Facing the Luxembourg Gardens and only minutes away from Notre-Dame and the banks of the Seine, the Foyer International is ideally located for students in Paris. The Sorbonne and several other universities as well as three centers for foreign language learning are within easy walking distance.
The Foyer Spirit
Open to students of all countries and creeds, the goal of the Foyer is to foster international understanding. As a place where students can meet and exchange ideas, the Foyer allows residents the opportunity to reflect upon their own culture and to discover that beyond national differences lie understanding and friendship.
Founded in 1906, the Foyer International des Etudiantes (FIE) was the first student residence opened in the Latin Quarter. Entirely demolished then reconstructed in 1928 as a much larger building, the Foyer was given to the University of Paris in 1936. Today the Foyer is administered by a board of directors which includes the Rector of the Universities of Paris.
About the foundress
Grace Whitney was born in Detroit, Michigan on October 22, 1862 into one of the most prominent families of the city. She married John Jacob Hoff in 1900, and in the same year the couple left the United States and moved to France, which became their home.
Grace Whitney Hoff used her fortune for many philanthropic causes. During the First World War she took care of wounded soldiers and founded a rest home for war widows in Peyrieu in the Ain.
While president of the YWCA in Detroit, she became interested in women’s rights and the access of young women to education, particularly to university. Beginning in 1926, she dedicated herself to the construction of the Foyer International des Etudiantes and oversaw closely the various stages of the work. She wanted a spacious residence hall built of the quality material, equipped with all the modern comforts, and decorated with taste. The Foyer was opened in 1928.
For her philanthropic actions and her generosity she was awarded the Academic Palms in 1923. In 1925 she received the Legion of Honor and was promoted to Officer in 1934. She died in Lausanne, on December 18, 1938.