Confluence and Difference:  Contrasting Paris and Brussels


Design 465:  Topics in Graphics/Information Design, 3 credits (CRN 41529)


Permission of Instructor


A limited number of $300 scholarships will be available on a competitive basis to matriculated CCSU students with a GPA of at least 2.50 who are registered for at least one of the academic courses associated with this program.

Paris and Brussels are both cultural capitals, singular and distinct in their sensibilities, but with certain complicities and resistances, sharing both common grounds and contested territories. Paris, for Charles Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin was “the Capital of the 19th Century”; Brussels is the contemporary capital of the European Union. Both cities have a complex, rich history; both are saturated by the French language and mentalité, yet both are markedly different. Both cities are home to a plurality of other languages (Flemish, Arabic, Wolof, Spanish, Turkish, etc) ethnicities (North African, Eastern European, Sub-Saharan, Middle Eastern, Asian) religions, and customs. Both cities are centers of art, design, literature, media and culture. Paris and Brussels have profoundly important cultural institutions, archives, histories and contemporary communities of artists, writers, thinkers, designers, performers. The Louvre, Museé d’Orsay, Musée de l’homme, Beaubourg/Centre Pompidou, Institut du monde Arabe, Bibliotheque nationale, in Paris, the Palais de Beaux-Arts, the Cinématheque, the Wiels Centre for Contemporary Art, the Kaiitheatre, Musée de bande-dessiné, in Brussels, are among the highlights. Paris and Brussels are, each in their own ways, contemporary cultural, literary, artistic, design, commercial, political and media capitals.

Seminar participants will fly in to Paris Orly, and stay in different parts of Paris (TBD: The Marée, Montmartre, near the Jardin du Luxembourg), with walking tours to museums and exhibitions, performing arts and entertainments. There will be a seminar/workshop held at Beaubourg/Centre Pompidou [organized by Professor Zummer who has lectured, worked and exhibited there] with a visit to Ile St Louis and Berthilon, for the best ice cream/glace and pastries in Paris. There will be an opportunity to windo-shop, to shop, in boutiques, outdoor markets, flea markets, book stores and stalls. There will be a two day trip on the Talys (the fast train) to Brussels, with tours of the Museum of Musical Instruments, the Museum of Bande-desinée (graphic novels/comics), design and print studios, the Wiels Center for Contemporary Art and some of the very best cuisine in Europe, rivaling Paris. The group will return to Paris to plan and execute a collaborative design piece based on their collective experiences. This will have a written component and a design/media component. The group will then return to the USA, where they will complete the project for exhibition.

Registration Information and Program Costs

The cost of the travel program includes round-trip airport transfers in the U.S. and abroad, economy-class international airfare, multiple-occupancy accommodations, and ground transportation and entrance fees to all required site visits. All personal expenses (i.e., meals, medical, souvenirs, laundry, telephone, etc.) are not included.  

Course tuition is not included in the Course Abroad program fee.  Tuition for Spring Course Abroad programs may be included in a full-time student's tuition, if the student is carrying no more than 18 credits.  Excess credit fees apply to all students carrying an overload.  Part-time students must pay course tuition and registration fees.  See the CCSU Bursar's website for complete information about tuition and fees.

Note to students from Eastern, Southern, and Western Connecticut State Universities regarding the Connecticut Reciprocity Program:

Under the terms of the State College/University Reciprocity Program, full-time students (graduate and undergraduate) may, in certain circumstances, take courses at another state college or university without paying additional tuition.  This policy is applicable to ECSU, SCSU, and WCSU students registering for Spring Course Abroad programs offered by CCSU.

To request consideration under the Reciprocity Program, visit the Registrar’s Office (or the Registrar’s website) on your home campus and obtain a copy of the appropriate Request for Reciprocity form.  Complete the form and submit it to your home campus’s Registrar for review and approval.  After the form has been approved by the home campus Registrar, you can submit it to the CCSU Registrar’s Office at the time of registration for the coursework connected to the Course Abroad Program.  The Registrar will process your course registration and forward your approved Reciprocity Agreement to the CCSU Bursar, who will waive the course tuition and registration fees for the program.  The CIE Travel Program fee is not waivable under the Reciprocity Program and will be charged.

Fulfillment of the University's International Requirement: 

All credits earned overseas on a CCSU-sponsored study abroad program, including courses offered in conjunction with Course Abroad programs, automatically receive "I Designation" and count toward fulfillment of the University's General Education International Requirement.

Registration Form

Registration Deadline:

December 1, 2013



$2,795 per person

Travel Dates

March 14 - 22, 2014

Faculty Directors

Prof. Eleanor Thornton
Design Department
(860) 832-2623

Prof. Thomas Zummer
Design Department
(860) 832-2626

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