Today's students are tomorrow's ambassadors for creating future change. 

 

Our Mission

To facilitate access for outstanding, motivated students from diverse backgrounds to obtain support and funding opportunities for immersive studies in Paris, France and La Francophonie.


7% of American adults cite school as their main setting for language acquisition.
— pewresearch.org

our story

SOMETIMES IT'S A HISTORY LESSON OF THE KINGS OF FRANCE, A PHOTO OF THE EIFFEL TOWER, OR A TASTE OF FRENCH CUISINE. AND YOU'RE HOOKED. A TOTAL FRANCOPHILE. IT IS NOW YOUR DREAM TO LEARN FRENCH AND LIVE IN FRANCE.

But sometimes no matter how advanced your language skills are, how good your grades are, it's not enough. Universities and colleges are there to prepare students for the profession of their choice. Classes and even majors have been created to meet the increased globalization and need for internationally adept professionals. But when a new college graduate applies for a position in an international firm, who is more qualified? An applicant who took a cultural awareness class or one that lived a year in France? 

Study abroad is too often seen as a luxury allowed to a privileged few. Only one in ten undergraduates can fund the opportunity to go abroad as universities are increasingly limiting the use of institutional aid for this purpose. Too many students, with such strong French language skills, have turned down an opportunity to study abroad because of finances. Some judicious parents may already know and recognize all of this and have the money saved to make this possibility a reality for their child. But what happens if they don’t and they can't?  

VIA Paris/APA Foundation was created in 2017 by a French former Fulbright scholar, Claire Suraqui, whose grant led her to the United States to learn, then teach.   

After completing her Masters and Fulbright, Claire taught French at a university in Boston, that had a Junior Year Program in France. Inspired by her years abroad and subsequent travels, Claire started her own study abroad program in Paris so students could integrate and immerse themselves in a culture they love and improve their French all while receiving a complete academic experience.  

A true explorer and nomad, Claire doesn’t visit new places, she lives completely immersed in her surroundings. This desire of immersion and cultural understanding means that she adapts to each country or locale and when she leaves, she knows she not only lived there, but she would wish to return and stay. One cannot simply visit and say they have been, they must live and relish in what they have learned. 

In creating the VIA Paris/APA Foundation, Claire's goal is to allow students the opportunity not just to travel to Paris, but to truly gain a profound understanding of the place they are at and the planet they are on. Mirroring the values at the heart of the study abroad program Claire created, the Foundation will seek to help students gain the same experience: 

  • Discover, in-depth, another culture 

  • Learn to accept others and cultivate an open-mind 

  • Successfully navigate a true immersion and live like the French 

  • Become a citizen of the world and understand the importance of communication and sharing in an ever changing and difficult time 

It's not enough to rely on institutions to change their policies or for the government to increase funding. The VIA Paris/APA Foundation relies on individuals and private entities who recognize the importance of learning French in an immersive environment and educating students today on the importance of knowledge and culture.  

Our community that we have created is here to show students that we believe in them, their goals, and their dreams.