paris, france

The École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts

The École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (the Ensba) is located in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, steps away from the Louvre Museum. The school, which spreads over five acres between the Rue Bonaparte and the Quai Malaquais, houses prestigious historical collections and holds exhibitions in the Quai Malaquais and Chapel throughout the year. In March 2009, the school opened a new space in Saint-Ouen where students are able to work in five new sculpture and volume studios. 

The mission of the Ensba is to educate and train students planning to devote themselves to high-level artistic creation. Degree students are admitted to a five-year program that provides them with the fundamental elements they need to develop and sustain their personal artistic undertakings and a full understanding of what is involved in making art today. 

The school is based on the foundation of the artistic process as well as contemporary art production, and is made up of three departments: artistic practices, theories of art, and technical workshops. The institution has maintained its original studio teaching method; however, at the same time, students are encouraged to acquire autonomy while still maintaining regular contact with teachers and the art community outside the school. 

The Ensba emphasizes the importance of international experiences and currently has partnerships with more than 50 art schools around the world. The school has approximately 550 students with almost 25% of the student body made up of international students. For more information about the school, visit the Ensba website.

About Paris

Paris, France is one of the most exciting cities in the world, bringing in millions of visitors each year. The city is located on the Seine River in northern France and has an estimated population of 2.2 million.

The world’s most-visited art museum, the Louvre, is located in Paris, housing the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo statue. The Louvre is only the beginning of the city’s extensive art scene: the city has museums dedicated to Pablo Picasso and Auguste Rodin, among many others. Paris is an international city with much to offer, and is a great setting for the study and creation of art.

Cafe culture is a distinct aspect of life in Paris, and locals are often found relaxing with a good book or having a good conversation over coffee. There are cafes on nearly ever corner in the city, and it is common to sit at a cafe for at least an hour, enjoying the intellectual and caffeinated stimulation.

Literature is valued greatly in Paris, and there are 70 libraries in the city. Paris is a frequent setting in literature and film, and is often romanticized. A very fashion-forward city, Paris has been home to many famous designers and brands, such as Chanel, Dior, Hermes, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Louis Vuitton, and Yves Saint Laurent. (More information:

Fields of Study

The Ensba offers Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Photography, and New Media.

Language and Curriculum

International exchange students are enrolled in classes with degree students as well as international students. The classes are taught primarily in French, and language classes are available for international exchange students to enroll in at no additional cost. In general, students enroll in four classes per semester. The studio is a place to work and meet the main professors. Lecture-based classes are structured similarly to those at SFAI, with regular schedules and exams.

Term Dates

The fall semester runs from the end of September to the end of January. The spring semester runs from early February until the end of May.

Deadlines to apply - April 1 for the fall semester; September 20  for the spring semester.

Application Requirements

To apply to the Ensba, there is no formal application; however, SFAI students must submit the following:

- SFAI Study Abroad Application
- Two letters of recommendation from SFAI faculty. Download the recommendation form.
- Official SFAI academic transcript
-Portfolio consisting of 15-20 pieces of work on a CD

- Letter of intent: a three- to four-paragraph personal statement explaining why you are interested in studying at the Ensba