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Study Abroad in Paris

Deaf culture, history, and sign language in France

ASL 113 - French Sign Language and Deaf Culture in France (6 Cr.)

The ASL program at the University of Rochester, located in Rochester New York, offers a unique study abroad experience in France in Summer 2015 for Deaf and hearing college-level ASL students and professionals. This three-week program gives ASL users an opportunity to learn French Sign Language and French Deaf Culture in a formal setting and further their understanding of the international Deaf World.

The ASL program at the University of Rochester holds classes at the University of Sorbonne Paris III in Paris, France. A native Deaf French faculty member from UR is affiliated with several faculty members in the Deaf community and they jointly plan the program, schedule, and curriculum offered to ASL students and professionals.

This 6-credit program will focus on basic and advanced learning of conversational LSF (French Sign Language) and on field trips fostering a broad understanding of French Deaf Culture and general French Culture in Paris (week 1 and 2) and in regions beyond the capital (week 3). Students will attend classes on LSF and French Deaf History and Culture in the first week. They will also attend guided tours of culturally significant sights such as renowned museums, Deaf theater, Lyon and other villages and Deaf schools. All classes and tours will be conducted in LSF and International Sign. Study will begin before going to France, as students will receive the course syllabus and materials for review and familiarization. This will be built upon during the LSF and Deaf Culture classes in Paris, France.

Download a Printable Flyer [pdf]

Program Prerequisites

UR students must have successfully completed ASL 105 Intermediate American Sign Language. A Sign Communication Proficiency Interview is not required, but if applicants have one, it must be rated at the intermediate-level or above. Applicants’ sign language proficiency will also be evaluated by a conversation with the Program director, Professor Chastel. Learning written French is optional for this program. If you are interested in taking a written French course online at Gallaudet University, please contact Dr Mark Weinberg:

Program Deadlines

The deadline for application is March 30, 2015.

Download the Application Form [pdf]


Guillaume Chastel

MA in Deaf Education/Math, Gallaudet University, Washington DC, 1997
Lecturer for ASL 3, 5 and Deaf Culture
Workshops include: Math and Science Interpreting, ASL Numbers and fingerspelling, and other topics (since April 03')
Born in Paris and grew up in Aix-en-Provence in the South of France

Program Contacts

Professor Guillaume Chastel: (585) 286-2714 (VP),

UR ASL Program: (585) 273-5165,

UR International Study Abroad Programs: (585) 275-7532,

Program Date

All participants must arrive in Paris on May 31st. Please be in touch with our office at the University of Rochester as well as the instructor, Guillaume Chastel, to organize your arrival in Paris. All participants must meet at 8 p.m. on May 31st at the hotel. The course program will conclude on June 21st. Please make sure that your return flight leaves no earlier than Sunday June 21st.

Program Costs

The program cost is approximately $3,700. The cost includes accommodations in France, program-sponsored in-country travel, site visits, and field trips. Not included in this price are items such as the cost of roundtrip airfare between Rochester and Paris, books, academic supplies, passports, food, and other personal expenses. Estimated costs for lunch and dinner over the 21 days are a minimum of $300. Program costs are subject to change due to currency fluctuations, unexpected increases in transportation costs, program changes or University of Rochester policy changes.

Program Requirements

This program is open to any student who meets the academic prerequisites of the course and has at least 15 credit hours of university instruction. You must have a minimum of a 2.0 GPA to participate in any travel abroad program or be accepted upon special permission of the instructor. All participants require final approval by the faculty member. The University of Rochester also reserves the right to review conduct records as part of our application process and student conduct records are taken into account when making the determination on an applicant.

How to Apply

Students at the Eiffel Tower

To apply for the LSF and French Deaf Culture Summer Program you need to send us:

Program Continuing Education Credit for Professionals

If you would like to earn RID CEU’s for the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, contact Guillaume Chastel for information,

Photo: French Sign Language Study abroad students at Eiffel Tour in Paris on June 2015.