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Fall 2020

Students Back in Paris for In-Person Fall Orientation


On Monday, September 21, 2020, incoming first-year, visiting and transfer students gathered in the Combes Student Life Center to kick off Fall Orientation 2020. Small groups of incoming students were paired with returning student advisors for an insider glimpse into life at The American University of Paris. Fall Orientation – a firm fixture of the AUP calendar – this year took on a new, symbolic meaning, as it was the first time students had attended an on-campus event since before France’s Covid-19 confinement period.

Many of the scheduled activities were Orientation staples, including a campus tour – complete with beautiful city views from the top of the Quai d‘Orsay Learning Commons – and an introductory talk from our Vice President and Dean of Student Services, Marc Monthéard, in the American Church in Paris. Throughout, staff and students were careful to ensure that AUP’s sanitary protocol – a vital set of measures designed to keep our community safe and healthy – was rigorously implemented; masks, social distancing and regular hand sanitizing were mandatory for all participants.

Other activities helped students familiarize themselves with their new home city. Groups stopped at the local cell phone store to set up phone plans that allowed free international calls home. Lunch was provided by AUP’s very own AMEX Café and enjoyed during a socially distanced picnic on the banks of the Seine river. In the evening, students took to the water for the annual Orientation boat ride, bringing in a new year at AUP in style.

Though in many ways this was an Orientation like no other, students were nonetheless excited to be starting the year on campus and in person. Many were looking forward to a new period of freedom and independence following months of mandated Covid-19 lockdown. AUP is ready to support and nurture our students whatever the new semester may have in store. For now, we’re thrilled to welcome all our community members – new and returning – back to campus.

View all photos from Fall 2020 Orientation. For more information about AUP’s sanitary protocol this semester, please check our "back to campus” news piece.