Aix is a university town with a large student population. It is also a major cultural center of the Provence region, with concerts, festivals, museums, and a lively café life for students to explore and enjoy.
Although it has ancient roots, today Aix is a modern town with a diverse population. Provence, one of the most celebrated regions in France, is renowned for its Mediterranean cuisine, mild climate, and natural beauty that inspired painters like Cezanne and Van Gogh.
About the Program
Hobart and William Smith Colleges maintain an affiliation with IAU College, based in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France. IAU was founded in 1957 under the auspices of the Université d’ Aix-Marseille and has served more than 700 North American colleges and universities. The program has multiple tracks which can accommodate students at all levels of linguistic proficiency in a variety of subject areas. Through the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the School of Business and International Relations, students with a limited background in French language have the opportunity to take elective courses in English in a variety of disciplines while taking French language at their level of proficiency.
The French Language and Culture track is designed for students who are interested in a more intensive language experience, combining language courses (offered at various levels) with electives in either English or French. Students with more advanced language skills seeking a full immersion experience may enroll in the French Honors Program, which includes the option of a credit-bearing internship as well as other opportunities to attend a range of specially-arranged cultural activities and excursions.
Advanced students may also choose to take up to two courses at the University of Provence Aix-Marseille with local students (spring semester only). Through their coursework and homestay accommodations, all IAU students will be challenged to broaden their perspectives while developing their linguistic and cross-cultural skills.
Students enrolled in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the School of Business and International Relations, and the French Language and Culture track are required to take two language courses according to their level of proficiency (these will count as one language credit), along with three electives in subject areas such as: studio art (through the affiliated Marchutz School of Fine Arts), art history, economics, history, communication studies, IR, political science, anthropology, archaeology, and psychology, for a total of four credits for the semester. (Note that students who wish to take a course at the Marchutz School may do so for an additional fee.)
The following list gives some examples of electives typically available:
Global Environmental Politics
Contemporary French Civilization
Provençal History and Culture European History: 1918 to the Present
Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations
Cezanne and Van Gogh
Survey of Western Art: Renaissance to the 21st Century
France and Europe in the Cold War
Media and Conflict
Comparative Education Practicum
International and Intercultural Communication
Literature and the Language of Music
European City in Literature and Film
European History, 1870-1918
Human Development in Cultural Contexts; International Economics and the EU
Drawing and Painting; Ancient Art and Archaeology
Art in the 20th Century
International Intercultural Management
Contemporary French Media
Students enrolled in the French Honors Program will take the required “French Honors Seminar” along with four electives in a range of subject areas, offered in French. For more detailed information on curriculum and IAU College, students should review the IAU catalogue, available here. Semester course schedules can also be found here.
The IAU program is designed for students with an interest in French language and culture and can accommodate those at all levels of linguistic proficiency. The School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the School of Business and International Relations are especially suitable for students who wish to develop their French language skills while pursuing coursework in a wide array of academic areas.
The French Language and Culture track will be of interest to students seeking a more intensive language experience, combining an intensive language course (at an appropriate level) with electives offered in English or French, while The French Honors Program is intended for advanced students seeking a full immersion experience. Note that IAU offers a pre-program “Early Start” program that includes intensive language study and excursions. This is optional and students may enroll for an additional fee, billed separately.
This program is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors in good academic and social standing with a minimum GPA of 2.5. While previous French language experience is preferred, all students admitted to the IAU program must successfully complete at least one semester of French language study at HWS prior to going abroad. Students seeking admission to The French Honors Program must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in French, have successfully completed a minimum of 4 semesters of college-level French, and be recommended by the Department of French and Francophone Studies. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.
Students will live in French homes, the best way to experience French daily life first-hand. Homestays are carefully arranged by the local housing coordinator who will make every effort to match students with hosts based upon their expressed preferences. Students will have breakfast daily and dinner six days a week at their homestay and can take lunch in local bistros or cafes.
IAU College’s Office of Student Affairs sponsors an extensive calendar of activities and events designed to introduce students to sites of historic and cultural interest throughout the region. In addition, students will have ample opportunity to explore Provence and other regions of France during weekends and breaks.
Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and fees, room fees, a 2/3 board fee, and a $600 administrative fee. This will cover tuition for a four-credit semester, health insurance, housing with partial board, and program-related activities and excursions. Students should plan to bring the remaining 1/3 board fee (about $1100) to cover meals not included.
Additional expenses not covered include airfare, books/course materials, visa, and personal expenses (laundry, entertainment, ground transportation and independent travel). We estimate airfare for this program at $1100-$1200 from the East Coast, books/course materials at $150, and visa-related expenses at approximately $230 (note that students are required to apply for their visa in person in New York City and will need to return there to pick up the visa—please budget accordingly, as these trips are not included in the $230 visa estimate.) It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of personal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1,500 above and beyond meal expenses. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less. If you are concerned about finances, we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation.
NOTE: IAU has supplemental scholarships available to students who have been accepted to the Aix program. Please see Amy Teel at the CGE for information on how to apply for these scholarships.
HWS students must complete all components of the Global Education application in order to be considered for admission to this program.
- This program is offered every semester.
- All components of the application must be submitted online by the published deadline. Specific deadline dates are set each semester and typically will be in October (for Fall programs) and late February/early March (for Spring programs).
IMPORTANT: The handbook(s) below is/are the most recent handbook(s) published for this program. A new version, with updated information, will be made available each semester. Program participants will receive their updated handbook approximately 2-3 months prior to their program’s start date.
FALL HANDBOOK / SPRING HANDBOOK
Please DO NOT MAKE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS until you have received final confirmation of the program start/finish dates for the specific semester you are attending. Dates included in versions of the program handbook intended for previous semesters do not necessarily apply to future programs.
NOTE: The information above is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.
Resources for Smart Travelers
Rick Steve's Packing Tips!