Welcome to the website of the Cambridge Society of Paris, which is affiliated to the Cambridge University Development and Alumni Relations office (CUDAR) and enables Cambridge University Alumni in France to maintain contact with each other.
The Cambridge Society of Paris has been active since 1996 and provides a platform for Cambridge graduates, mostly based in and around Paris, to retain a contact with the University through the activities and events of the Society. We aim to be a focal point to enable University alumni to enjoy themselves, to meet others to mutual benefit and to use the talents they honed during their time at Cambridge to help others on their way.
This does of course give us the challenge of catering for as broad a range of tastes and personalities as we can: To organise events that will interest our Members: To get access to venues that Members would find it difficult to access without us: To use the Cantab network to bring over interesting speakers: To mark traditional Cambridge and Oxford rivalries – and links – with either our own competitions or by watching Blues matches together.
Many of our events are organized jointly with Oxford, and our regular Monthly Drinks on each first Wednesday of the month allows us to invite other groups while providing a first taster to potential members of who we are and what we do. The programme of events section below - and above all the Events page of the website - provide a fuller picture of what we do, but our aim is to provide a mix of networking, cultural, thought-provoking and just “plain fun” events, formal and informal, to match all tastes.
As well as bringing Cambridge graduates together, the society also has a wider goal of promoting Cambridge in France and fostering links with other alumni associations, including Oxford of course, but also the French “Grandes Ecoles”, other UK universities and those from the United States.
Current students are not forgotten, with an annual “Welcome” party to congratulate students based in France on gaining a place at our University and the Society offers one or more Bursaries each year for a project relevant to France or French society or history.
The Society invites active participation from its members, including ideas for new events, and is run by a Committee which is renewed in part each year in order to include those with new ideas and allow fresh talent to participate in our development.
Formal events: restricted to members of the Society and their guests
Annual Dinner: a formal “Black-Tie” event, usually early in the year, with a prestigious speaker with a Cambridge Connection. Recent speakers have included Prof. David Reynolds, Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Lord Owen, and Lord Rees.
Garden Party (jointly with the Oxford University Society of Paris): takes place in June, hosted at the British Ambassador’s Residence
Boat Race and Varsity Rugby: viewed with OUSP members in a pub in the Paris area.
Annual Presidents’ Cup Pétanque match against OUSP: usually “à la rentrée”
Golf and snooker matches against OUSP are also organised as opportunities arise
Debates and dinners
We have several regular venues, where debates (usually with OUSP as sparring partners) or topical presentations are organised.
In addition C.S.P members are frequently invited to similar events organised by OUSP, including their Quarterly Dinner which has covered subjects such as what the world might have been like if Adolf Hitler had not existed and “The end of the European dream”.
The highspots are a reserved performance of a Shakespeare play in the open air theatre in the Bois de Bologne, accompanied by Champagne and strawberries, in June and the Annual Carol Singing at the Travellers Club on the Champs Elysées, with mulled wine and minced pies in December.
Informal and other events
First Wednesday Drinks: Alumni are invited but both C.S.P and OUSP to gather on the First Wednesday of every month, currently at Murphy’s House near Opéra, where “Happy Hour” prices are available.
Welcome event for new students: Organised in September to congratulate students based in France on gaining a place at our University, this has been in the form of a Wine Tasting for the last few years.
Members of the Society are also able to use the monthly events diary to provide information about the events that they organise or in which they are involved. Commercial or political undertakings are, however, proscribed.
Most of the Members of the C.S.P. are resident in the Ile de France, but the Society welcomes those who visit Paris from time-to-time and wish to keep in touch with fellow “Cantabrigians”.
Most members hold Cambridge University degrees, although membership is open to any person who has an appropriate connection with the University, which may include exchange students, research graduates and, of course, teaching staff.
Members are of all ages, disciplines and professions and many are French. The Society has no political or commercial aims and, although we are part of the Cambridge Alumni Groups network, does not act as a direct fundraiser for the University.
An annual membership fee is payable, based on the calendar year, although those joining in the Michaelmas term are granted membership through to the end of the following year. We also offer reduced rates to those aged uner 30 and membership is offered free to all current students, whether undergraduate or post-graduate.
To apply to become a Member, please click on Membership in the menu bar to download the on-line form and return it with your payment as directed.