France: Language, Community, and Social Change

Educational Excursions

Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.

The France: Language, Community, and Social Change program has two excursions each semester, an 8- to 10-day excursion to Tunisia and a shorter excursion to a rural county in France. Excursions provide students with the opportunity to examine the program’s themes in different settings.

Learn about the intricacies of memory, home, belonging, and uprootedness as you examine the complex ties between North African immigrant communities in France and their country of origin.

The program will travel to Tunisia to enlarge students’ understanding of the enduring impact of French colonial legacy in North Africa and the transformations of postcolonial consciousness in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. The program will take advantage of the networks and contacts SIT Study Abroad already has in Tunisia.

Students will visit media outlets such as a French-broadcasting radio station and the headquarters of a daily Tunisian newspaper that publishes in French. Students will also attend lectures on the pedagogy of Francophone culture and tour Tunis medina, Carthage archaeological park, and Le Bardo Museum.

Students will then go on an excursion throughout the interior and southern regions of the country to examine the social and economic causes of immigration and meet community leaders and associations involved in youth awareness. 

Some of the issues examined during the excursion may include:

  • Francophone and postcolonial cultures
  • Youth, employment, and migration
  • Community service and illegal immigration
  • Impact of mass tourism on Sahara and oasis culture and society
  • Post-revolution NGOs and advocacy groups
  • Moderate Islam and modern democracy

Students will have the opportunity to study some of the causes of migration among Tunisian youth and the persistent influence of French in school curricula, media institutions, urban lifestyles, and the public sphere. They will also learn about how the Arab Spring has generated a revival in the engagement of the North African immigrant community in France with the country of origin and will get a unique hands-on opportunity to assess the reality of a place many continue to leave in search of a European “El Dorado.”

Lecturers may be drawn from institutions such as L’Université de Tunis, l’Université de la Manouba, the Cross-Cultural Dialogue Research Group, Société Civile Orient-Occident (OROC), and Centre d’Etudes Maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT).

Accommodations during the 8- to 10-day excursion may include hostels, research institutes, or small hotels.

The Pyrenees

Rural France
On the excursion to a rural county in France, students discover a variety of landscapes in France and learn about the cultural differences between regions. Students examine the role and place of agriculture in the French economy, the development of organic farming in France, and the alternative activities farmers have developed in recent years to protect their livelihoods. Excursions are typically three days.Excursions take place either in Lot or Aveyron.

Lot (Spring Semester)
Excursion sites typically include medieval cliffside villages and prehistoric painted caves. Excursions underscore seminar themes by providing students with concrete demonstrations of France’s complex history and diversity.

Aveyron (Fall Semester)
Excursion sites typically include Templar castles and cheese caves. Excursions underscore seminar themes by providing students with concrete demonstrations of France’s complex history and diversity.

*Please note: This excursion could be modified or replaced by an alternate location within France — to Ariège in the fall and the Pyrénées Orientales in the spring.

Costs Dates

Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Toulouse

Language Study: French

Prerequisites: 1 semester of French or 2 semesters of another Romance language, as assessed by SIT. Read more...


View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

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