June 27 – July 18 2023




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What is the Paris Summer School of Social Work ?

What a great experience –  immerse yourself in French culture, learn about social work from an international viewpoint, and meet cool people! – Leslie, Kennesaw State University Group Leader, Paris Summer School of Social Work 2022


This program provides an interactive education on social work practice in France using experiential methods that immersed me in the French culture and approach to social servicesKenya, Paris Summer School of Social Work 2022

Paris Summer School of Social Work 2023

Q & A Sign up to get more information about the session of 2023

  • Monday January 30th – 16:00 French time
Summer School Q&A
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About us

École Pratique de Service Social is one of the oldest schools of Social Work in France (1913)

Our Alumni have distinguished themselves for the past century by their significant contributions to Social Work in France and in the world.

The school is close to the Latin Quarter and breath-taking Luxembourg Gardens. It is surrounded by great cafés, restaurants and shops in one of the safest areas of the capital, day or night. The school is fully equipped to meet every international standard.

Our partners

Logo Erasmus+

Logo Generation Study Abroad


The Paris Summer School of Social Work is an intensive program focused on French social work intervention, delivered in English.

It aims to foster intellectual curiosity and prepare participants to work within a very multicultural and international society.

Through a targeted effort to increase awareness, Paris Summer School participants will be able to:

  • Appreciate and respect the cultural differences of individuals and groups
  • Develop ethics, knowledge and critical thinking skills
  • Understand the history of social work and its contemporary issues
  • Evaluate social work practice intervention in France within families, groups and communities
  • Contribute to making the world a better place through innovative social impact projects


The program is divided into multiple formats that include but are not limited to lectures, field visits, and professional placements.

  • Lectures are on-line or in-class, delivered in English by experienced teachers and social workers and may include guest presenters.
  • Field visits are delivered out of class, in English or translated from French into English.
  • Professional field placements are carried out in a choice of fields and topics (depending on participant’s level and placement options) in French, with an English speaker on hand.
  • Individual or group study provides time to work on social impact projects
  • Weekly debrief sessions go over field and placement experience and any issue that needs to be addressed.

Some reading an research will be expected before and during the program.


The program is an intensive immersion in French Social Work and way of life.

A typical day will start around 9 am and can end anytime between 5 pm or later, depending on social activities or placements, with the exception of one free afternoon a week.

  • There is one lecture and visit per day.
  • Morning lectures:  between 9:00 am and 12:00 pm. They are carried out in English.
  • Afternoons are dedicated to meeting active professionals in their own environment.
  • Placements: There are 2  days of professional placements during the program.
  • 1/2 day of street outreach
  • Personal work: in addition, each student should expect to undertake at least 1 hour of independent study per day.

Evenings are (usually) free for you to enjoy the great Parisian life.

Transferring Credit (outside Europe)

If you wish to transfer credit to your university of origin please have your international advisor contact us prior to your visit to see how we can help you.

Students may receive on request, a class sheet and a transcript at the end of their study period. It is agreed that this provides sufficient information to enable home universities to decide on the credit they wish to allocate and the grade(s) they wish to award to their students who studied at the Ecole Pratique de Service Social.

European Credit Transfer System (within Europe)

The program is credited 6 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System).


Oral presentations or written-papers are part of the general assessment program which will also include a final evaluation.

Debrief sessions

Weekly debrief sessions are organized to make sure everyone is coping with their international learning experience.

Prior to the program

On-line classes

Prior to the program, participants are granted access to the on-line learning platform (Moodle) as well as a Google Drive containing complementary learning resources  to help prepare for the first lectures and visits.

The subjects covered on-line are (to date):

  • Social work
  • Social policies and institutions (provides a broader view of French society)
  • Social work professions
  • Aging
  • Prostitution
  • Gender and diversity

Placement choices

Based on experience,  areas of interests and distance, applicants can choose their placements from a variety of agencies. These are available on-line mid-June and cover most areas of social intervention in France.


Participants are encouraged to increase their grasp of the language by using multiple, free on-line ressources.

Your summer school package includes a wide range of services and activities:

Global package

STUDY PERIOD E-learning, lectures, field visits, placements  YES June 27 July 18
ACCOMODATION Double or single standard room


 YES Extra fees apply for a single room June 26 July 23
TRANSPORTATION PASS Unlimited metro, buses, express rail YES June 26 July 31
AIRPORT PICK-UP Airport pick-up from airport YES Specific hours, arrivals only, on request June 26
MEALS Breakfast YES June 27 July 23
1 Orientation Day Boat-ride, visit YES June 27
2-day tour Transfers, hotel, breakfast, visits YES July 1 July 2
1 Museum Pass 48 hour unlimited cultural pass (covers all museums in Paris area, including Versailles) YES June 27 July 23
Social events Opening and closing ceremonies, some shared meals, international evening YES June 27 July 18
BONUS DAYS 4 BONUS days, stay for FREE YES Accomodation only July 19 July 23
PLANE TICKET Transport to/from home country NOT INCLUDED

 Extra-curricular activities

  • Meet & Greet
  • Orientation afternoon
  • Week-end tour (2 days – Tour includes hotel, transportation, tickets)
  • Opening and closing ceremonies
  • International evening
  • and a few additional surprises


Classes take place in our gorgeous 19th century building located in the heart of the Montparnasse area. It is located 10 minutes away by foot from the dorm and across the street from the Luxembourg Garden.



Housing is located at Foyer International des Étudiantes

93 boulevard Saint Michel 75005 Paris



Amenities include

  • Doorman 24/7
  • Rooftop view
  • Library and lounge
  • Internet
  • Small shared kitchen area(no cooking utensils are provided)
  • Non gendered bathrooms
  • Coin laundry and dryer
  • Sheets, bedding (no towels)
  • Weekly houscleaning
  • Elevator
  • NO air-conditioning


Paris Summer School of Social Work 2022

Paris Summer School was an incredibly valuable experience. I was challenged both personally and professionally, and genuinely believe the impact of the program will be long-lasting in both areas. These three weeks have been packed full of learning opportunities, wonderful connections, and great fun. It may be a lot of work to figure out the logistics to get here but, I assure you, it is well worth your time! I’m so glad I didn’t miss out  » – Anna.






(before Jan. 31)

ZONE A 1550 € 1650 € 1750 €
ZONE B 2050 € 2250 € 2450 €
ZONE C 2590 € 2840 € 3090 €



Professional social workers or faculty members affiliated to European universities may apply for STT Erasmus+ funding. Students may request an SMP or SMS grant from their home university (conditions apply). Please contact your international coordinator to receive the necessary information.


Ecole Pratique de Service Social does not provide any scholarships. You may consult your home university study-abroad advisor to see if some grants are available. American citizens may contact Generation Study Abroad for information or support.

Contact: www.iie.org


Inscription Summer School

Please take note that in order to take part in the Paris Summer School of Social Work Program you must be fully Covid-vaccinated in compliance with French Regulations.



The information provided below will allow us to send you the relevant contract proposal should your application be accepted.

Alumnus spotlight

Divya Iyer, alumnus 2022

I was 21, just completed my final semester of my Master’s in Social Work, but our final exams’ marks hadn’t been released yet. I wanted to explore social work in a setting different from what I’d been exposed to, so when the International Relations Office at TISS Mumbai mentioned this course, I attended the Q&A session, and then signed up immediately after getting more clarity on this programme.

Prior to the Summer School  I had a Bachelors’ in Social Work from Stella Maris College in Chennai, and was studying in my final year at TISS Mumbai, completing my Master’s in Social Work, when I heard about this programme.

What made you want to study Social Work?

When I was in high school, the school I was studying at took us on a few study trips, during which we were exposed to different communities in India, and got to understand and witness the difficulties faced in more rural and less mainstream communities, who weren’t spoken about or widely known about. We stayed at NGO headquarters and saw the work that was being done to help people attain autonomy, better livelihood opportunities, and the ability to advocate for themselves through a support system and better connection to resources and opportunities. This inspired me a lot, and when I realized I could choose a career that enabled me to do the same work, I was eager to do that.

Why did you want to take part in the Paris Summer School of Social Work?

Prior to participating in PSSW, I had only studied social work in India. While I felt that my understanding of social issues in my home country was nuanced and deep, I wanted to know more and broaden my horizons by understanding and exploring social work in a different country, and I didn’t know too much about social work in France and thought it would be a good opportunity. I hoped to be able to bring insights and learnings from what I’d seen in India to an international space, and to take back learnings from here as well, and to see if there were new approaches and perspectives I could apply.

Did the program influence your knowledge of SW?

I definitely know more about social work in France now, and it helped me contextualise what I knew about social work in India, too. Sharing experiences with other people from other parts of the world also helped me to better understand what was similar and what was different in our experiences and our home countries, and those kinds of realisations and parallels gave me a lot of new things to think about.

What impact did it have in other areas ?

I’ve made friends here whom I cherish, and think I will stay connected to for the rest of my life! I’ve learnt a lot from them, both professionally and personally, and am really glad to have met them and connected the way that we did.

 I also grew very comfortable and very fond of Paris, and of France, and know that I would like to come back someday, maybe like some of the PSSW alumni did. I’ve also begun learning French more seriously – I took an assessment test at Alliance Francaise in my city, and it turned out that I knew enough to clear A1, which made me really happy. I hope to be as fluent in French as I am in English and Hindi, one day.


What did the program change for you on a personal or professional level?

Professionally, I think I was surprised to see that there were a lot more similarities in terms of social issues, and how these are understood and the kind of solutions that are brainstormed for them. There were also approaches, such as the harm reduction centres for drug addicts, which haven’t been implemented or attempted back home, which I think would make a positive change to society, and have made me curious about how something like that can be brought to India, and what I could do to enable and facilitate it.

Personally, this was my first time being abroad entirely on my own, and not as part of a family trip, so there were a lot of decisions I had to make for myself, and a lot of adjustments that I needed to get used to. Being able to immerse myself in Paris and in French culture taught me a lot – I will always think fondly of all the museums and castles that we visited, during the summer school – but it also made me aware of things in my culture that I hadn’t realized were not universal experiences, such as needing to go to different supermarkets to get the spices that I used for cooking at home, which I had assumed would be easily available. It made me see a lot of things in a very different light.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m not sure yet! Right now, I’m working at SOS Children’s Villages of India, and I’m really enjoying the job and learning a lot of new things. I find the work rewarding and fulfilling, and am happy where I am. At some point, I would like to study further, to get a PhD in Social Work. I would definitely like to explore more opportunities that allow me to broaden my horizons and experience new things within the realm of social work. I’m figuring it out as I go along.

James Villanueva, alumnus 2018

In December 2022, the front door to EPSS buzzed and James Villanueva, a 2018 Paris Summer School of Social Work Alumnus walked in with a heartwarming smile. I immediately remembered him; he had been involved, generous and full of questions. As we sat down to chat about times gone by, I was curious, so many years after, to know what impact the Summer School had had on him.

In the spring of 2018, when James Villanueva pushed the door to Dr Delavega’s office in University of Memphis, little did he know that he was about to embark on a life changing adventure. He was expecting to discuss class credits for his upcoming Masters in a stately academic manner; instead, he received an enthusiastic invitation to embark on a study abroad summer progam he had never heard about. In Paris, France.

James was reluctant to join. After years of struggling to make ends meet, incomplete school education and plenty of discrimination, he had finally found his way and place in Social Work with a focus on the macro level. It was safe and predictable, research based. His path seemed written in stone.

So what was more was Paris going to provide?

James embarked in July 2018 with a cohort of students from Memphis, not expecting anything.

He found himself intensively immersed in a whirlwind of lectures, field visits placements and cultural activities. Then something happened. As he was serving meals to refugees in a repurposed skating rink with French Social Workers he realized how sincerely respectful their interactions were, how focused they were on preserving each individual’s dignity and overall how each person was treated without judgement. James recalls with clarity how he suddenly felt very small and humbled and in a way deeply connected with these men and women who had lost their homes in order to flee from danger and stay safe.

Everything he had taken for granted in the States shifted with the realization that another way of practicing Social Work was possible. It was this belief that he carried back home after the Summer School ended. He changed his whole Master’s study plan, switching from macro to micro level, training to be with people, for the people.

James graduated summa cum laude and went on to complete his Masters, in just eleven months.

As he was interviewing for his first job in a non-profit agency that provides unconditional care for individuals suffering from mental health and substance abuse issues, his future manager started the conversation by asking: “James, tell me about your social work program in Paris…”

Interview carried out at EPSS – December, 14th 2022



04/09/2019 Student spotlight Joshua Binang – University of Columbia

01/09/2019 Un été à la découverte du travail social français – Alter Ego

10/09/2018 « Projet innovant : échange d’étudiants autour du travail social » 2018 Réforme

27/07/2018 L’école du travail social à la française – Le Media Social

Meet the Team

Program Director

Claire Heijboer

Program Coordinator

Geraldine Umid

Pedagogical Coordinator

Alice Evain

Program Assistant and Logistics

Yvette Mosca


Guillaume Angelvy