The American community in Paris (#1)

 Organizations and available services for Americans visiting or living in Paris :

And also :

 Institutions, churches, etc...    Five different US communities in Paris!




 The American Church

 65 Quai d'Orsay - 75007

Tel.33-(0)1 40 62 05 00

Information Center : tel.33-(0)1 45 56 09 50

All Protestant Denominations. An active meeting place for the international community with a much consulted bulletin board for jobs and rooms. Regular church services and Sunday school.Attended by people of many nationalities and denominations.

The American Cathedral

23 Avenue George V - 75008

Tel.33- (0)1 53 23 84 00

A neo-gothic church founded in 1886. Serves also as the seat for the Bishop in charge of Episcopal churches in Europe. Many good concerts.

 American Embassy & Consulate

 2 rue Saint Florentin - 75001

Tel.33-(0)1 43 12 22 22

 The American Library


10 rue du Général Camou 75007
Tel.33-(0)1 53 59 12 60

Indispensable if you love to read, don't have zillions of dollars to spend on every book that comes out and are staying in Paris long enough to make it worth your while. Events : "Evening with an Author", "Evening with an Expert", etc... Also great for children. If you're not a member, there is a building use fee. Read more.

 AUP (American University of Paris)

 31 Avenue Bosquet 75007

Tel.33-(0)1 40 62 06 00 ; in the USA : tel. 212/983 14 14.

 Very well located university, attracting students from all over the world
Read the page about religion in France

And also :

  • The Bridge International Church is an English-speaking church meeting in the western suburbs of Paris (Rueil-Malmaison : Tel 01 39 75 47 02).
  • Saint Joseph's Church, 50 avenue Hoche 75008 Paris Tel. 33-(0)142 27 28 56 (Roman Catholic Church) houses ACWO (the American Catholic Women's Organization of Paris)
  • An Anglophone synagogue
  • An The French-American Foundation (FAF), Comité Français 21 bld de Grenelle 75015 Paris (, tel. 01 45 77 40 01) and in New York (Tel.212-288 4400, email : many events, with prominent speakers, some interesting initiatives to make both business worlds understand each other better (and a guide book of useful addresses)
  • French American Center, Espace Pierre Cardin, 1 Avenue Gabriel, 75008 Paris
  • Association France-Amériques, 9 Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 75008 tel 33-(0)1 43 59 51 00 is a club (with a restaurant), in a very beautiful mansion which hosts several other Franco-American organizations
  • The French-American Guide (see Bibliography) provides a useful list of organizations in Paris.
  • More to come

DID YOU KNOW THAT.... The number of American residents in France is 165,000 (with an estimated 50,000 in Paris) and the number of US visitors is 3 million a year (Source : US Consulate 2003). See the figures about Americans abroad, click here for a list of famous Americans who lived in Paris and read the page about retiring in France. In Paris, American expats live mostly in the West (29%) and in Western suburbs (31%) : see detailed figures. To discover what they like the most in Paris, click here and see a list of illustrious Americans who lived in Paris.

Harry's Bar, 5 rue Daunou (near Opera) is a popular US landmark in Paris. Founded in 1911, it has served its famous cocktails to illustrious patrons like Ernest Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald. At each US Presidential election since 1924, Harry's Bar organizes a vote to predict the winner and is generally right.


 Major issues for Americans living in France...

Apart from coping with the French, which they often find easier than they feared, Americans who have decided to stay in France for a long period of time experience what is sometimes a real cultural shock. The major issues they have to address are :

  • Like everybody : finding a place to stay (it's expensive : see my page) and a job (jobs are scarce and complicated for non-European citizens : see my page)

  • For families : American generally dislike the French conception of education and prefer bilingual private schools (in my opinion, they are wrong... : read "French Toast")

  • Health coverage : if you have a job in France, no problem (you'll probably love the French health system), if not, check it carefully

  • The threat of being double-taxed by the US government (see what it means)

  • More to come ....

DID YOU KNOW THAT.... In France, the words " city center " (centre ville) and " suburbs " (banlieue) do not connote the same things as in the USA : " city center " connotes comfortable traditional apartments for the middle to upper-middle class whereas " suburbs " often connotes ugly social housing with immigration and crime problems ; the reason for this is that in the 1970s low-income housing constructed around big cities was not accompanied by shopping centers, youth centers, etc... and many young people found themselves with nowhere to meet and nothing to do. Some have risen above the problems inherent in these neglected suburbs, others not. Of course there are centrally located mediocre areas and affluent pretty suburbs (especially in the West of Paris) but as a general rule the image of "suburbs" is not the same in the US and in France. When people refer to "jeunes de banlieue" (literally : kids from the suburbs) , they mean "a gang of hooligans". This is a very unfair stereotype, but it is a fact. Therefore, a headline such as "Suburbian Riots" in the US press in Nov.2005 may be very misleading for the readers : they were riots in the poorest areas. In Paris, many expats live in Western suburbs and most long-time residents live in the center.




Many Americans live in Paris (maybe 30,000?). There are several American communities in Paris, at least five. Surprisingly enough, they don't mix as much as one could expect. What follows can be considered quite caricatural but let's try to picture five very different "Americans in Paris".

  • The first category is the category of high class expats, like embassy officials or correspondents of major US media. They spend 3 to 5 years in France. Their French is good but they don't meet French people except in their job or when shopping. They live in Le Vesinet, attend services at the American Cathedral, send their children to American schools, read only the US press and watch news on CNN or BBC, take a swim at the Cercle Interallie or Ritz Hotel. Needless to say that their American staff (chauffeurs, marines, etc.) assigned to Paris between a similar assignment in Nairobi and the next one in Stockholm speak no French at all, live among themselves in a US compound, shop in the embassy shop and will have no specific memory of Paris when they retire.

  • The second category is composed of long-term expats, like lawyers or US bankers. Some of them spend twenty years or more here. They speak good French, live in the 7th, have French friends, sing in the choir of the American Cathedral and belong to the American Club, WICE and AARO. They live like the French of the same social status but largely among themselves. Like the first category, they live in France with the French as a back-drop.They are often, members of Republicans Abroad. When they retire, they go to Florida, unless they have died at the American Hospital.

  • The third category is the category of permanent immigrants, often with a French spouse.. They teach in a French school or translate in a French company. Their French is excellent, they read the French press and watch French TV. They travel more in France and know the country better. Although often critical, they understand the country much better than the two previous categories with which they rarely mix and who often look down at them. They attend the American Church and belong to AAWE.They are often members of Democrats Abroad. Among them, more and more retirees (read about retiring in France)

  • The fourth category, less homogeneous, is the category of "non-touristic visitors", younger people, students or young professionals, on a short stay in Paris for a year or two. They tend to merge more within the French milieu, try to learn French as fast as possible and meet in bars.They travel extensively all over Europe.

  • The fifth category is composed of many (thousands of) people who have a second home in Paris and spend a few weeks or a few months every year, often academics (in a little two-room apartment with exposed beams in the Marais) or sometimes New-York bankers (in 2000 sq.ft apartments Avenue Foch). They have a few (American) friends but rarely mix with the other four categories.

See detailed figures : where they live and where they buy property in Paris.

DID YOU KNOW THAT .... ? In 2016, the Democratic primaries in France gave the following results : Bernie Sanders 62.67%, Hillary Clinton 36,34%.


AARO (Association of Americans Resident Overseas)
Mona Bismarck Foundation
34 avenue de New York
Tel33 (0)1 47 20 24 15

This group is on top of everything Americans need to know about taxes and citizenship in France. It is now (2014) very active to help them with FATCA.
AAWE (Association of American Women in Europe)
Mona Bismarck Foundation
34 avenue de New York - 75116
tel (0)1 40 70 11 80

This group of 600 American women married to Europeans and living permanently in France is active in the fields of bilingualism and citizenship. It publishes and updates key-books on living in France. It sponsors many activities for members' children (Thanksgiving and Halloween), offers scholarships, and holds a largely attended Christmas Bazaar each year

 WICE (Women's Institute of Continuing Education)

7 cité Falguière - 75015

Tel.33-(0)1 45 66 75 50

An nonprofit cultural and educational association providing courses in Art History, Living and Working in France, History and Culture, Creative Writing workshop, Studio Arts, Languages and TEFL. There are also opportunities for volunteering.

 CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange)

 Tel 33-(0)1 44 41 74 74

or (0)1 58 57 20 50

 Student exchange programs
 AWG (American Women's Group)

32 rue du Général Bertrand - 75007

Tel. 33-(0)1 42 73 36 74 or (0)1 42 73 28 72

The AWG has been fostering Franco-American ties since 1949. This dynamic group includes both longtime residents and newcomers who find a touch of "home" while learning more about France through a variety of activities and courses.

 American Field Service - Vivre Sans Frontières  46 rue du Commandant Jean Duhail 94132 Fontenay-sous-Bois

Runs international exchange programs for 15 to 18 year olds. 25 local committees in France.


Association France- Amériques

 9/11 av.Franklin D.Roosevelt - 75008

Tel. 33-(0)1 43 59 51 00

 A well established association in a beautiful 18th Century building, ideal for Franco-American social and professional events.
 Franco- American Commission For Educational Exchange

 9 rue Chardin 75016 Paris

Tel. 33-(0)1 45 20 46 54 or (0)1 44 14 53 60

For U.S. candidates wishing to attend French Universities (and French students who want to study in the U.S.)
The American Club of Paris
Mona Bismarck Foundation
34 avenue de New York - 75116

Tel.(0)1 47 23 64 36

One of the oldest non-diplomatic American institutions in France provides Americans with opportunities to meet, and at the same time, to preserve the special ties that the United States has had with France for more than two centuries

 Anglo- American Press Association of Paris    visit the AAPA website

And also :

  • Universities Alumni Groups : Berkeley (0)1 46 07 00 43, Boston Univ. (0)1 44 62 20 53, Bryn Mawr (0)1 40 56 06 18, Columbia (0)1 43 35 44 63, Georgetown (0)1 47 27 48 43, Harvard (0)1 60 72 43 78, M.I.T. (0)1 40 56 03 23, Paris Alumni Network (0)1 39 67 72 27, Princetown (0)1 45 49 04 75, Stanford (0)1 45 53 28 84, Wellesley (0)1 45 53 00 42, Yale (0)1 48 04 51 75
  • BCWA (The British and Commonwealth Women's Association in Paris), 157 rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré 75008 Paris, Tel. 33-(0)1 47 20 50 91
  • More to come...
 Ecole Active Bilingue  117 Boulevard Malesherbes 75008 Paris Tel. 33-(0)1 45 63 62 22  
 Lycée International, American Section  BP 230 78104 Saint Germain en Laye Tel. 33-(0)1 34 51 74 85

The French high school system with, in addition to it, an excellent American section (among others). Located in a very nice small town, 20 minutes from Paris by metro.

 The American School

 41 rue Pasteur 92210 Saint-Cloud

Tel. 33-(0)1 47 20 22 51

 A friendly school offering a very American atmosphere
 The American University of Paris (AUP)

 6 rue du Colonel Combes 75007 Paris Tel : 33-(0)1 40 62 07 20

US Office : 950 South Cherry Str., Suite 210 Denver Colorado 80246

Tel : (303) 757 6333

A unique university attended by students from all over the world. Very interesting Summer programs and programs for adults. All courses in English.

Parsons Paris


45 rue Saint-Roch - 75001 Paris


The Paris branch of Parsons.
Schiller International University (SIU)

9 rue Yvart, 75015 Paris

Telephone: 33 (0)1 45 38 56 01

SIU Paris is part of SIU's worldwide network of seven campuses which provide students with business and diplomacy courses based on the US higher education system.


And also :

  • American Graduate School of International Relations and Diplomacy (AGS), Alliance Française Building - 101, boulevard Raspail, 75006 Paris Telephone: 33 (0)1 47 20 00 94, AGSIRD offers US-accredited MAs, as well as PhD programs, in the field of International Relations and Diplomacy. It combines American teaching (dialogue, individual attention, out of the classroom observation) with the rich resources of Paris.
  • Marymount School, 72 boulevard de la Saussaye 92200 Neuilly/Seine, 33-(0)1 46 24 10 51
  • Pre-school and primary : Ecole internationale Malherbe, 19, rue du 11 novembre, 78110 Le Vésinet tel 33-(0)1 39 76 47 37
  • A small bilingual international school near Paris (in the Yvelines)
  • The American Business School in Paris
  • More to come

To know more about French universities, visit the site of the Sorbonne (in English)

Read the page about French education

To related pages : American-run businessesin Paris, American writers (#2), to Shopping in Paris (#5), to American corporations (#4), favorite links, useful commercial links, the history of US firms in France, etc...

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Harriet Welty Rochefort writes articles and books about France and the French. Order her books :

  • "Joie de Vivre", Secrets of Wining, Dining and Romancing like the French, St.Martin's Press, New York, 2012
  • "French Toast, An American in Paris Celebrates The Maddening Mysteries of the French", St.Martin's Press, New York, 1999
  • "French Fried, The Culinary Capers of An American in Paris", St.Martin's Press, New York, 2001

More on Harriet's books (excerpts, upcoming events, testimonials, etc..)

Together or separately, Harriet and Philippe speak about Intercultural Differences : click here for information.

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