GWU: The Paris Scholars Program

George Washington University and The American University of Paris: The Paris Scholars Program

The Paris Scholars Program offers students an alternative route to attend The George Washington University (GW), while living and studying in Paris – The City of Light – as a freshman. The Paris Scholars Program is designed to provide students with the opportunity to spend their freshman year at The American University of Paris (AUP) and apply to transfer directly to GW for the start of their sophomore year. In this program, students will gain international experiences and a global perspective on their academic interests, while completing freshman courses with other students planning to transfer to GW.  Established six years ago, this partnership program has seen more than 100 students spend their freshman year abroad at AUP and successfully transfer back to GW afterwards.

Spending your freshman year abroad has many advantages and more and more universities recognize the benefits of an international experience early on. Studying in a different culture broadens your perspective, can help frame your interests, and expands your network of contacts. The benefits of study abroad can have a lasting and positive impact on the remainder of your university career and beyond. 

This unique program is the best of two world capitals and opportunities. Students get the chance to study in two amazing culturally rich cities, both of which share a similar architectural tradition and pivotal moments in history, politics, art, literature, fashion, and food—all of which will serve to influence your university career and beyond.

This web space is designed to orient you with the details and benefits of the Paris Scholars Program. It will also provide instructions for accepting our offer to attend this international bridge to GW.

Learn More and join the Paris Scholars Program


Information about The American University of Paris

AUP is GW’s partner in the Paris Scholars Program.  Established in 1962, AUP is a US-accredited (Middle States) liberal arts university located in the heart of Paris, France offering courses taught in English. AUP’s range of disciplines – largely in the arts and humanities, social sciences, and pre-professional programs – are a good match for future GW students. AUP’s student body of approximately 1,200 is globally diverse, representing nearly 110 nationalities. Its outstanding professorial faculty also draws from around the world. Class sizes are small, and the perspectives shared between classmates from so many cultures and backgrounds shape conversations in ways that would never occur in a homogenous classroom setting.


A challenging program

The Paris Scholars Program is designed to be a challenging program. The Paris context is a wonderful opportunity to grow intellectually, personally and in a way that will enhance both your future studies at GW and the rest of your life.  But it comes with a challenge: you will find yourself in a different country and cultural context and in a different learning environment, where expectations in and around the classroom call for quick thinking and flexibility. This might not suit some students and requires a degree of maturity, confidence and independent thinking. The rewards, however, are exceptional.


Freshman year coursework that transfers to GW

During your year at AUP you will choose courses across a wide range of subjects. Your AUP courses fulfill GW general education requirements and will transfer when you continue at GW for the start of your sophomore year.  For example, taking four 4-credit courses each semester at AUP you will earn 32 transferable semester credits that convey to GW. Below you will find more specific details on GW transfer recommendations and examples of AUP courses you may choose.


Living and studying in Paris

Spending a year at AUP also means living in Paris. The AUP campus is located centrally in Paris’ historic and cultural 7th arrondissement, also home to the Eiffel Tower and Napoleon’s tomb at l'Hôtel des Invalides. Paris plays a central role in many courses you can choose in disciplines such as art historypolitical science, or business. The Paris Scholars Program provides a unique opportunity to learn or perfect French language skills in a full immersion setting in the heart of France, yet it allows you to rely on English in the classroom, since AUP courses are taught entirely in English. Moreover, while in Europe you will want to take advantage of AUP’s many study-travel opportunities through its Cultural Programs Office. Excursions throughout Europe with AUP faculty members on weekends and during university breaks provide additional opportunities for experiential learning in a global context.

Housing during your year in Paris is provided by AUP's preferred housing partner,  BlueStripe (formerly known as Comforts of Home) , which places you with AUP roommates in fully furnished and equipped 2-bedroom apartments close to campus.  Our apartments have everything you need including cooking, serving and eating utensils; bed and bath linens; even a washing machine. Apartments include wireless internet and telephone, as well as a 24-hour maintenance hotline. AUP housing combines the companionship of fellow AUP roommates, an easy commute to campus, and the exceptional experience of living among Parisians in one of the most beautiful and culturally rich cities in the world.


Preparing for GW while in Paris

You will already begin cultivating your relationship with GW while studying in Paris at AUP. During orientation in early September you will meet other future GW students. You will all be assigned the same AUP academic advisor who is familiar with GW requirements and can assist with your planning.


Transferring to GW

Following your year at AUP in the Paris Scholars Program, GW will automatically admit students who meet the following conditions:

  • Completion of 32 transferable semester units in the program.
  • A first-year cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, with no individual grade below C.
  • Completion of at least two AUP courses fulfilling GW’s general education requirements. 

Your advisor at registration in the Paris Scholars Program will ensure that you have access to sufficient courses to exceed this requirement.

Your AUP academic advisor will be familiar with the conditions of your intended transfer to GW through the Paris Scholars Program.


Attending AUP

During your year in Paris you will register as a full-time student at The American University of Paris, taking AUP courses approved by GW, earning AUP transferrable credits, and paying AUP tuition and fees. Once you confirm your participation in the Paris Scholars Program, AUP will begin to send you important pre-arrival information to help prepare for your arrival in France in early September: how to confirm your enrollment, obtain your study visa, reserve your housing preferences, select your AUP tuition payment plan, etc. AUP is accustomed to working with students from around the world, and is responsive and supportive to your needs as you plan your arrival in Paris.

France is one of the most popular destinations in the world for study abroad. AUP will provide the documents and explain the process required to obtain your student visa. Citizens of the European Union do not require a visa to study in France at AUP.

Please know that federal regulations prohibit AUP from administering US federal loans (Stafford or PLUS loans) for any student participating in this program during the time spent at AUP. This will NOT affect any loan eligibility in the future at GW, primarily because of its US location. We have verified this with The Foreign Schools Team with the Department of Education. US citizens and permanent residents who qualify may still apply for a private Sallie Mae Smart Option Loan for all legitimate educational and living expenses.


Your First Year Curriculum

You will enroll in four 4-credit courses in each of both semesters during your freshman year at AUP, earning 32 semester credits. GW endorses the AUP courses you will be offered, so you are assured that your AUP credits will transfer and fulfill equivalent coursework in the GW General Education Curriculum (Perspective, Analytics and Communication) or GW elective credit.

AUP offers a large selection of courses that will fulfill GW transfer recommendations. In the Paris Scholars Program you may choose the unique opportunity to explore several courses that incorporate Paris, France or Europe into the curriculum across a wide range of disciplines: history, political science, business, art history, and social sciences for example. And of course you may choose to build French language skills, or choose among several other languages offered at AUP.

Paris Scholar Program students will pre-register for courses online during the summer and prior to arrival. AUP will contact you about this process in May or June. During Orientation at AUP, you will meet with an AUP advisor familiar with your transfer path to GW so that your first few days at AUP are as straightforward as possible.


Confirming your participation

If you are interested in the Paris Scholars Program as a pathway to transfer to GW in your sophomore year, please let GW know as soon as possible. Instructions are included in your GW Declaration of Intent. You can authorize GW to release your application information directly to AUP; there is no further application or application fee. 

Once AUP receives your information, you will begin receiving pre-arrival information on housing, roommates, confirming your enrollment, life in Paris, payment plans, everything you need to prepare for your study abroad in France. 

AUP has 50 years of experience working with the families of students who are coming to live and study in Paris from the US and other countries and will do everything possible to make the process fast, efficient and as comfortable as possible.


Deadlines for confirming your participation

Space in the Paris Scholars Program is limited and you will need to have expressed your interest in attending by May 1st.  Expressions of interest received after May 1st will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The final deadline for confirming your attendance of the Paris Scholars Program will be May 15th.


Learn more

There are several ways to learn more about joining GW’s Paris Scholars Program, including consulting this webpage for regular updates on specific topics, including transfer requirements, course choice, orientation and housing.

Attend an Online Information Session (webinars) for students and their parents interested in learning more about the Paris Scholars Program:

  • The webinar for GW students will take place on April 10, 2019 at 8PM Eastern Time; Register Now
  • A general partner student webinar will take place May 2, 2019 at 8PM Eastern Time; Register Now

You may also wish to contact an admissions representative:


Student testimonials

"Being a part of the Paris Scholars Program has helped me grow as a person in ways that I never thought possible as a college freshman. I've learned how to communicate with people from different countries and of different cultures. Most importantly, I've learned how to be a college student in more ways than one. I've learned that a weekend doesn't always have to be at a party or club, but can consist in taking a train to Belgium with your friends. I've learned that there's a way to be both a college student and a global citizen, a quality that is integral as a GW student."

"Before this year, I never fancied myself an adventurer, but after taking a risk, grabbing my passport, and hopping on a plane, I’ve realized I want nothing more than to explore, engage with, and fully experience all the places I’ll go."

"I've learned, by attending classes with students from different backgrounds, that there are so many different ways to think and understand a concept, whether it be about world politics or media. Being able to broaden my horizons will help me be more open minded to others' thoughts and opinions, something that will benefit me in classes at GW. Being a Paris Scholars Student has been an amazing and life-changing experience."