Cultural Immersion

The CUPA Paris program provides students with a gate key to Paris, one of the world’s most exciting cultural hubs. With the resources CUPA provides, students cultivate a love for the French language and a sense of “la vie à la parisienne,” which creates a valuable arena for an unparalleled amount of personal growth.
Lauren Johnson, Willamette University

Having inspired generations of writers, artists, thinkers, and flâneurs, Paris remains synonymous with artistic creation in all of its forms. World-class theaters, museums, galleries, cinemas, and alternative cultural spaces are spread across the city’s landscape making it easy to integrate culture into one’s everyday life. Exposure to French culture is an integral part of a student’s experience and the Program ensures that they have access to a wealth of cultural actives during their time abroad. Thanks to a plethora of extracurricular opportunities, students get to explore another facet of Paris and of France. All CUPA-sponsored cultural activities are included in the program fees for CUPA Study Abroad and CUPA Summer.

Cultural Program

Each term, CUPA students receive tickets to a large variety of shows in some of Paris’ most legendary theaters. These shows include concerts, classical ballets, operas, contemporary dance, plays… Below is a non-exhaustive list of CUPA-sponsored events that students have had the privilege to attend.

Così fan tutte

Così fan tutte

Opéra de Paris - Palais Garnier

Prompted by Don Alfonso, a cynical old philosopher, two young idealists decide to put their lovers’ fidelity to the test. But love will teach them a bitter lesson: those who believe themselves phoenixes and goddesses will discover the desires of the flesh… In 1790, one year after the French Revolution, in what would be their final collaboration, Mozart and Da Ponte conduct a scientific investigation of love.

Le Misanthrope

Le Misanthrope

Comédie Française

For Molière, 1665 – the year when The Misanthrope was written – is a year of betrayal: that of Racine, who gave his tragedy Alexander the Great to the troupe of the Hôtel de Bourgogne, after the failure of its first production by Molière’s troupe at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal. Can one detect autobiographical resonances in Alceste’s black humour, who, to hate one person, decides to hate the whole world? Clément Hervieu-Léger, a pensionnaire at the Comédie-Française who this season is staging Marivaux’s Le Petit-Maître Corrigé, explores the temperament of the “cantankerous lover”, his struggle against the weariness of self and loneliness.

Pièces / Ambra Senatore

Pièces by Ambra Senatore

Théâtre des Abbesses

In the falsely realistic apartment of Ambra Senatore, the head of the Centre Chorégraphique National de Nantes since 2015, funny things happen. With a surrealistic and elliptic temperament, the Italian creator of this piece of dance-theatre that’s threaded with absurd antics knows better than anyone how to break with appearances to get to the heart of a subject. This show entitled Rooms should break the effects of the stage into pieces.

Le Songe d'une nuit d'été

Le Songe d'une nuit d'été

Opéra de Paris - Bastille

In 1962 George Balanchine created his version of Shakespeare’s comedy for New York City Ballet. Faithful to the Bard’s vocabulary whilst adding a subtle touch of pantomime, he portrays a complex love story in two acts and six scenes. Theseus, Duke of Athens, and Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, become caught up in a domestic quarrel between the king of the elves and the queen of the fairies which results in the intervention of the mischievous Puck and his magic potion along with a troupe of amateur actors. One of George Balanchine’s rare narrative ballets, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is entering the Paris Opera Ballet’s repertoire. The sets and costumes for this production have been designed by another magician of the stage, Christian Lacroix.

20 000 lieues sous les mers

20 000 lieues sous les mers

Théâtre du Vieux Colombier

When younger, Christian Hecq dreamed of becoming a physicist. He is fascinated by astrophysics and old mechanical devices, a scientific curiosity that was first aroused in him by reading Jules Verne. This sociétaire of the Comédie-Française also has a passion for puppetry. He learned the art of puppet manipulation and then met Valérie Lesort who practices the art of puppet-making. Together, they decided to adapt 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, a classic of fantasy literature. And indeed, what better medium is there than puppetry to represent the fish, giant octopi and luminous jellyfish of the ocean deep? Combining elements from black light theater, puppetry and hybrid puppets, the sea monsters become disconcertingly realistic and seem to levitate. This extraordinary technical expertise will be channeled into a work that has left no generation indifferent since its publication in 1869-1870.

le syndrome ian

le syndrome ian by Christian Rizzo

Théâtre National de Chaillot

The feverish mood of clubs echoes the galvanizing voice of Ian Curtis, singer with the postpunk cold wave band Joy Division. The premise of the piece is the memory of a first “night out at a club” at 14, on the bustling London scene. Christian Rizzo does not so much reconstruct this major event or adapt the ambiance of the time as he recaptures the sense of groove and its collective intoxication in a vibrant stage production reminiscent of his latest hit d’après une histoire vraie.


CUPA Activities

In addition to the cultural program, CUPA regularly organizes a variety of student-life activities that include trips, picnics, soirées and visits to encourage students to look beyond their classes and better acquaint themselves with French culture and with each other. These activities are included in the program fees for CUPA Study Abroad and CUPA Summer.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of past student-life activities :

  • Weekend trips to Avignon, Arles, Strasbourg, Loire Valley…
  • Day trips to Fontainebleau, Reims, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Rouen…
  • Pétanque outings
  • Walking tours of Paris’ most emblematic neighborhoods
  • Study breaks, karaoke, crêpe parties, arts&crafts
  • Live taping of the satirical news show “Le Quotidien”
  • Soirées (Franco-American mixer, End-of-semester reception…)
  • Ciné-club
  • On-site conferences
Visiting Château Vaux-le-Vicomte

Visiting Château Vaux-le-Vicomte

Capturing the Strasbourg Cathedral

Capturing the Strasbourg Cathedral

Crêpe break at CUPA

Crêpe break at CUPA

Memories from the semester

Memories from the semester

Ceiling detail at the Château de Fontainebleau

Ceiling detail at the Château de Fontainebleau

At the Château de Chenonceau

At the Château de Chenonceau

Exploring Arles

Exploring Arles


CUPA Student-Life Calendar - Spring 2018

January 18 (Thursday)
Soirée Franco-Américaine
January 19 (Friday)
End-of-Orientation Lunch
January 20 (Saturday)
Day trip to Rouen
February 1 (Thursday)
Dystopian Dream by Wang Ramirez and Nitin Sawhney at the Théâtre de la Ville (Espace Cardin)
February 9 (Friday)
Preview screening of a film by Isidore Bethel, CUPA alum Spring 2010
February 12 (Monday)
Rafal Blechacz at the Philharmonie de Paris
February 13 (Tuesday)
Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Opéra de Paris, Bastille
February 14 (Wednesday)
Crêpe Party and Board Games !
February 17 (Saturday)
Walking tour of Montmartre
February 19 (Monday)
Le Petit-Maître corrigé at the Comédie Française
March 5 (Monday)
Titan at the Philharmonie de Paris
March 10 - 11
(Saturday and Sunday)
Weekend trip to Lyon
March 13 (Tuesday)
Live taping of the satire news show Le Quotidien
March 14 (Wednesday)
Quelque part au milieu de l’infini / New School by Amala Dianor at the Théâtre des Abbesses
March 19 (Monday)
Daphnis et Chloé by Benjamin Millepied and Boléro by Maurice Béjart at the Opéra de Paris, Bastille
March 21 (Wednesday)
The Great Tamer by Dimitris Papaioannou at the Grande Halle de la Villette
March 22 (Thursday)
Mass by Leonard Bernstein at the Philharmonie de Paris
March 26 (Monday)
Sunny by Emanuel Gat and Awir Leon at Cité de la Musique
March 28 (Thursday)
Mozart, Mahler played by the Orchestre de Paris at the Philharmonie de Paris
March 29 (Thursday)
Karaoké Study Break
March 29 (Thursday)
(B) by Koen Augustijnen and Rosalba Torres Guerrero at the Villette
April 3 (Tuesday)
Orphée et Eurydice at the Opéra de Paris, Garnier
April 5 (Thursday)
Le Domino noir at the Opéra Comique
April 8 (Sunday)
Pétanque and apéro
April 9 (Monday)
Sunwook Kim at the Cité de la Musique
April 10 (Tuesday)
Clowns by Hofesh Shechter at Théâtre des Abbesses
April 12 (Thursday)
Du désir d’horizons by Salia Sanou at the Centquatre
May 2 (Wednesday)
The Ballet de l'Opéra de Lyon at the Théâtre de la Ville (Espace Cardin)
May 17 (Thursday)
End of semester cocktail party