An American in Paris: Lang Receives Mellon Grant

The American University of Paris campus, near the Eiffel Tower. (courtesy of AUP)

For many college students, a semester abroad is the highlight of their undergraduate experience. They travel to a new city, soak in the language and culture, and return with a humbled, global perspective that enhances their studies. But the wildly different education structures, tuition rates, and competitive relationships of many institutions can hinder this process, leaving students feeling like outsiders in a foreign place.

Motivated by a desire to move beyond the limits of more traditional exchange programs, Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts and The American University of Paris are developing a collaborative liberal arts program that builds on their complementary strengths and differences to provide an enriched cross-cultural experience.

Both Lang and AUP are committed to critical inquiry and engaged citizenship,, said Kathleen Breidenbach, associate dean of Lang. Through this partnership, we build on these values while providing our students with this fantastic opportunity, to continue their progressive education immersed in the culture of one of the world’s great urban centers.,

Funded through two grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that total more than $650,000, the program will present an unprecedented new model for foreign exchange opportunities based on two schools sharing pedagogical and recruitment resources and curricular integration.

The program will also support curricular and faculty development in the areas of urban studies, media studies, and literary studies. Drawing on the vast new media landscape, Lang and AUP will also design paired courses that use high-definition videoconferencing technology and social media.

Lang students from any major are eligible to take part in the program, which requires no prior knowledge of the French language.