Sweet Briar College JYF in Paris

About Us

A brief history of the Sweet Briar College, Junior Year in France program.

Sweet Briar College, JYF in Paris is the oldest coeducational intercollegiate study abroad program in Paris. Created in 1923 by the University of Delaware, the program was interrupted by the start of World War II and, in 1948, was taken on by Sweet Briar College.

The formula established by the University of Delaware is largely followed to this day. The Junior Year in France was endorsed by two agencies of the Institute of International Education in New York: The Council on the Junior Year Abroad and the Advisory Committee on the Junior Year in France, made up of representatives from the various partner colleges and universities.

At this time of great need for a better understanding between the peoples of the world,
a gathering of students in friendly exchange
between different countries, can make important
contributions toward
the international vision of human fellowship. The eyes of men and
women from every part of our shrunken globe lift toward the United Nations, struggling
to take the world forward on the difficult road to
peace. We believe that our sponsorship
of the Junior Year in France
is more than ever timely, and that students and their parents
will be
eager to give it support.
Source: Bulletin of Sweet Briar College, Volume 34, Number 4, December, 1951

These goals still ring very true today. Airplanes have replaced ships for travel to Paris, an academic focus on arts and the humanities has broadened to include the sciences, options now include internships and students may now spend a semester in Paris instead of the full year… but students still come from colleges and universities around the U.S., they are still housed with French host families and directly enrolled in Paris universities.

As then, “one of the principal objectives for all students is that broad outlook and deeper comprehension that come from the mastery of French and intimate contact with France and French culture.”

On the eve of its 70th year in operation, JYF in Paris continues its established tradition of excellence in study abroad, offering a full immersion experience for students with an advanced French level to students from colleges and universities around the U.S.

Since 1948 a total of 7,300 students representing 280 colleges and universities have been enrolled in the JYF in Paris program.


American Students in Paris, Sweet Briar Film Archives, 1956.

American Students in Paris, Sweet Briar Film Archives, 1956