Living Latin in Paris Admission Information


You have been accepted to participate in Living Latin in Paris. We are very much looking forward to helping you develop your knowledge of Medieval Latin, and to spending some time getting to know you in the amazing city of Paris.


Living Latin in Paris aims to introduce participants to a period of Latin literature which is marked on the one hand by continuities, on the other by shifts and varieties. In the later Middle Ages and Early Renaissance, particularly in the 13th-century, Paris was one of the most important intellectual centers of Europe. This year’s program will feature a dedicated reading of some of the letters of Abelard and Heloise, which chronicle their relationship from its beginning to their eventual separation and the highs and lows in between, as well as texts that relate to the world they lived in. As is usual for Paideia programs, we will also occasionally take our reading of the letters on site to places connected with the text and our authors, as well as speaking Latin both in situ and in the classroom.


Living Latin in Paris’ curriculum includes classroom sessions, site visits, lectures, a day trip, and conversational Latin sessions in taberna.

  • Classes will meet from 9:00am to 1:00pm daily with a short break, except for New Year’s Day when there is no class. In class, participants will read and discuss Latin texts related to this year’s theme. Classes also include opportunities for students to practice speaking Latin, to review grammatical concepts as necessary, and to discuss philosophical, historical, and literary questions raised by the texts they read.
  • The program includes two site-visits to the Latin Quarter and the Père Lachaise cemetery during which participants will read Latin texts that are directly connected to the site or this year’s theme. Additional optional site visits will also be offered.
  • There will be daily optional opportunities for practicing to speak in Latin outside of class.
  • On Friday, December 30th, the program will take a day trip to see Chartres Cathedral. 


The Paideia Institute will provide you with a course packet with all necessary readings and assignments in order to facilitate classroom discussions. 

In preparation for the program, we highly recommend that you do some reading as well as listening. Here are some books and podcasts we think could be useful for you so that your experience in Paris is all the more immersive and beneficial to you.  

  • First of all, read the letters of Heloise and Abelard in translation (Betty Radice, The Letters of Abelard and Heloise, Penguin, 2004). In particular, we suggest that you read Abelard’s letter commonly known as Historia Calamitatum, either in Latin or in English. As you read, you might want to ask yourself questions such as “Why does Abelard write this letter/narrative?”, “Can we trust Abelard’s account?”, “What purpose does the device of a letter serve?”, and “How does Abelard characterize himself and his behaviors?”.    

If you are not familiar with the Middle Ages, we also recommend that you read one of these two books:

  • William Chester Jordan’s Europe in the High Middle Ages  
  • The lively Penguin Illustrated Atlas of Medieval History.  


Below are some podcast episodes on topics related to our course theme:

  • Sanitation in medieval Paris – link here.  
  • Medieval university – link here
  • Doing laundry in the middle ages – link here.
  • Myths about the middle ages – link here
  • Medieval sexuality – link here
  • Bastards and priests – link here
  • Medieval marriage – link here

You might also like to listen to the following: 

  • BBC In Our Time, Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the story of Abelard and Heloise. Link here
  • Monastic Song: 12th-century monophonic chant. This playlist includes six hymns and laments composed by Abelard. Link here


You will get more out of Living Latin in Paris if you arrive with a strong foundation in Latin grammar and a strong active vocabulary. Below are some great resources for gaining the skills you need to enjoy the literature we will be reading.

  • Participants who feel a need to review their grammar and forms should purchase and work through the first 10 chapters of Excelability in Advanced Latin by Marianthe Colakis before the program starts. This is a concise and straightforward review of Latin grammar.
  • A broad vocabulary is essential for enjoying Latin texts. The Latin Vocabulary List available through Dickinson College is an excellent resource for learning the words that most frequently occur in Latin literature. Challenge yourself to know as many of these words as possible English --> Latin before the program starts. If you like flash cards, they are available as a Quizlet set here.


We recommend that participants familiarize themselves with Allen and Greenough’s New Latin Grammar, though it is not required to bring a copy of it. A free PDF is available here.


All participants should bring a good Latin dictionary.  

  • The best (and lightest) free Latin dictionary available is the University of Chicago’s Logeion, which is available as a free app for both Apple and Android devices. 
  • John Traupman’s The Bantam New College Latin & English Dictionary is a handy, pocket-sized dictionary with a good English-to-Latin section. Perfect for throwing in your bag and bringing on-site. 
  • John Traupman’s Conversational Latin for Oral Proficiency is an excellent resource for learning to speak authentic, idiomatically correct Latin, organized by theme. It will prove helpful in our informal conversational Latin sessions. 



Paris is cold in the winter. It may rain or snow while we are there. Clothes that will keep you warm, dry and comfortable while outside for long periods of time are essential. Please also bring good, strong walking shoes. Since our course takes place over New Year’s Eve, you might also decide to bring one formal outfit for going out.


The classrooms where daily program sessions are held are wifi-equipped. The Hotel Marignan, the Paideia-recommended hotel where participants may choose to stay (see below, under “Housing,” for details) is equipped with wireless Internet. For emergencies, the cell phone numbers of Paideia staff will be made available to participants closer to the start of the trip.


Medical care in France is first rate. All participants must have their own health insurance covering them internationally during the full duration of their time in France. The Paideia Institute recommends Travel Guard for travel insurance for this trip. Please visit Travel Guard's site here. Please contact Travel Guard at 866-385-4839 with any questions.

If you are taking medication, be sure to bring enough for your entire stay. There are well-stocked pharmacies in Paris, but not all drugs are readily accessible without a prescription, and it is better to bring your own supplies.

If you have a medical condition that could affect your ability to participate, we strongly urge you to share that condition with us so that, in the event of a medical issue, we can most quickly and efficiently arrange for your care. All such information will be held in the strictest confidence.


Living Latin in Paris classroom sessions take place at La Congrégation du Saint Esprit, located at 30 Rue Lhomond in the Latin Quarter. For a Google Maps link, click here.

Classrooms are equipped with wireless internet for student use.


Students must arrange their own housing. We have reserved a block of rooms at a special rate for this program at the Hotel Marignan in the Latin Quarter, although you are welcome to book another option convenient to the area. If you wish to room with other participants, please join our Facebook group for the program and make arrangements to book together.

Prices for the Hotel Marignan are below. When you book, please write to [email protected] and mention the Paideia Institute.

  • Private Rooms
    • 1 person, double bed, 99 euros per night - private bathroom and shower  
    • 1 person, single bed, 69 euros per night - private bathroom (shower on the landing to be shared with another room)   
  • Shared rooms
    • Double/twin (1 double bed or 2 separate beds) at 125 euros per night - private bathroom and shower  
    • Double at 90 euros per night - shower and toilet on the same floor to share with another room (1 double bed)
    • Triple at 155 euros per night - private bathroom and shower (3 separate beds)
    • Quad at 180 euros per night - private bathroom and shower (4 separate beds)


Living Latin in Paris begins with a walking tour of the Latin Quarter starting at the Comptoir du Panthéon at 2pm on December 27th. The final day of academic programming is January 2nd, so participants may depart at any time on January 3.

IMPORTANT: Please do not book non-refundable travel before the deposit deadline of October 15, 2022. We will confirm on the 15th whether enough students have enrolled to run the program.


U.S. Citizens do not need to apply for a visa to participate in this program, though you will need a passport. Please note that your passport must be valid for at least six months after your return date. If you do not have a passport, you should begin the application process as soon as possible, as it can be a lengthy process. Students who are not U.S. citizens may need a visa. To determine your visa requirements, please refer to the nearest French Consulate's website. 




Once paid, the $500 deposit is non-refundable. Participants who withdraw from the program after the balance deadline will be given a credit for the amount of the balance (but not the deposit). There is no refund for students who withdraw after the start of the program.

Travel insurance, like the Travel Guard policy recommended above, may help protect your investment in this program in the event that something prevents you from coming.


All program participants agree to abide by the Paideia Institute’s Code of Conduct. Violations of the Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action, including removal from activities or, in serious cases, early dismissal from the program.


Please familiarize yourself with Paideia’s COVID-19 Policy for Travel Programs. You will need to sign a waiver agreeing to comply with this policy during enrollment.



Please complete the following enrollment form and sign all the attached waivers by October 15, 2022:



Please fill out this online form with your arrival and departure information by November 15, 2022. A week before the trip begins, we will send you more information about our arrival day procedure.


  • Non-Refundable Deposit: October 15, 2022
  • Remaining Balance: November 15, 2022


Please pay the deposit and balance below by the deadlines indicated above. Please note that payment by credit card includes a 3% convenience fee.