Located in southeastern France, Grenoble is a city of about 160,000 commonly referred to as the “capital of the French Alps”. It has become one of Europe’s most important centers of science, technology, and innovation, home to an array of research centers and universities. Grenoble is also known for its focus on sustainability and the environment – it was the first French city with a population of over 100,000 to elect a “Green” municipal government and has been named the “European Green Capital” for 2022 in recognition of its focus on climate management, sustainable urban mobility, and sustainable land use.
About the Program
This program, offered through Hobart and William Smith Colleges' affiliation with Academic Programs International (API), is based at the Université Grenoble Alpes, founded in 1339 and among the oldest universities in Europe. Students will take classes through the Centre Universitaire d’Études Françaises (CUEF), which specializes in teaching French as a foreign language to students from more than 100 countries each year.
HWS students may enroll in either of the two program tracks offered through the CUEF, including French Language and Cultural Studies and Intensive French Language Studies, both of which focus on enhancing students’ linguistic proficiency.
This language immersion program will be of particular interest to students in French and Francophone Studies, as well as those in other disciplines interested in developing French language skills.
The French Language and Cultural Studies track is designed for students seeking to improve their written and spoken French while also learning about various areas of French culture and civilization through courses on literature, history, cinema, arts, politics and economics, and business.
The Intensive French Language Studies track offers courses at all levels (beginning through advanced) that focus on writing, oral expression, vocabulary, and grammar. Students in this track may also pursue a Teaching Internship, either as a volunteer experience or for credit (an additional course fee applies).
This program is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors in good academic and social standing who have a minimum GPA of 2.5. While previous French language experience is preferred, all students admitted to the Intensive French Language Studies track must successfully complete at least one semester of French language study at HWS prior to going abroad. Those enrolling in the French Language and Cultural Studies track must successfully complete at least two semesters of French language study prior to departure.
API students studying abroad in Grenoble have two different housing options – students may choose to live with a host family or in a student residence.
Students who choose to live with families will have their own room and be provided with two meals (breakfast and dinner) per day and laundry service. Host families serve as a unique introduction to French culture and may be made up of a married couple with children, retirement-age couples, or a divorced or widowed woman with or without children. Most families do not live in the city center, rather they may be located throughout the city and in the surrounding suburbs. Families who live outside the city typically have larger homes with sizeable yards.
Students in Grenoble may also choose to live in a student residence. Students live with other international, American, and French students. Students have a single room, with access to a shared kitchen on their floor. Bathroom facilities are shared per floor, although some rooms may have bathroom amenities. Laundry facilities are available, and there are common areas throughout the building as well. A meal stipend to cover weekday lunches is provided; all other meals are the responsibility of the student.
A number of excursions are included in the program and these vary by semester. Fall semester visits typically include Paris, Annency, Lyon, the Loire Valley, and Aix-en-Provence/Avignon. Visits to Paris, the Cote D’Azur (French Riviera), and the Chartreuse are typically included in the Spring semester.
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-course semester, health insurance, housing, and program-related activities and excursions. Students selecting the homestay option will also receive partial board (2 meals per day) and should plan to bring the remaining 1/3 board fee (about $1000) to cover meals not included. The student residence option includes a stipend covering weekday lunches and students will need to budget for additional meals.
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 and course materials at $200, 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 $1500 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.
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 late September/early 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 (Coming Soon)
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.
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