Sweet Briar’s JYF in Paris – America’s oldest coeducational intercollegiate study abroad program in Paris – names French woman as new director

Posted on March 05, 2016 by Joelle Ziemian

Sweet Briar College has named a French woman as program director of its renowned JYF in Paris coeducational program — a first for the College since its administration of the academic program began in 1948.

Marie Grée will serve as director of the JYF in Paris program effective July 1. Marie Grée will serve as director of the JYF in Paris program effective July 1.

After serving as permanent resident director of the intensive immersion program for 11 years, Marie Grée will manage the semester and academic year program, effective July 1, 2016. John Lambeth has served as interim director since July 2015.

“The Junior Year in France program has long embodied Sweet Briar’s core values: international education and the opportunity it provides students to attain a deeper understanding of economic, political and cultural issues from a global perspective,” said Sweet Briar College’s interim academic dean and vice president for academic affairs, Pamela DeWeese.

“Dr. Marie Grée brings to the position the experience of having been an international student herself, since she completed her Ph.D. at New York University. Her long association with JYF ensures that she will provide both needed continuity and an intimate knowledge of the program, as well as her expertise in international education. We are very happy that she has agreed to accept the director’s position and look forward to working with her in the years to come.”

Open to second-semester sophomores, juniors and first-semester seniors who have completed the equivalent of five semesters of college-level French and who have maintained a GPA of 3.25 in French, JYF students enroll in one of three universities in Paris — Sorbonne-Nouvelle, Paris-Sorbonne or Denis Diderot. JYF also offers a variety of in-house courses in language, culture, politics and art history. Students may also enroll in studio art, music and dance classes. JYF students take regular classes with French students. To complete the immersion experience, JYF students live with carefully selected French host families. Other housing options are also available. JYF organizes individual or group tutoring sessions in disciplines including art history, history, literature and political science.

In addition to academics, there are cultural excursions in and around Paris, including visits to museums and chateaux, as well as weekend trips to Normandy, Strasbourg and Provence.

Since 1948, more than 7,000 students from 280 colleges and universities have enrolled in the JYF program.

“I love working with our students here in Paris,” said Grée. “Watching even the best French speakers become absolutely fluent over the course of their time here never fails to amaze me. And beyond the language skills, they change as people — they come to Paris as Americans and leave as citizens of the world.”

Grée, who resides in the vibrant 11th Arrondissement of Paris with her husband and daughter, studied at Université Paris X and at Middlebury College. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from New York University, studying in the Department of French Literature. She has taught at Tufts University, Stanford University, New York University, Middlebury College and Hamilton College in Paris. Prior to joining Sweet Briar JYF, she was resident director for SUNY-Stony Brook College in Paris.

For more information about the Sweet Briar JYF program, visit jyf.sbc.edu.