France: Language, Community, and Social Change

“Toulouse is welcoming, entirely unique, and the ambiance is incomparable — an ideal city for studying abroad. I am leaving with French friends whom I truly connected with, a sense of community, a true command of the French language, and the knowledge that I became completely immersed in my host city. After my stay I know I can not only 'get by' speaking French: I can debate, form true relationships, and thrive in another language. I can’t wait to come back to Toulouse, my second home.”

-- Emma Delvecchio, Villanova University

Rapidly advance your French through intensive language learning and close engagement with the community through a local service project.

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Through this intensive language program, students can rapidly improve their French language ability. Students experience full language immersion through instruction at L’Institute Catholique de Toulouse, interdisciplinary seminars, and a homestay in a French community.

Students interact with French scholars, community members, local organizers, and arts groups. The program’s Community Service Project provides students with an opportunity to increase their language skills while giving back to the host community.

The program is based in Toulouse, France’s second-largest urban university area. Toulouse is home to a world-class arts and culture scene and is situated between the Pyrénées mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. Students also undertake two excursions outside Toulouse, an 8- to 10-day excursion to Tunisia and a shorter excursion to either Lot or Aveyron.

Students at a North African pastry workshop

A Cultural Mosaic
With borders along eight European countries, colonial ties to West Africa, and territories in North and South America, France is a country influenced by myriad cultures. As one of Western Europe's leading asylum destinations, France is also home to a growing non-Christian immigrant population, with a significant percentage of immigrants coming from Muslim countries.

Within this diverse and evolving environment, students on this program explore the impact of immigration on French politics, economics, and arts, and the ways in which individuals and communities maintain both separate cultural identities and a French nationality. The program considers contemporary France's ethnic, religious, urban, and regional diversity and its complex postcolonial relationships with the Francophone world.

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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Mailing Address:
PO Box 676, 1 Kipling Road
Brattleboro, VT 05302 USA

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