECL 111 / GLST 188: Paris: City of Cultures (SJSU Studies, Area S and Area V).

Program Dates

June 9–28, 2014

Program Overview

Paris. Observe and study the cultural groups, social systems, and history of Paris, and gain an appreciation for diversity and equality. Visit museums, tour Notre Dame, join a hands-on cooking class, and attend special events such as the Fête de la Musique. Attend walking guest lectures  in different parts of Paris while becoming more worldly, confident and knowledgeable citizens and travelers.

Country Facts

Visit the CIA World Factbook page on France for general information about its geography, people, government, economy, transportation, and more.

Academic Program

RECL 111, Leisure, Culture, and Identity (GE–area S, 3 units) GLST 188, Special Topics in International Experiences (GE–area V, 3 units).

Students will learn about the rich history of France and its diverse communities, looking at the effects of immigration, biases, work and leisure involvement as well as other factors on their development. The course will explore the broad multi-cultural, multiethnic, and diverse population of Paris.

The Leisure portion of the class will look at the leisure philosophy and activities of the French and their influence on French culture. Topics will include the amount of leisure time that is built into the French workplace, and how that affects workplace and leisure attitudes. It will explore common French and tourist leisure activities by engaging students in activities such as cycling, religious tourism, museums, French cuisine, and special events such as the Fête de la Musique, etc.

The Culture portion of the class will engage students in the similarities and differences between French and US culture. It will have students explore some of the many subcultures in France, including religious groups, ethnic groups, LGBTQ, immigrant, and others. Language will be an intrinsic part of the course as students learn how to interact with and learn from people who may not share a language with them. We will also explore cultural expression, including the visual and performing arts for which France is well known.


The Identity portion of the class will have the students explore their own identities as travelers and as Americans (or however the students self-identify). It will guide them in how to handle the unknowns of travel, how to use travel to expand their personal horizons, and the impact that exposure to other cultures can have on who they are and how they see the world. Student activities will include guided reflections in the form of a photo/art/writing journal.

As part of the Health Science & Recreation, and Global Studies curricula, class members will learn and practice appropriate hospitality and etiquette for culturally sensitive interchanges. We will explore leisure, hospitality, and tourism companies as well as opportunities for employment abroad. Students will learn travel and leisure skills for foreign travel, and will build awareness and life skills. We will include cultural sensitivity, safety, and other aspects of enjoyable travel that will help them develop into more worldly and knowledgeable citizens and travelers. 


  • Completion of Core GE.
  • Pass the Writing Skills Test (WST) by February, 2014.
  • Upper Division Standing.
  • Age 21 or older preferred.

French language ability is not required as classes are conducted in English.

Accommodation, Safety and Visas

Students will stay in dormitories at Cité Universitaire or similar, with full use of the ACCENT Center, including experienced local staff, computer access, lending library, and study area. A transit pass for the duration of the program is included. Walking and bike tours of Paris will focus on different parts of the city and its communities. Students will fly to and from Paris on their own. All program participants will be covered by mandatory travel insurance. 

As a U.S. passport holder, you will be allowed to enter France without a visa for up to 90 days. Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay. Other passport holders may need a visa and will be responsible for obtaining any required paperwork. 

There is currently no US travel warning for France. For more information about safety abroad, visit the US Department of State Travel Information page for France.

Program Leaders

Linda Levine, Health Science and Recreation
(408) 924-3008

David Buseck, Global Studies

Estimated Costs *subject to change*

SJSU Special Session Tuition (6 units @ $250 each) 1,500
Administration Fee 200
Program fees, lodging, class materials and local tours approx. 3,085
Estimated Total $4,785


FLP Application Process and FLP Student Forms