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European Union Studies

Paris, France

Paris, France

Program sponsor: Northwestern

European Union Studies students visit the EU Headquarters
European Union Studies students visit the EU Headquarters
European Union Studies students listen to a session at the EU
European Union Studies students listen to a session at the EU

The European Union Studies program is designed to provide students with a solid understanding of the political background and current dynamics of the European Union. Courses familiarize students with the issues and conventions governing the European economy, the structure of the EU and mechanisms for negotiation, and the roles of and interaction between major EU institutions. Developed jointly by faculty from Northwestern and Sciences Po, this unique program comprises seminars, lectures, and excursions to EU sites of historical and political significance. Students also take intensive French language classes and visit historical and cultural sites in Paris and elsewhere in France.

Begin Application Process


This is a Northwestern program with a set curriculum, so students must enroll in the courses listed below. All courses and grades appear on students' Northwestern transcript and are figured into their Northwestern GPA.

POLI SCI 363-SA: The Political Economy of the European Union (1 unit)
Course Instructor: Francesco Saraceno

Students learn about the political production, structure, and regulation of economic activity in the EU. The course aims to familiarize students with the most important discussions and debates regarding the European economy, its attitude toward a globalized world, and economic governance.

POLI SCI 364-SA: French Politics, Culture & Society (1 unit)
Course Instructor: Michael Loriaux

This course provides students with an introduction to French politics in the framework of European integration. It addresses France's participation in European integration, while also exploring French identity politics, state institutions, and the development of French social policy. This is a required course for all students participating in Northwestern programs in Paris.

POLI SCI 365-SA: Decision Making in the European Union (1 unit)
Course Instructor: Bruno Vindel

This course offers an analysis of the European Union’s complicated institutional structure for political decision-making. Through a combination of lectures, a simulation of a negotiation, and visits to the European Commission and European Parliament, students become familiar with and critically evaluate the EU decision-making process.

POLI SCI 366-SA: The Dynamics of Law Making in the European Union (1 unit)
Course Instructor: Imola Streho

Students examine the dynamics of law making in the EU and conflict or balance between domestic and regional law. The course covers the constitutional foundations of the EU and the laws of the European international market.

FRENCH 199-SA or 299-SA: French Language (2 units)
Taught by French instructors at Sciences Po

While there is no language prerequisite to participate in this program, students are required to take intensive language training in French while in Paris. Three to four levels of language instruction are offered, depending on students' skill levels.

Program Requirements


Open to students from all majors meeting Northwestern's minimum application requirements.


No language background is needed.


Apply for permission to study abroad
All students are required to apply for permission to study abroad. Learn more about the process, deadlines, and access the application on the apply to study abroad page.

This Northwestern Program has a maximum enrollment capacity. If there are more applicants than spaces available, then admission to this program will be competitive. It is highly recommended that you include a second choice program in your Northwestern Study Abroad Application, in case you are not offered admission to this program. Listing a second choice program in your Northwestern Study Abroad Application does not affect your chances of getting admitted to this program. Review the admissions criteria and selection process for Northwestern Programs here.

Program Contacts

Estimated Credit

  • 6 Northwestern units 
  • Visit Registration & Credit to learn more about credit types and requirements, registration, and other considerations.


Accommodations and meal plan vary depending on selection.

Students will have two options:

  • Living with a French family in a homestay. The meal plan includes breakfast daily and dinners Monday through Friday.
  • Living in a shared, furnished apartment with one or two other Northwestern students. Students prepare their own meals.

Host Institution

Established in 1872, Sciences Po is one of Europe’s most distinguished and well-known schools of public affairs. The majority of France’s political leaders are alumni, including former presidents Jacques Chirac and François Mitterrand. The Paris campus, located near the Seine within walking distance of the Louvre, is the most famous of the seven Sciences Po undergraduate campuses located all over France. While the University primarily conducts classes in French, the education has a strong international dimension. Students are expected to study at least two foreign languages in addition to French, and many courses are offered in English. Almost half of the students are international students.


Northern France

On one of the first weekends of the program, students will travel to see the beaches of Normandy and the American and German cemeteries from World War II. The trip provides a great opportunity for students on the program to get an introduction to France and to each other.

Brussels, Belgium

Students will visit the European Commission in Brussels, where they will observe EU policy-making in action. Visits to the European Council and to NATO headquarters will also be scheduled if possible.

Strasbourg or Luxembourg

Students will also visit either the European Parliament in Strasbourg or the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Students will learn about the structure and function of these important European institutions and speak with representatives about the role of the EU in international politics, economics, law, and human rights.

Program Resources

Browse the program handbook for more detailed information about excursions, courses, and identity-based considerations. Note: This is the previous year's handbook and should be used for informational purposes only. Do not make and travel plans based off of the dates or information provided here. 

Review identity-specific information about Paris:

Program Cost

Study abroad program costs vary widely and may be more or less expensive than studying at Northwestern. Review the comparison.

Your Northwestern invoice will include your program fee, which covers tuition, housing with some meals, and international health insurance. Exact charges and estimated additional expenses vary depending on accommodations selected.

Fall 2019: $24,134-$25,134

(varies by housing selection)

Billed by Northwestern
  • Tuition: $13,564
  • Housing:
    • Homestay with daily breakfast & dinner:
    • Homestay with daily breakfast only:
    • St. John's University dormitory with weekday breakfasts:
  • GeoBlue: $180

Total: $17,644-$19,744

Estimated Additional Costs
  • Additional Meals: $1,800-$2,900
    (varies by housing selection)
  • Airfare: $1,500
  • Local Transportation: $400
  • Books & supplies: $200
  • Visa: $290
  • Personal expenses: $1,200

Total: $5,390-$6,490

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Program Financial Details

This section outlines some of the billing and financial arrangements for Northwestern Programs, and is intended as a guide to help you navigate the financial aspects of your study abroad process. You should always refer to your program materials for the most current information and instructions. Contact your study abroad adviser (listed above) if you have any questions.

Program Confirmation

Once you are approved to attend a Northwestern study abroad program, you will need to complete a Program Confirmation form to confirm your participation. Northwestern students admitted to Northwestern programs are not required to pay a confirmation deposit, but will be charged a cancellation fee for withdrawing from the program after confirming.

Northwestern Invoice

Your Northwestern invoice will be issued through CAESAR on the regular quarterly schedule, and will include your program fee, which includes tuition, accommodations abroad, all related program activities, and international health insurance. Your program's billable costs and estimated budget are outlined above.

If you receive financial aid and/or loans, these funds will continue to apply directly to your CAESAR account. If you were awarded a ULA scholarship, it will also disburse to your CAESAR account.

If you use the Northwestern 9PAY plan, you may continue to use 9PAY for your NU-billed study abroad expenses, but you should request a study abroad 9PAY estimate to have your plan set up appropriately. The 9PAY plan is not available for summer programs.

Student Visa Financial Certification

If you are required to obtain a student visa, you may need to provide documentation that you will be supported financially for the duration of your time abroad. This may require bank statements from your parents and/or a financial aid award letter; review your visa application instructions carefully to be sure you are providing the appropriate documentation, and contact ULA for assistance.

If you primarily fund your education through financial aid and/or loans, you may also contact Krista Bethel in the financial aid office to request a letter of financial support.

Withdrawal & Refund Policies

If you withdraw or are dismissed from a Northwestern Program after submitting your program confirmation form, you are subject to the withdrawal & refund policies for Northwestern Programs.