Summer Program in France: Paris & Arcachon

Arcachon photo

International and Comparative Law summer program in France: Paris & Arcachon

For 30 years, the University of Iowa College of Law has operated an intellectually stimulating and culturally rewarding international and comparative law study abroad program in France. The program starts in Paris where students get to visit the courts, the Paris Bar Association, and a law school with speakers including prominent judges and lawyers. The program then spends the bulk of its time in Arcachon, which  is a scenic seaside town that is ideal for study and exposure to French culture. We are located less than one hour from the major city of Bordeaux, an area well known for its rich history and touristic appeal. Anticipated  2014 program enrollment is 25 students. In 2013,  23 students attended, two of whom were from India. It is anticipated that a similar number from India may attend in 2014.

     *complete required documents under steps 1. and 2.


The 2014 Program will run from May 13 to June 10, 2014.


The cost of the program is $7,200 including tuition and housing. The included housing will be in a hotel in Paris and the Villa Regina Hotel in Arcachon, with the latter having studio or one bedroom apartments.  The attached summary of the total budget provides the breakdown of other expenses besides the tuition.  This budget is the amount students should approach their financial aid office about to determine their eligibility for financial aid. 

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American and French instructors will teach the courses. English is the language of instruction. None of the courses offered have prerequisites. The courses will take place at the Villa Regina Hotel, where students will also live. In addition to the Wi-Fi equipped seminar room where classes will be held, there is a solarium for additional study space. The program director and faculty use the program office in the hotel as well. Additionally, two research assistants complete the staff.

The schedule of classes can be found at the back of this brochure [pdf].

The following courses will be offered in 2014:

Introduction to French Law
(with an Emphasis on Labor Law) (2 s.h. credit)
This two-unit course will introduce students to the laws of France, their characteristic features, and the role of France's main institutions. The subjects will include Civil Law, Contracts, Tort, Family Law, Commercial Law, Criminal Law, and Labor Law.  As part of the course we will visit a French law school, a Paris court, and the Ecole of Magistrature National (ENM) (the National Judge School) in Bordeaux.

Course Description [pdf]

Taught by Michaël Amado [pdf], LLM, MBA (University of Paris I Sorbonne) Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Paris; Avocat a la Cour, Amado-Cabinet D'Avocats, Paris.

Law in the Muslim World
(2 s.h. credit)
This course will survey a selection of the various types of laws existing in the nearly 60 countries of the Muslim world. The subjects will include Islamic law; unwritten customary law; civil law including constitutional, commercial, and criminal law; international human rights law, particularly women's rights, and a case study on the right to self-determination; and public international law relating to terrorism.

Course Description

Taught by Program Director Adrien Wing, AB (Princeton), MA (UCLA), JD (Stanford), University of Iowa College of Law Bessie Dutton Murray Distinguished Professor of Law.

International Humanitarian Law
(1 s.h. credit)
This one-credit version of the topic serves as an introduction to modern international law of war (also referred to as the law of armed conflict or international humanitarian law). The course is intended to provide students with an understanding of the purposes, sources and principles of that body of law, and to familiarize the student with some of its specific provisions. Emphasis will be placed on the topics of responding to terrorism and other forms of asymmetrical warfare, the use of weapons of mass destruction including chemical and biological weapons, and the intersection between international humanitarian law and international human rights.

Course Description

Taught by Marcella David, BS (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), JD (University of Michigan School of Law), University of Iowa Professor of Law & International Studies and Associate Dean.

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Program Director

Professor Adrien K. Wing
The University of Iowa College of Law
Iowa City, Iowa 52242

Program Assistant

Kelley Winebold

Student Point of View

For a student point of view, contact:

Jay Stirling
Shefali Aurora
Anna Hardin
Warner Brockett
Dana Judas
Luke Stauffer


Any student needing accommodation should contact Professor Wing prior to submitting the application. France, like many European countries, has many older buildings that do not meet newer accessibility standards. The Villa Regina hotel where everyone will stay and where classes are held is fully accessible, and some parts of  Paris and Arcachon are fully accessible. French trains, buses, taxis and many tourist attractions are not usually accessible. Students requiring assistance with flights should make requests directly through the airline.


The $100 deposit paid with submission of the program application is nonrefundable. The remainder of the program fee is nonrefundable after April 22, except in case of certifiable personal medical emergency.
Although the program has never been canceled, the University of Iowa College of Law reserves the right to cancel the program should circumstances warrant such, including lack of sufficient registrations, or acts of war. In the event of cancellation, all fees and deposits paid will be refunded within twenty days of the cancellation. The program director will assist the students in finding another suitable program, if the students so desire.


Terrorism remains a worldwide potential problem, and there is currently a U.S. State Department global worldwide caution for all Americans. For up-to-date information about travel and security conditions in France, see: U.S. State Department Consular Information Sheet for France. If the State Department issues an alert or warning applicable to France before or during the program, we will notify all participants. If a student withdraws prior to the commencement of the program due to an alert or warning, the student will receive a full refund of all monies advanced within twenty days of their withdrawal. If a student withdraws during the course of the program due to an alert or warning, or if the program is terminated, students will be refunded fees paid, except for room and board payments utilized prior to the date of termination or withdrawal.

Thinking about going abroad?

Here are some comments from our students and alumni about the benefits of going abroad.

  • "Arcachon was great! I was able to see and do things I never would have gotten to do otherwise, and the credits I earned have really helped defray the load for my remaining semesters." - 2L Student
  • “Participating in the Arcachon program (and post-program tutorial) was by far my best decision in law school. In addition to getting the opportunity to learn substantive international law and travel abroad for the first time in my life, my experience in Arcachon made me a more attractive applicant for legal jobs. Specifically, I was able to (accurately) tell interviewers that my time in Europe and Asia forced me to learn how to adapt and thrive when I am out of my comfort zone. I am not implying that signing up for Arcachon will automatically lead to a lucrative firm job, but in my case it definitely helped. If you have any questions about the Arcachon program, I encourage you to e-mail me at or call at 612.486.5540.” - Joshua R. Williams ('06)
  • "The summer I spent studying abroad in Arcachon was one of my favorite experiences in law school. The course content was challenging but the setting offered a truly unique immersion in international law. I especially enjoyed the many school-sponsored trips, such as the visit to a courthouse in Bordeaux, and the world-famous Great Dune of Pyla (largest sand dune in Europe). Most importantly, the summer in Arcachon gave me an opportunity to make close and lasting connections with both the law professors who taught the classes and my fellow students. I think studying abroad also helped me in getting a job with a large international law firm after graduation. C’est tres bonne!" - Kara Westercamp ('09)
  • "The Arcachon program was a truly amazing experience. It was great to experience law courses in another venue, especially an international one. It gave me a whole new perspective on looking at the law and the way it works in the rest of the world. I got to experience that even before we went on the post-program tutorial in Egypt and Israel/Palestine, which was another level of intensity beyond anything I thought I would get to experience in law school. I had all but given up hope of seeing and doing things we saw on that trip; making it a meaningful part of my law school experience made it even more incredible!!" - Nick Dial ('12)
  • “Participating in the Arcachon Program was one of the best things I did in law school. There's really no downside to the program. It's a productive way to spend a summer because you're earning law school credit, but it's also a lot of fun seeing some truly amazing parts of the world. It's also a great way to get to know your classmates better. The Arcachon Program provided me with a great education, wonderful cultural experiences, and memories that will last a lifetime.” - Matt Kishinami ('06)
  • "Arcachon provided an incredible opportunity to form lasting friendships with classmates outside of just the first-year small section cliques. It made the entirety of my law school experience much more memorable and enjoyable. Of all of my law school student loans, those accrued during the Arcachon Program are now the least painful to repay." - Joe Nichols, Arcachon '05 participant
  • "The Arcachon program was an amazing experience. The different paces and characters of the courses were a great change to the normal courses during the academic year. I felt like you could engage with the material on an entirely different level and re-gain an appreciation for the law (when you're a bit tired of it after the first year)". - 2L student
  • "I truly enjoyed teaching International Business Transactions in the Arcachon Program. It gave me the opportunity to interact intellectually and socially with a great group of students--all in a beautiful setting! Professor Wing's excellent coordination of the program ensures that all involved return to the US with unforgettable memories of their wonderful experience in south-western France." - Professor Enrique Carrasco

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