how NOT to enroll in the sorbonne: a cautionary tale

My plans have again drastically changed, and I’ll be taking a French Civilization course in the Sorbonne for the fall. It’s a program of the University of Paris IV: Paris-Sorbonne, but it’s not part of their regular curriculum. I really WANTED to enroll as a regular third-year student and take a regular curriculum, but I made a few harrowing discoveries upon talking to their Acceuil des élèves:

– If you’re from the U.S. (and other countries with four-year college systems):
To transfer in as a third-year Sorbonne student, you need to have completed your fourth year at your American college. French kids do three years of undergrad then go on to their Master’s, so this apparently makes perfect sense.

– So I had to have enrolled as a first- or second-year student. But for foreign students, registration to enter a given year as a first- or second-year student ENDS IN JANUARY. Compare this to the regular enrollment process, which starts in fucking JULY. The extra seven months seems to be due to getting a carte de séjour, but it’s French bureaucracy, they’re probably just trying to screw foreign students over.

Thus, I will now be paying €2,250 for three months of a single French class instead of €471 for an entire year of university.

France, I LOVE it when you screw me. You do it slowly and take a lot of time, but when you finally bring me to a climax, I’m completely helpless in your grasp and it takes all of my willpower not to scream out loud.


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This is a blog of things place-related, by a cash-strapped Stanford grad who's lived in various places and writes about life. She's currently looking for a job in Manhattan or the Bay Area.

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