FirstBridge is discovery!

FirstBridge is a dynamic, innovative learning experience that is the hallmark of a student’s first-year at AUP.  FirstBridge courses create “learning communities” in which you will meet new friends, be taught and mentored by professors who are experts in their field, and get to know the wider AUP community. You may be arriving at AUP with a strong sense of your intellectual interests and desired educational and career path, or you may not. FirstBridge is designed to help you confirm interests and explore new ones, to go outside of your comfort zone and take risks.

FirstBridge from a Freshman Perspective!

Interdisciplinary perspectives, intellectual adventure

FirstBridge is part of our General Education requirements. You will explore a range of interdisciplinary issues and questions, and complete individual and team projects, while improving vital skills in writing, public speaking, and information literacy. Each FirstBridge course focuses on a different subject of inquiry and its interdisciplinary approach demonstrates how different disciplines reflect on knowledge and apply their own methods to the same problems.

FirstBridge is led by a team of AUP professors who are experts in their fields, and is a great way to get to know and work closely with different faculty members. The course provides a solid foundation for the rigor of future academic work at AUP, including the selection of your major, and allows you to gain new knowledge and skills that you will use outside the university and beyond in your professional life.

FirstBridge and Paris—a combination essential to your learning

Paris is a city known for its beauty, its exquisite museums and monuments, its avant-gardism—and more recently for its edgy demographic and linguistic shifts, new urban developments, and global communications. AUP is proud to be at the center of the City of Lights, and the FirstBridge program embraces this richness. We link the adventurous learning experiences of entering AUP students first to the cutting-edge events of the city, then to the challenges of a global context. Eventually, we bring all explorations back into our multicultural classroom for analysis and project building.

Choosing your FirstBridge learning community

FirstBridge offers paired courses taught by two different professors. The two courses each meet twice a week and are carefully designed for you to make connections between two disciplines; a third space, reflective seminar, will help you to discover how one informs the other. This FirstBridge design allows you to engage deeply with the subject matter, your classmates, and professors, and begin AUP relationships that are long-lasting and lively.

A Selection of FirstBridge Courses

AH1020 Intro To Western Art II

Continues the study of the most significant monuments of Western painting, sculpture, and architecture, from the Renaissance to the 20th-century. Emphasizes historical context, continuity, and critical analysis. Includes direct contact with works of art in Parisian museums.


FM1010 Films & Their Meanings

Students begin with an analysis of basic elements of film language (signs, codes, syntax). They study the technology, economics and politics of the film industry as it has developed in the United States and Europe. In the latter half of the course they will investigate the impact of television, video, computers and digital media in the history of cinema.


CM2004 Comparative Communications History

This course provides historical background to understand how contemporary communication practices and technologies have developed and are in the process of developing and reflects on what communication has been in different human societies across time and place. It considers oral and literate cultures, the development of writing systems, of printing, and different cultural values assigned to the image. The parallel rise of mass media and modern western cultural and political forms and the manipulation and interplay of the properties and qualities conveyed by speech, sight, and sound are studied with reference to the printed book, newspapers, photography, radio, cinema, television, new media.


CS2021 Social Robotics

This course introduces the fundamental concepts of simulation of complex systems (from collections of a few objects to multi-agent systems and societies in general), computation, and information processing, via a hands-on, active learning approach. By building physical artificial agents and using ready-made simulation programs, students will also learn about modeling complex phenomena along with experiment design and reporting. These skills are essential for any discipline.


AN1002 Socio-cultural Anthropology

Sociocultural anthropology is the comparative study of human societies and cultures. This course is designed to introduce students to central areas of anthropological inquiry, a range of key theoretical perspectives and the discipline’s holistic approach. Through field-based research projects, students will also gain familiarity with the discipline’s qualitative research methods (especially participant observation). While students will encounter the works of key historical figures in the discipline, they will also discover current debates on globalization and transnationalism. Finally, this course also strives to cultivate students’ ability to reflect critically on their own identities and cultures, thereby gaining a greater understanding and appreciation for diversity and an improved set of intercultural communication skills.


CM2006 Media Globalization

What is globalization? Why study the media? What is the relationship between the media and globalization? What are the consequences of media globalization on our lives and identities? This course critically explores these questions and challenging issues that confront us today. Globalization can be understood as a multi-dimensional, complex process of profound transformations in all spheres – technological, economic, political, social, cultural, intimate and personal. Yet much of the current debates of globalization tend to be concerned with “out there” macro-processes, rather than what is happening “in here,” in the micro-processes of our lives. This course explores both the macro and the micro. It encourages students to develop an enlarged way of thinking – challenging existing paradigms and providing comparative perspectives.


HI1091 Topics In History

Topics vary each semester.


CM1091 Topics In Communication

Topics vary every semester.


PO1011 Foundations Of Modern Politics

What is politics - the quest for the common good or who gets what, when, and how? We study what defines politics in the modern age: states and nations in the international system, collective action and representation in mass societies, trajectories of democracy and dictatorship, politics and development in the context of capitalism. The course will introduce the student to the concerns, the language and the methods of Political Science.