10 Reasons to Attend the Sorbonne’s Summer University



10 Reasons to Attend the Sorbonne’s Summer University

One of the most famous universities in the world, set in Paris’ legendary Latin Quarter, the Sorbonne is hosting a summer school from June 24 to July 19, 2024. Here’s why you should visit.

1. One of the oldest universities

The Sorbonne’s rich history dates back to the college founded in 1257 by theologian Robert de Sorbon. Its main purpose was as a faculty of theology – and its excellent reputation soon spread across Europe. By the 17th century, libraries and lecture theatres were created and in 1622 the college’s director Cardinal de Richelieu commissioned architect Jacques Lemercier to renovate and unite the disparate buildings. Over the centuries it has undergone various changes and developments, and today the Faculty of Humanities of Sorbonne University is one of the most comprehensive in the field of arts, languages, letters and human and social sciences.

2. Quality teaching

Internationally renowned teacher-researchers populate the departments of this illustrious university, and the summer school is no exception. Whatever course you choose, you are guaranteed the highest standards of learning.

© V. Hugo

3. An historic setting

Nothing could be more inspiring than heading to classes in the historic Sorbonne building in the heart of the Latin Quarter on the Left Bank. This historic part of Paris (straddling the 5th and 6th arrondissements) is so-named not after the Romans but because of the Latin spoken by academics back in the Middle Ages. To this day, the Latin Quarter is a hub of learning and is home to a number of other educational establishments alongside the Sorbonne. Full of cafés and bookshops (follow in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway at Shakespeare and Company) and home to the Jardin des Plantes, the Natural History Museum and the Panthéon, it’s a wonderful neighbourhood to explore.

4. Flexible learning

Worried you won’t have time to visit the wonders of Paris and do well in your studies? Fear not. Timetables have been carefully devised to allow for exploration and extra-curricular activities so you can truly make the most of your time as a student in Paris.

The main entrance to the university © shutterstock

5. An international experience

Studying at the Sorbonne guarantees a very French experience, bien sûr. But on top of that, you can expect a truly international flavour here and a chance to meet people from all over the world – 50 nationalities were represented at the summer school in 2023.

6. Wide subject choice

Choose from numerous subjects: classics or current events, French as a foreign language, literature, history, philosophy, geography, art history… whatever your area of interest, you’re sure to find a course to suit.

The historical building houses one of the oldest universities in France © shutterstock

7. Learn or improve your French

Why not take the plunge and throw yourself into an immersive French language course? As well as exceptional studying, you will be surrounded by the language in shops, on the Métro, at the cinema… it’s a wonderful way to learn a skill for life that will enhance your experience of this wonderful country each time you visit.

8. Experience French academia

Discover how a French university works and follow in the footsteps of some of the world’s most impressive students. Alumni include theologian St Thomas Aquinas, novelist Victor Hugo, radiology pioneer and two-time Nobel laureate Marie Curie, philosopher and writer Simone de Beauvoir and a couple of popes, to name but a few!

© V. Hugo

9. Make new friends

Like all universities, the Sorbonne has an active social calendar and one of the joys of attending its summer school is the chance to make new friends and experience fun new experiences with people of all ages.

10. Paris attractions

Being in Paris you are close to numerous cultural facilities, monuments, theatres and leading institutions, plus a renowned culinary scene. Right on your doorstep are world-famous sites such as the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, Notre-Dame, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe… the list goes on! Why not extend your stay and experience the magic of the 2024 Paris Olympics, which starts in the heart of the city on July 26?

You can visit Sorbonne Summer University’s website here.

From France Today Magazine

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  • Lionel Spencer-Ward
    2024-01-31 11:12:56
    Lionel Spencer-Ward
    An Englishman's view of the Sorbonne, with the parcour of my daughter. After successfully completing her Bac scientific she went on to the Lycée Marcelin Berthelot to complete a two year preparation course just to be able to take the entrance exams to the elite French universities. (Take note our American friends there are no shortcuts via football/athletics or paying ridiculously over priced fees., entrance is by academic merit only!) She is now in the third year of what she hopes will be a double masters in Process Engineering at the University of Technology of Compiègne. While this seems to have little to do with the Sorbonne with a little more inquiry we find both Lycée Marcelin Berthelot and the UTC are affiliated to the Sorbonne. In fact this this small invitation to a “summer course” is really a door to a truly enormous world network that is the Sorbonne University.