Diversity & Inclusion

CUPA seeks to help students thrive in an increasingly global world in which intercultural adaptability is an essential skill. 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 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, offering lenses through which to examine their personal views and biases, while encouraging 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.

Here are some useful resources for students who want to learn more about diversity and inclusion in the study abroad context and/or  in France:

Diversity Abroad — A great resource with student testimonials about many aspects of living abroad.

Bissai Media — A French website aiming to diversify and enrich the French debate around immigration, through firsthand stories and experiences.

Kiffe ta Race — A podcast about the relationship between race ad social class in France.

Centre LGBT — Association fighting for equal rights and against discrimination linked to sexual orientation or gender identity. It welcomes and supports members of the LGBTQI+ community, offering a space of conviviality, health and well-being.

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