Mission & Partnerships

Our Mission

The Center for University Programs Abroad (CUPA), by virtue of its location in Paris, France and its partnerships with some of the world’s best universities, is part of a long academic tradition. The Program is committed to providing exceptional students with the highest quality international experience, both academically and personally. CUPA’s approach to intercultural learning is holistic and based upon the belief that the pursuit of knowledge is not limited to the classroom. To this end, the Program creates a framework of support that allows students to take full advantage of the opportunities available in Paris (masters-level coursework, internships, courses in a wide variety of disciplines, cultural experiences, host families, extra-curricular activities, etc.). CUPA seeks to help students thrive in an increasingly global world in which intercultural adaptability is an essential skill.

International education’s raison d’être is human connection.  The different perspectives, identities, and cultures of the CUPA student body, both current and past, and those of our faculty and staff constitute the terrain for connection – and growth – on every level.

Our students’ exposure to a different culture and the variety of their personal experiences while studying in Paris can provide invaluable opportunities for personal growth. However, the journey toward awareness must not be a uniquely individual one.

Our staff and faculty work toward promoting shared acceptance and appreciation of difference, and know that the connections between people and between communities, lay the groundwork for change and true intercultural understanding. Through our programs, our community, and the elaboration of our short and long-term goals, we are committed to promoting inclusion and diversity and to being part of a better world where difference is understood and embraced in all its forms, not simply tolerated.

Two important workshops are held each semester.  The first workshop, during Orientation, provides an overview of the diversity in France and current concepts under debate (islamo-gauchisme, laicité, feminicide, gender-related issues, anti-immigrant racism…) and investigates activism related to race, gender, and religion.  It is designed to help students understand certain constructs, offer lenses with which to examine their personal views and biases, encourage them to think about how to manage expectations, gain perspective and navigate the host culture.  A follow-up workshop is held later in the semester during which students may express their impressions of life in Paris, exchange about issues encountered and continue to explore questions of diversity, inclusion, and equity in the context of their semester abroad in Paris.

Our Professional Affiliations



The Association des Programmes Universitaires Américains en France (Association of American University Programs in France) was established in 2008 to act as a clearinghouse of information for and about U.S. programs in France. It aims to provide a forum and support network for directors and staff of U.S. programs in France, to foster collaboration by pooling resources and encouraging joint projects among members as well as with French partner institutions. The APUAF also represents members’ interests, viewpoints and concerns through active participation in international organizations, conferences and committees focusing on study abroad issues.

CUPA contributes actively to the resources and knowledge database made available by the APUAF. We believe that every student who studies abroad deserves to have a transformative experience regardless of the program they choose. By collaborating with other programs to continuously improve international education, we get closer to achieving this goal.

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The Forum on Education Abroad

The Forum focuses on developing and implementing standards of good practice, encouraging and supporting research initiatives, and offering educational programs and resources to its members. Its mission is to help to improve education abroad programs to benefit the students that participate in them. It is achieving this goal by establishing standards of good practice and quality assurance programs, improving education abroad curricula, and promoting data collection and outcomes assessment, all to advocate for high quality education abroad programs.

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