Paris American Academy
Summer 4 weeks Subject Intensive I 2023
6 credits

PAA’s intensive 4 week July summer program offers students an immersive experience in creative and design fields. Students select from the following study tracks: Fashion, with concentrations in Couture Techniques, Design Process, or Merchandising and Communication; Interior Design; Fine Arts; and Creative Writing. Each program consists of 2 block-style courses for a total of 6 credits.

Application: closed
Closes: April 15, 2023
Apps accepted on a rolling basis, and after closing as space permits

Application Requirements
Complete online application
Personal statement (300-500 words)
Portfolio (see Portfolio Requirements)
Official transcript
Passport scan (photo page)
Digital photo (passport style)
EU privacy consent form


  • Intensive summer experience in a chosen area of study.
  • Students learn from an international faculty of industry insiders.
  • Fashion Design program focuses on the French couture tradition.

Program Dates
June 29, 2023 – July 30, 2023

Eligibility Requirements

Age: 18+

Academic Year: Freshman (1st year) or above

*contact SAI if you don’t meet requirements

Cumulative GPA:* 2.8 (on a 4.0 scale)

Subject Experience: Students should have demonstrated academic or personal experience in the area of study.

Creative Writing
Fine Arts
Interior Design

Creative Writing

0.0 Credits
Creative Writing Workshop | Course #: PAA CWW Sum1 | Open
Pre-requisite: One-time seminar.
This one-time seminar will take a practical and literary approach to writing dramatic works for the stage and screen. Writers will learn how these forms differ from other literary genres at both the practical and conceptual level. This class will also examine the intricacies of adapted versus original playwriting and screenwriting.
Contact Hours: 2
0.0 Credits
Creative Writing Workshop | Course #: PAA CWW Sum2 | Open
Pre-requisite: One-time seminar.
This end-of-month seminar will give students information, insight and strategies for getting their portfolio work published. Topics covered include literary agents, book publishing and periodical markets, as well as online publishing and new-media venues.
Contact Hours: 2
0.0 Credits
Creative Writing Workshop | Course #: PAA TBA1 | Open
Students will keep a notebook throughout the course, working in a variety of modes of journal writing. This notebook will become a source for more finished pieces in the other courses. Daily journal prompts, and in-class free-writing assignments will dovetail with independent student excursions in and around Paris.
Contact Hours: 2
0.0 Credits
Creative Writing Workshop | Course #: PAA TBA2 | Open
The drama of the spoken word is the focal point of this one-time seminar. Participants will learn how best to achieve the desired effect when reading their written work aloud; how to use and interact with the audience; how to convey meaning in all its nuance. We will also learn how to bring the lessons of reading aloud back to writing and revision, so that our work lands as we intend, and sounds like us, regardless of who’s reading it and where.
Contact Hours: 2
3.0 Credits
Creative Writing Workshop | Course #: WW 304 | Open
Pre-requisite: Required course for Creative Writing Workshop students.
Under the direction of Major Jackson and Robin Wasserman, this class will offer students an opportunity to write short fiction and poetry. Examining the student's own writing alongside published works, the workshop will present instruction in the essential elements of literary forms while providing each participant a community of readers to respond to his or her work. The fundamentals of publishing will also be addressed along with other aspects of succeeding as a professional writer.
Contact Hours: 45
3.0 Credits
Creative Writing Workshop | Course #: WW 305 | Open
Pre-requisite: Required course for Creative Writing Workshop students.
This workshop delves into the essence of nonfiction storytelling. Since the Paris setting is ripe for place-based narrative, travel writing will be a central aspect of this workshop, but students will also be encouraged to explore the art of personal essay and memoir. Though this class primarily aims to sharpen and evolve writers' instincts for constructing narratives, it will also touch on the practical matters of working with agents and editors, and submitting stories for publication.
Contact Hours: 45


3.0 Credits
Fashion Workshop | Course #: FC344 | Open
Pre-requisite: Basic English composition and fashion industry knowledge.
Subject areas : Fashion Reporting, Styling, Boutique Design Project, Textile Design Project, Global Retailing & Marketing.

Focus Area Overview: Fashion Merchandising and Communication participants will build on the interaction with industry professionals in the Essentials of French Fashion core, focusing on the European fashion market. At the end of the workshop, participants will have a portfolio of articles for publication, press releases, and power point presentations reflecting experiences gained through a series of lectures and on-site visits, guided by professors and guest lecturers who are practicing industry professionals. They will have experienced a hands on textile design technique: shibori and or nuno felting which they will apply to create an original textile design on a silk scarf.

Lectures and visits include: Fashion writing, Couture review, Fashion trends, Public Relations, The successful press release, Blogging and e-zine: Using the Internet as a communication tool, The Fashion Press in Europe, Luxury Industry overview, Concept stores and on-site visit to Collette, Visual merchandising, Fashion Advertising and Communication Tools, Branding, The fashion photo shoot.

On-site analysis of department stores such as: Bon Marche, Galeries Lafayette, Les Printemps, Left bank, Couture golden triangle Avenue Montaigne, Place des Victoires, Palais Royal, Galerie Vivienne, Le Marais and Place des Vosges.

Contact Hours: 45
3.0 Credits
Fashion Workshop | Course #: FMD944 | Open
Pre-requisite: At least 2 years of study or experience in fashion design including pattern-making, sewing and drawing.
Subject areas : Textile Design Project , Draping Workshop, Draping and Couture Sewing Workshop and Project, Millinery (hat making) development.

Focus Area Overview: Couture Techniques participants will build on the interaction with industry professionals in the Essentials of French Fashion core, focusing on couture fashion design techniques with an in-depth application. At the end of the workshop, Couture technique students will have developed a portfolio of original designs. They will have learned textile design techniques: applique, shibori, and nuno felting. Based on these techniques, participants create yardage of original textile design. In addition, they will create a draped bustier inspired by the Mme. Gres haute couture method.

Lectures, studios and visits include: Sourcing millinery supplies, fabric and components, Draping in fabric with the Madeleine Vionnet couture method, Creative couture draping in final fabric, Creating a bustier inspired by the Mme. Gres haute couture draping method, Textile design, Shibori, Nuno Felting, Original fabric design, Couture sewing techniques, Collection Development, Couture Millinery (hat making).

Contact Hours: 45
3.0 Credits
Fashion Workshop | Course #: FMD946 | Open
A core component of activities that provides an overview of the French Fashion Industry and lays the foundation for each specialization.

Subject areas: Haute Couture Fashion Shows, Haute Couture Sewing Techniques, Haute Couture Draping Techniques, Trend Forecasting, Historical presentation on the Evolution of Fashion, Whos Who in European Fashion, Collection Development, Millinery overview, Textile Design.

Haute Couture Shows: Haute Couture Shows during the first week of July, with limited invitations to backstage experiences such as dressing models for shows as well as opportunities to see some shows from the audience.
Guided visits to the following museums and exhibits: The Louvre, The Musee dOrsay, The Centre Georges Pompidou, The exhibition at the Musee du Textile and des Arts Decorative du Louvre, The Yves St. Laurent exhibit at the Foundation YSL.

Presentations by fashion industry professionals: Trend forecasting, Who'™s Who in the European fashion industry, Developing a Collection, The History of Haute Couture, Couture draping in the tradition of Mme. Gres, The evolution of draping as a design detail, Working in haute couture, Millinery (Hat making) for Haute Couture, Shibori Dyeing and Nuno Felting for Fashion Design.

Contact Hours: 45
3.0 Credits
Fashion Workshop | Course #: FMD948 | Open
Pre-requisite: Up to 2 years of study or experience in fashion design including pattern making, sewing and drawing. Basic knowledge of the fashion industry.
Subject areas: Retail Product Development, Textile Design Project, Draping and Couture Sewing Project, Millinery workshop (hat making).

Focus Area Overview: Design Process participants will interact with industry professionals in the Essentials of French Fashion core, exploring components of Fashion Design and retail product development. By the end of the workshop, Design Process students will have a good understanding of the luxury retail industry, and will have developed a portfolio with a trend board, sketches of original designs, and a product development trend power point. Textile design techniques included in this session are applique, shibori, and nuno felting, used in the creation of an original textile design on a silk scarf and an accessory with applique.

Lectures, studios and visits include: Luxury Industry overview, Sourcing millinery supplies, fabric and components, Draping in fabric with the Mme. Gres haute couture method, Draping in fabric with the Madeleine Vionnet couture method, Textile design, Shibori, Felting, Couture sewing techniques, Couture Millinery (hat making), The fashion photo shoot, Concept stores and on-site visit to Collette
Fashion Design and the Merchandising Process

On-site analysis of department stores such as: Bon Marche, Galeries Lafayette, Les Printemps

On-site retail analysis: Left bank, Couture golden triangle Avenue Montaigne, Place des Victoires, Palais Royal, Galerie Vivienne, Le Marrais and Place des Vosges.

Contact Hours: 45

Fine Arts

3.0 Credits
Fine Arts Workshop | Course #: BA 305 | Open
This course explores different painting techniques by allowing students to work on individual painting projects, based on their experience in Paris and according to their levels and abilities. Through a structured process involving both conceptual and visual development, the student will learn how to structure the process of visualization from an initial idea through to the final painting. Technical work is furthered in relation to the requirements of the project. This course is taught through studio classes with intensive individual attention, slide lectures, and practical demonstrations, as well as through personal and group critiques.
Contact Hours: 45
3.0 Credits
Fine Arts Workshop | Course #: BA 306 | Open
This course focuses on gathering research from Paris in the traditional form of sketching, focusing on the museums, streets, and environments of Paris as artists have done for centuries. This includes working from sculptures, paintings, architecture, and formal gardens, in addition to capturing life in the streets and markets. In studio sessions, students will also draw from a live model. Students will be encouraged to write notations and observations as well as to research their areas of interest, and they will gain firsthand knowledge of original works by studying them in person. They will create professional sketchbooks that can be used as source material for future projects, in addition to furthering their drawing and painting skills. This course is taught through a combination of on-site visits to locations and museums throughout Paris with sketchbooks in hand, and studio classes that will focus on figure drawing and model sketching. Specific projects will be set in order to explore different techniques and the methods required when drawing with pencil, watercolor, colored pencils, and ink pen.
Contact Hours: 45

Interior Design

3.0 Credits
Interior Design Workshop | Course #: ID 346 | Open
This course presents a practical and hands-on approach to the interior design profession. Lectures with slide, video and Power Point presentations are enhanced with visits to parisian architecture, historical and contemporary sites, furniture, and fabric stores. The course also introduces the student to space planning, furnishings, color development, and materials selection. Individual or special interest designs presented in interior design studio problems and solutions.
Method: lectures, visits, practical workshop classes with intensive, individual attention. Personal and group critiques.
Contact Hours: 45

Fashion Concentration:

  • Specialization in Couture Techniques: Mini-portfolio including 5 sketches and 3 – 5 photos of garments and/or hats that you have made. Emphasis should be placed on following pieces from sketch, draping to completion, and final photos should include interior seams.
  • Specialization in Design Process: Mini-portfolio including 5 photos of sketches and 3 photos of garments and/or hats that you have made.
  • Specialization in Fashion Merchandising and Communication: no portfolio required.

Fine Arts Concentration:

  • Photos of 5 sketches and photos of 3 completed paintings.

Interior Design Concentration:

  • Photos of 5 sketches and photos of 3 completed design works.

Creative Writing Concentration:

  • Writing samples of your best work in your strongest genre. Please submit ONE of the following:
    • 3-5 poems
    • One short story (fiction or non-fiction)
    • One four-page treatment and opening 10 pages of screenplay
    • One chapter of a novel with a brief synopsis.
    • If published, please add copy of published piece with date and name of publication attached.

Students choose one of the following study tracks for an intensive and unique 4 weeks:

Fashion: Fashion program students enroll in a foundational course “Essentials of French Fashion”, which takes students on numerous site visits and allows the option for students to get involved in fashion shows. The second course is selected from the three Fashion specializations below:

  • Couture Techniques (focus on Grès technique)
  • Design Process
  • Merchandising and Communication

Interior Design: Interior Design students participate in hands-on studio work in Interior Design and Design Techniques while preparing for an end of program presentation of works accomplished. Students complete the following courses:

  • The Essentials of Interior Design
  • Interior Design Studio: The Floating House Project

Fine Arts: Fine Arts students get significant hands-on studio experience in Painting and Drawing. Courses often take students out of the classroom to paint from views and museums. Students complete the following courses:

  • Painting Studio
  • Paris Sketchbook, Drawing from the Masters

Creative Writing: The intensive Creative Writing workshop provides students the opportunity to learn from masters in the field. Please note that this program carries a different cost. Students complete the following courses:

  • Literary Fiction and Poetry
  • Non-Fiction
  • Optional elective courses include: The Paris Notebook (Journal Writing), Presentation and Performance, Plays and Screenplays, and Submissions and Publication.

Courses & Schedule
PAA summer courses are block-style and meeting times vary each week. Please note that, due to the compressed timeline, some courses occur on weekends. Upon acceptance into the study track students are automatically registered in the two courses that comprise the track.

Pre-Departure Calendar
April 15 2023
Application Closes
Applications accepted after closing as space permits.
Within 1 week of acceptance
SAI Deposits Due
$500 Confirmation Deposit (applied toward program fee)
$300 Security Deposit (refundable)
March 15 2023
SAI Scholarship Application Deadline
Students wishing to apply for an SAI scholarship must have all application items submitted by 11:59pm Pacific Time on this date.
March 31 2023
50% of Total Program Fee Due
Students who are accepted and submit SAI deposits after this date will have an amended pay schedule. Either 50% or 100% of Program Fee will be due within 5 business days, based on the deposit payment date.
April 30 2023
SAI Financial Aid Verification Deadline
Students wishing to defer payment until financial aid disbursement must submit the financial aid verification forms to SAI by this date.
April 30 2023
Balance of Total Program Fee Due

On-Site Calendar
June 29 2023
Arrival & Housing Check-in
Students arrive at Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport. SAI airport pickup is provided between 9:00am and 12:00 noon, and students are transferred to their SAI housing.
June 30 2023
SAI Orientation
Mandatory SAI orientation is held at the SAI Paris office and introduces students to their city while covering safety, policies, housing, and culture.
July 2 2023
PAA Orientation & Classes Begin
July 29 2023
Final Exams & Classes End
July 30 2023
Program End & Housing Check-out
Students must move out of SAI housing by 10:00am to return home or pursue independent travel. 
SAI Program Fees* USD
Application Fee $120
Security Deposit
Refundable at the end of the term.
Program Fee: Fashion, Fine Art & Interior Design
Includes tuition, standard housing and SAI 360° Services (see What’s Included).
Program Fee: Creative Writing
Includes tuition, standard housing and SAI 360° Services (see What’s Included).
Optional / Additional Fees:  
Optional Homestay Housing Supplement
Homestay housing in a private room. Includes daily breakfast and 3 or 5 dinners/week.
3 dinners: – TBA
5 dinners: – TBA
International Mailing Supplement
When applicable, students are charged an international mailing supplement to ensure visa paperwork arrives in a timely manner.

*prices are subject to change

Note: certain SAI-affiliated US universities require specific payment arrangements. These may require that some fees are paid by the student directly to SAI, and other fees are paid to SAI by the affiliated university on behalf of the student. If you attend an SAI-affiliated university please contact your study abroad office or speak with your SAI Admissions Counselor for details.

Budget Low Est. High Est.
Airfare to/from Paris
$900 $1,200
Books, Supplies & Course Fees
$100 $450
Includes groceries and eating out.
$400/ month $800 / month
Personal Expenses $350 / month $450 / month
Transportation within Paris
Public transportation with some taxi rides.
$125 / month $150 / month
Weekend Travel
Cost varies greatly by student.
$300 / month $1,000 / month

This is a SAI 360° Services Program; it includes our full services!

  • Program tuition and U.S. academic credit
  • Accommodation in carefully selected student housing
  • Airport pickup and transportation on arrival day
  • Welcome reception and events
  • SAI orientation to the host city and school
  • SAI staff on-site dedicated to fostering a welcoming community for all students by providing assistance to diverse needs
  • SAI Viva Experience: frequent cultural activities & trips outside host city
  • Student health insurance providing full coverage and medical emergency evacuation
  • 24-hour on-site emergency support
  • Farewell event with all students

Pre-departure and Re-entry services

  • Personal assistance from your dedicated Admissions Counselor
  • Helpful pre-departure tools and resources
  • Online student groups to acquaint you with other SAI students
  • Assistance with student visa application
  • Assistance with financial aid processing
  • Need-based SAI scholarships
  • Paid registration fees for national re-entry conferences
  • SAI Ambassador Program for SAI alumni, with paid internship opportunities
  • SAI alumni network

SAI offers all students the Viva Experience: frequent cultural activities, at no extra cost, for participants to get to know their community, city and country. Following is a sample of the activities included in this program. Please note that actual activities may differ.

Welcome Lunch & Walking Tour
Students are welcomed to their new city with a delicious lunch and walking tour of the many Parisian sites, including the Eiffel Tower and the Champs de Mars.

Le Marais Walking Tour & Dinner
Students take a guided stroll through one of the most fashionable neighborhoods in Paris: Le Marais! The district is known for much more than its colorful vintage shops and food, but also for its rich history and culture.

Bateaux Mouches
On this activity, SAI students explore the heart of Paris by boat! Students enjoy a cruise on one of the city’s iconic Bateaux Mouches and take in Paris’ beautiful architecture from the water.

Visit to the St. Chappelle & the Conciergerie
Students visit two incredible feats of Parisian architecture. The St. Chappelle was the chapel to the kings of France and is known for its remarkable stained glass, which remains some of the most intricate in Europe. Just a few steps away from St. Chapelle students also visit the Conciergerie, which once imprisoned Marie Antoinette.

Day Trip to Deauville
Students take a 2 hour train ride to the beautiful coastal city of Deauville. Founded in the 19th century by the Duke of Morny, Deauville was meant to be the “elegant kingdom” close to Paris, and is known for its architecture and beautiful beaches.

Open Market Tour with Tastings
Le marché, or outdoor market, is a tradition at the heart of Parisian life, providing the city with a focal point for social interaction and culinary inspiration. Students take a tour of the celebrated market, and learn about its neighborhood and history. Students also receive tips on how to select the best fruits and vegetables, according to the season.

Farewell Evening Picnic
Students celebrate the end of a successful summer abroad and say their goodbyes over a typical French picnic along the Seine.

Please note: PAA summer workshops are intensive and frequently require students to work on weekends. SAI tries to make activities available to all students, but for scheduling reasons it may not be possible for PAA students to participate in every SAI activity. Please contact your Admissions Counselor with questions.

Standard Housing: Student apartment
SAI student apartments are convenient and well equipped, with private occupancy bedrooms. Typical residences house 2 – 8 students and contain a combination of kitchen, bathroom(s) and living areas. Furnishings, a washing machine, basic kitchen supplies, bed linens and towels are provided. All apartments are equipped with wireless Internet. Housing configurations are designated as female, male, and in some locations, gender-inclusive. SAI on-site staff is available to respond to any maintenance needs that may arise.

Optional Housing: Family homestay (additional fee applies)
Students choosing the homestay option will be placed with a local family, which could be an older couple or a family with children. SAI homestay families are thoroughly screened and are accustomed to welcoming visiting students into their homes. Homestays provide a private bedroom in the family home with basic furnishings. Wifi is included, as is access to laundry facilities. Students opting for this more immersive housing get breakfast included as well as the option of a certain number of dinners per week (cost varies).

Passports should be valid for 3 months after planned return from France.

Student Visas
In accordance with French law U.S. students studying in France for 90 days or less are not required to obtain a student visa. Therefore all U.S. students do not require a student visa for this program. Non-US nationals should consult their local Consulate for information on student visa requirements.