If you want to uncover the story your life is telling, then join InterVarsity Study Abroad for a long weekend in France where you will connect your own story to a timeless one hidden in plain sight in art, architecture, and sacred spaces.
Tour groups clump together, cameras click mindlessly, and feet hastily shuffle in the aisles. You let all that fade into a hum as you sit apart on a well-worn pew. Your gaze turns upward to the light streaming through the stained glass. You know that on the other side, the river rushes past and unrivalled views beckon in every direction. Yet, you’re drawn soulward.
Surprisingly, the centuries-old, crowd-drawing artistry hints at a fresh, personal insight to be found here. It’s something a camera can’t possibly capture, but your spirit longs to…
What is possible by the end of Journey France?
- You have a new understanding of God as the author of your life story, giving you clarity to live with intention.
- You return refreshed after learning to pause regularly for reflection, even among the buzz of life.
- You are ready to let your life point to something greater than yourself.
- You appreciate how the beauty and grandeur of sacred spaces lead you to worship the original source and inspiration of that beauty.
- You’re grateful for the strength formed by a community brought together to build each other up and build upon each other.
- You’ll practice a redemptive way of seeing tourist hot spots.
- You’ll stroll for hours through streets and halls rich in both beauty and theology.
- You’ll discover how the sacred is breaking into the secular in a country where centuries of intermingling religion and politics led to revolution.
When is Journey France?
Where is it?
Journey France begins on Thursday evening in Chartres and then ends in Paris.
When should I arrive?
Plan to arrive by 6:00pm at Auberge de Jeunesse, Chartres, (it is a 20 min walk from the train station.) The program will start with dinner at 7pm. It is about a 1-hour train ride from Paris (Gare Montparnasse) to Chartres, so please plan accordingly.
How much does it cost to attend?
The price for Journey France ranges from $345 to $395 depending on when the attendee registers for the event. Sponsorships available up to $200. See short-essay requirements below for details on receiving a sponsorship.
What is included?
Journey France includes housing from Thursday night through Sunday (3 nights). All meals are provided beginning with dinner on Thursday and ending with dinner on Sunday. Transportation from Chartres to Paris and all site fees are also included. You will need to bring your own towel.
What if I need to cancel?
The $85 deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable.
What is housing like?
You will be staying in a hostel, which might be a first for some of you. A hostel is different from a hotel in that you pay for a bed, not a room, so there is a possibility that you will room with people not attending Journey France and not of your same gender. This may be a new experience for you, so we ask you to approach it as part of crossing cultures. Also, know in advance that space is a premium in European cities—everything is smaller: apartments, houses, hotels, and hostels.
Auberge de Jeunesse Chartres
23 Avenue Neigre, 28000 Chartres, France
6 Rue de Fourcy, 75004 Paris, France
What should I pack?
- Clothes appropriate for the weather in Paris at this time of year; check the weather before you leave.
- A towel.
- A padlock if you want to lock your luggage at the hostel.
- Money for meals during your travel to and from Paris and for any souvenirs.
- A journal to take notes, reflect, and write down what you're hearing from God.
Which airport should I fly into?
Charles DeGaulle (CDG), Orly (ORY), and Beauvais (BVA) are all options for arriving into Paris. EasyJet flies into both CDG and ORY. RyanAir flies into Beauvais, but be advised it will take longer to get into Paris from Beauvais.
You can catch a train to Chartres from the Montparnasse train station in Paris.
How can I get from the airport to the hostel?
From CDG, take the RER B south into the city and switch to the metro. Take the metro to Gare Montparnasse, where you can catch a train to Chartres.
From Orly, we recommend the OrlyBus as a simple and affordable way of getting into the city and to a metro line.
From Beauvais, you can take a bus (cheapest) or shuttle to get to the Porte Maillot metro station and then take the metro to Gare Montparnasse.
Can I stay in France longer?
You are welcome to stay longer in Paris, either before or after Journey. You will need to book your own hostel for any additional nights.
When does Journey France end?
The retreat ends after dinner on Sunday. Please note, housing on Sunday night is not included in registration.
How do I pay my balance after registering?
Log in to your registration through this link. Use the email and password that you used when registering. A week before the event, the remaining balance will automatically be deducted from the credit or debit card with which you registered.
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Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 there are currently no in-person Journeys scheduled. We will update this page as soon as we are planning a Journey France.