2024 France study abroad program information

May 13 - June 14, 2024 (6 credits, four courses)
May 13 - June 4, 2024 (4 credits *first three courses) depart June 4th after exam


For nearly 40 years, the University of Iowa College of Law has operated an intellectually stimulating and culturally rewarding international and comparative law study abroad program in France.  The program begins in Paris where students spend several days visiting the courts and other institutions with speakers including prominent judges and lawyers. Participants then travel to Arcachon for the remainder of the program.  Arcachon is a scenic seaside town, ideal for study and exposure to French culture.  It is also located less than an hour from Bordeaux, a French city well known for its rich history and touristic appeal, where students will also visit the National School of Judges.



The cost of the program is $8,000 for 6 credits, which includes tuition and housing. A $200 nonrefundable deposit is due upon acceptance of your application. The remaining $7,800.00 (less the $200 deposit) will be charged to ubills, $2000.00 in May and $6,000.00 in June.  

For anyone taking only the first *4 credits, the cost will be $6,000. A $200 nonrefundable deposit is due upon acceptance of your application.  The remaining $5800.00 will be charged to ubills, $2000.00 in May (less the $200 deposit) and $4000.00 in June .

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE DEPOSIT WILL BE REFUNDABLE IF THE PROGRAM IS CANCELLED. Students will be housed in a hotel (to be determined) while in Paris, and the wi-fi equipped Villa Regina Hotel while in Arcachon, with the latter offering studio apartments or one bedroom (shared) apartments. The student budget provides the breakdown of other expenses besides the tuition. This budget is the amount students should approach their financial aid office about to determine their eligibility for financial aid.

Student scholarships received from the university during the academic year do not count towards programs costs.


American and French instructors will teach the courses. English is the language of instruction. Introduction to French Law I (week 1) is a prerequisite for Introduction to French Law II (week 2). The French Law I class will be held in a hotel conference room or law school for the first few days in Paris. In Arcachon, courses will take place at the Startway facility downtown, about a ten minute walk from the Villa Regina hotel. The program director and faculty use the program office in the hotel as well. Additionally, research assistants complete the staff.  The following courses will be offered in 2024:

*Introduction to French Law I ) (1 s.h. credit) 2023 Syllabus
Taught by Michaël Amado, Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Paris & Avocat a la Cour, Amado-Cabinet D'Avocats, Paris.  This one-unit course will introduce students to the laws of France, their characteristic features, and the role of France's main institutions. The subjects will include Civil Law, Contracts, Torts, Family Law, and Commercial Law.  As part of the course, we will visit Paris courts.

*Introduction to French Law II (1 s.h. credit) 2023 Syllabus
Also taught by Michaël Amado, this one-credit course will cover Criminal Law and Labor Law, including drafting exercises.  It will include a visit  to the Ecole of Magistrature National (ENM) (the National Judge School), the trial court, and appellate court in Bordeaux, and the Arcachon City Hall.

*Cross Border Civil Discovery (2 s.h. credit) 
Taught by June Tai, Clinical Professor and Director, Field Placement Programs at Iowa Law.  With increased globalization, transnational civil litigation is part and parcel of civil litigation practice for U.S. lawyers.  This course explores civil discovery in transnational disputes involving private parties.  It examines the U.S.  discovery process and compares it to how matters are handled in other countries.  This necessitates an understanding of treaties relevant to transnational litigation as well as a consideration of practical solutions to problems that may arise in the course of litigation.  The course  builds on the topics in first year Civil Procedure through a simulation of a lawsuit starting from early case assessment through deposition.  A portion of  time each day is spent examining the legal framework for transborder discovery; the remainder is spent on developing the concepts underlying the skills needed to conduct discovery in the context of a transnational dispute. 

(Optional) Law in the Muslim World (2 s.h. credit) 2023 Syllabus
Taught by Program Director Adrien Wing, University of Iowa College of Law Bessie Dutton Murray Distinguished Professor of Law, Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law Programs. This two-unit course will survey a selection of the various types of laws existing in the nearly 60 countries of the Muslim world. The subjects will include Islamic law; unwritten customary law; civil law including constitutional, commercial, and criminal law; international human rights law, particularly women's rights, and a case study on the right to self-determination; and public international law relating to terrorism.


Program Director
Dean Adrien K. Wing
The University of Iowa College of Law
Iowa City, Iowa 52242

Program Assistant
Andrea Flaherty


Any student needing accommodation should contact Dean Wing prior to submitting the application. France, like many European countries, has many older buildings that do not meet newer accessibility standards. The Villa Regina hotel where everyone will stay and the Startway building where classes are held are fully accessible, and some parts of  Paris and Arcachon are fully accessible. French trains, buses, taxis and many tourist attractions are not usually accessible. Students requiring assistance with flights should make requests directly through the airline.



The $200 deposit paid with submission of the program application is nonrefundable, unless the program is cancelled. The remainder of the program fee is nonrefundable after April 20, 2024, except in case of certifiable personal medical emergency or if the program is cancelled.

The program was cancelled in 2020, 2021, and 2022 due to COVID-19. The University of Iowa College of Law reserves the right to cancel the program should circumstances warrant such, including global pandemic, lack of sufficient registrations, or acts of war. In the event of cancellation, all fees and deposits paid will be refunded within twenty days of the cancellation. The program director will assist the students in finding another suitable program, if the students so desire and such programs are in operation.



Terrorism remains a worldwide potential problem. For up-to-date information about travel and security conditions, visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/France.html If the State Department issues an alert or warning applicable to France before or during the program, we will notify all participants. If a student withdraws prior to the commencement of the program due to an alert or warning, the student will receive a full refund of all monies advanced within twenty days of their withdrawal. If a student withdraws during the course of the program due to an alert or warning, or if the program is terminated, students will be refunded fees paid, except for room and board payments utilized prior to the date of termination or withdrawal.


Thinking about going abroad? Here are some comments from our students and alumni about the benefits of going abroad.

  • "The Arcachon trip was my first time traveling outside the United States. It was the best part of my summer and the most fun I’ve had at Iowa Law! The materials we learned were interesting and engaging and all of the experiences exploring a new country were amazing!"
  • "The Arcachon program really has something unique to offer for everyone, whether you’ve never been out of the country or you’ve been to France a thousand times. The program offers unique experiences that really make for a fantastic summer, and you get really close with every student that comes on the trip."
  • "The summer I spent studying abroad in Arcachon was one of my favorite experiences in law school. The course content was challenging but the setting offered a truly unique immersion in international law. I especially enjoyed the many school-sponsored trips, such as the visit to a courthouse in Bordeaux, and the world-famous Great Dune of Pyla (largest sand dune in Europe). Most importantly, the summer in Arcachon gave me an opportunity to make close and lasting connections with both the law professors who taught the classes and my fellow students. I think studying abroad also helped me in getting a job with a large international law firm after graduation. C’est tres bonne!"
  • "The Arcachon program compares to none; it is a program of first class. The intense coursework, VIP visits to French courts, and the beach at your finger tips is the perfect way to start your summer off before doing an internship.  This program is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am glad I made the decision to attend!"
  • "This was a truly wonderful program and I can't imagine a better experience to have had during my first summer in law school.  I have new perspectives to take back with me to law school and so much to talk about in interviews.  I learned so much in just a short amount of time and really feel I have grown both culturally and academically."
  • "The trip to Arcachon provides a wonderful opportunity to learn more about French culture, other ways of approaching the same issue, and taking a small break from the crazyness that was 1L year."
  • "I had a great experience.  This is a fascinating place and the classes were eye opening.  If you bring a significant other, it'll be a romantic time you'll long remember.  The friendships formed between students are far deeper than what you normally get in law school.  I highly recommend this experience."
  • "I loved this program.  It was a great chance to work collaboratively with other law students without the normal pressure of law school as you did not feel as if you were competing with them.  Additionally, it was a great opportunity to learn so many things -- whether from the Professors or each other -- in such a short amount of time.  Highly recommend to anyone!  And an excellent value!"
  • "The Arcachon program, as exciting and beautiful as it was, truly made me a better law student in a rigorous academic environment."