Centenary to send entire freshman class to Paris, "first in the nation"

October 07, 2013

SHREVEPORT, LA – Centenary College recently announced that students entering in fall 2014 will begin their college experience with immersive study in Paris, France. Centenary joins a very small number of colleges and universities across the nation that offers a shared international study experience to first-year students.

“In my experience, Centenary must be the first in the nation to do this,” said William Arceneaux, President of the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL) and the only person in American higher education to lead both public and private national university associations. “This unprecedented decision to send the entire freshman class to Paris will place the college in the international spotlight and result in bringing much-needed attention to Louisiana and its efforts to promote its French language heritage. This initiative can only be described in one way: formidable.”

The initiative is called Centenary in Paris and is part of the college’s new August immersive segment of the fall semester. The first course new Centenary students take will begin and end on campus and include 8-10 days in Paris. Each course will be taught by a Centenary faculty member, and the trip will be supervised by Centenary faculty and staff. The intensive learning experience will support first-year students in creating strong bonds with classmates and the college.

“Centenary in Paris is a meaningful way to introduce our incoming students to Centenary and its rich history in Louisiana,” said French professor Dana Kress, Chair of the Foreign Language Department and honorary consul of France for North Louisiana. “Both Centenary and Louisiana have deep cultural, educational, and governmental roots in France. Travel itself is such an education. As Mark Twain tells us, ‘Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.’”

Students entering in fall 2014 will be able to do more in their four years of college. Centenary’s new immersive segments in August and May will provide students the opportunity to earn up to 40 credit hours a year. Students will be able to spend more time on activities like international study, global service, original research, or getting a jump start on graduate or professional studies and still complete their Bachelor’s within four years.

“I am proud of the work of our faculty and staff in developing this very innovative implementation of our new immersive segments,” said David Rowe, President of Centenary College. “Intercultural experiences like Centenary in Paris help to deepen students’ understanding of and engagement in the world, giving them a greater ability to respond to complex global challenges. Centenary is developing leaders for a changing world by giving every student the opportunity to do more in four.”

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