Dec 1st, 2021, 09:23 AM

What's Up with AUP's Fall Semester Schedule?

By Sukhi Borse (she/her)
Image credit: Unsplash/Joseph Gonzalez
American AUP students discuss AUP's apparent lack of a true fall break.

With Thanksgiving a week in our past, many American AUP students have returned to Paris after their trips home to feast with their families while others are sending off their friends and loved ones who visited Paris; however, classes at AUP are full throttle towards the end, and the work seems to be piling up leaving many of the students wondering…why no fall break?

Many students who had family visit or plans to take a break before finals do not understand why a fall break is not observed in the university at the expected time. For students visiting or attending AUP from America, the college is described as an American University that has been plopped in the city of Paris. As a uniquely American holiday, students found themselves missing home during these past few weeks around Thanksgiving.

Photo credit: Unsplash /Claudio Schwarz


Other visiting students echoed Rosker’s concern and confusion for the absence of a break. “I get we’re in Paris and not everyone is American here,” said visiting student Christina Cannady, “but this is the only time that my family can visit me before I leave for America.” However, some students felt like this was to be expected as the American University of Paris is indeed not located in the USA. “It is literally in the name of the school… it’s the American University of Paris," said visiting student Chanler Miller. “Paris doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, so it would be weird to expect that.”

While there is much debate among the student body about whether the university should have a fall break, everyone does seem to agree that AUP’s Fall schedule is confusing. “It would be one thing to not follow American holidays, but we aren’t evening following French holidays,” said Cannady. Having only received a week-long fall break during the first week of November for the entirety of the fall semester, students are worn out and frustrated with the set-up of AUP’s fall ‘21 academic calendar. “It doesn’t add up, we didn’t get Veterans Day, we didn’t get any small breaks,“ said Rosker, “Our fall break was also placed during a weird period.”

Photo credit: Estee Janssens


This lack of spread-out breaks has seemingly caused a lot of burnout among students on campus, many students feel like the workload only continues to pile on with the last weeks being a marathon to the finish line. The students who had already made plans during this time have felt an overwhelming stress concerning their academic performance. “I’m missing the entire week of class to go see my family in Florida,” said Rosker, “This is literally the only time of the year that we all get to see each other,“ Rosker added. For students who had loved ones come to visit them in Paris, the balancing game of work and play becomes a more difficult task in which play seems to win. “Family comes first,” said Cannady.

Burnout: Symptoms & Strategies

Luckily, many students have had good experiences with their professors when discussing their absence from class for this week of classes. “All the professors I have understand that we all have lives outside of class, so it was a huge relief for me that I didn’t have to stress about the work,” said Rosker. Even then, however, students have been growing more anxious as the semester winds down. “It makes me upset that I have to worry about classes and classwork while my family is visiting," said Cannady.

So, while the verdict is still out about whether AUP should have a timely fall break, this semester has taught students that rather than having one long break in the middle of the semester, they much rather prefer a schedule where the breaks are scattered throughout the term.

In any case, we’ve got just over a week left of class, so here’s hoping to everyone finishing off strong.