Spring quarter in Provence
Avignon, France


Le Palais des Papes



Click here to watch the program's video

Place du Palais

What kind of program is offered in Avignon?

The program is led by O.U. faculty and provides a French language immersion experience for students at the 300 and 400-level during spring quarter.

Where is Avignon and what is it like?

Avignon is in Provence, 2h40 from Paris by train, and 40 miles from the Mediterranean Sea, between the Alps and the Pyrenees.
This city of art was the center of Christianity in the 14th century and its greatest monuments were recently classified as part UNESCO’s World Heritage. It is a city rich in history that possesses exceptional heritage and museums.  Throughout the year numerous internationally acclaimed cultural festivals are organized in the region:  dance and theatre festivals in Avignon, film in Cannes, photography in Arles, Lyrical Theatre in Aix-en-Provence.  The natural environment of the region offers walks in the Alpilles, the Luberon or the Cévennes.  The walks are often enriched by breaks taken in the heart of the vineyards to taste delicious traditional delicacies.



What is the climate?

Mediterranean, temperate and windy, 300 days of sun a year.

What classes would I be taking?

Courses offered will include two 300-level and three 400-level courses:
FR 343: Advanced Grammar and Composition
FR 348: French History  
FR 354/435: Proseminar: French Literature
FR 435: Proseminar: French Culture and Society
FR 432/532: Cinematographic and Literary Memories of the French Resistance

Students typically take four classes.  Taking five classes is also possible and several students choose to do so each year.  The workload tends to be lighter than during a quarter on campus.  Taking FR 343 and/or FR 469 is required.  Free tutoring is available. Participants may also undertake independent study in French or (with the instructor's approval) in another department.

Where would I take classes?

The program is hosted by the Université d'Avignon.  The campus of the Université d'Avignon is located in the heart of the historical centre of Avignon in a splendid and officially preserved park.  The university welcomes more than 7500 students, 500 of whom come from all over the world.  Thanks to its modest size and vibrant surroundings, the working conditions, information facilities, lifestyle, social integration and hospitality are exceptional.  

L'Université d'Avignon

Map of Avignon

Would I be living in a French home?

Yes. Students stay in French private homes.  Breakfast and dinner are provided.  Basic "linen" necessities such as towels, bed sheets, blankets, etc. are also provided.  Two students are often placed in the same family.  Most homes are located within walking distance of the university and the city center (20-30 minutes at the most).

Is there any pre-departure orientation?

Yes. All students applying to the program must register for ML249 in the winter (more details about the class will be available on this Web page toward the end of fall quarter).  This course will prepare students for their experience abroad, and invite them to reflect upon it as they are living it.  It will include assignments relative to such preparation starting in the winter. 
A one-day orientation will be held in France on the first day of the program.

Will there be any excursions?

Yes.  Upon arrival the group will be lodged in Avignon.  In 2010, the following were offered and paid for by the program (check Web page again for specific information for 2012):
- G
uided tour of the Palais des Papes.
- Overnight in the Alpes
- Day trip to the Provencal village of Gordes and nearby vineyard in Ménerbes.
Overnight in Marseilles. Visit of fishing village of Cassis (hiking and swimming possible).
- Day trip to Fontaine de Vaucluse (includes a visit of local museum about World War II).
- Day trip to Uzès: visit of Provencal market, and canoeing to Roman aqueduct Le Pont du Guard


Around  Avignon

How much would studying in France cost me?

In 2012, in addition to paying normal O.U. tuition, students will pay a program fee of $4100 (+ a $150 administrative fee). 
Students are responsible for:
- their own transportation to France: approximately $1400.
- lunches: approximately $600 - affordable cafeterias are available on and around campus.

- passport fee: $115.
- textbook and supplies: $150.
- incidentals/personal expenses: approximately $750 (the amount varies greatly from student to student). 
Minimum out-of-pocket expenses should be around $2815 w
hich added to the program fee and O.U. tuition and general fees (approximately $2969) makes an estimated total of $9900 per student (compared to an estimated $8500 for a regular quarter on campus). 

Is financial aid available?

Yes.  Financial aid does apply to this program.  For more details, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships in 020 Chubb Hall or click here.

What are the dates and the travel arrangements?

Students will individually be responsible for arriving in France.  Most students usually choose to travel to France before the beginning of the program and typically stay one or two weeks after.
Classes begin on the first day of spring quarter in Athens.  Students must be in France the Friday before the program begins.
Students who choose to stay after the end of spring quarter are responsible for their own housing after that date.

Students are responsible for obtaining their own visas if they intend to stay longer than 90 days (counting from the day they arrive for the program).  Note that students staying only for the duration of the program itself (about 70 days) do not need a visa if they are American citizens.  Information on visas can be obtained by contacting the French Embassy in Washington D.C.

Can I apply for the program?

The program is not limited to students majoring or minoring in French.  In recent years, students from numerous academic areas have participated.   All participants are required to have completed second-year French (FR213) by the end of fall quarter to be eligible for participation in the program. 

What is admission based on?

The program is limited to 20 participants.
Admission is selective, and is based on GPA (a minimum of 3.00 is required), two letters of recommendation, one letter of interest (in English), and an interview with the director of the program in both French and English.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the end week 6 of fall quarter.  Students should sign up for a mandatory interview with the program director.  A sign-up sheet will be put by the Office of Modern Languages in 283 Gordy Hall.  Interviews are typically conducted during the weekend shortly after the application deadline (the exact date will be posted on the page later on and applicants will be notified by email).
The students who are accepted will be notified by the end of November.  Students must then pay a non-refundable $400 deposit and accept our Student Conduct Code (Please take the time to read it before applying. Click to view its content).

Click here to download the application packet from Education Abroad.

What are the deadlines and other important dates?

Who should I contact if I need more information?

Department of Modern Languages
Tel.:  (740) 593-2765

Dr. Frederick Toner

Office of Education Abroad
Tel.: (740) 593-4583


        Apply here!        

        Information for participants (includes tentative schedule of excursions and activities, addresses and phone numbers in France, updates, etc.)

Student Conduct Code (pdf)

Office of Education Abroad: www.ohiou.edu/studyabroad

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships: www-sfa.chubb.ohiou.edu

 Office of Modern Languages: www.ohiou.edu/modlang

Université d'Avignon: www.univ-avignon.fr

For information about:

Trains in France: www.voyages-sncf.com

Visitor information Avignon: www.ot-avignon.fr

Visitor information Provence:  www.visitprovence.com




At the market...


Students' experiences

Elise, Organizational Communication Major, French Minor, Sophomore
Studying abroad in Avignon, France was the most gratifying experience that I've had in my life up until this point. Not only did I learn more about their language and culture, I also learned volumes about myself. I came back to the United States with worldly views, new perspectives, and an astonishing amount of confidence in myself. I know that my personal transformations can be accredited to my wonderful travels in France. To say the least, it was an opportunity of a lifetime and I have grown to cherish each moment that I spent in France.

Janelle, Retail Merchandising Major, Business/French Minor, Junior
Studying abroad in Avignon this past spring was by far the most amazing experience I've ever had. I'll admit that spending 3 months away from my
family, friends, and boyfriend was difficult at times, but I learned and grew so much more than I could have ever hoped, and I would never take that back. Everything from my AMAZING host family and the authentic French cuisine to speaking the language with the native French and traveling to beautiful places in Provence made my trip absolutely unforgettable. I came home with a much greater appreciation for the French language and France itself, as well as my own country, and a big handful of great new friends. If you have any interest at all in traveling to France, or anywhere for that matter, APPLY!! I never thought I would actually study abroad, and you might not either, but it is absolutely possible and will change your life in so many ways. Pictures and books can only take you so far - take this opportunity while you have it and experience Avignon and France firsthand, so you can come back and tell everyone what a wonderful experience it is, too!

Jackie, Journalism Major, Junior.
Studying in Avignon was absolutely amazing. It was an experience that I will never forget. Avignon is a perfect location to take weekend trips all over southern France, and go to the beach! We really had a chance to get to know southern France--the culture, the people and the language. My favorite part was living with a host family. My French mom was extremely patient and helpful, and she really taught me a lot about the language and culture. Avignon completely exceeded my expectations, and I couldn't imagine a better place to study abroad. I would definitely recommend the program to anyone who is interested in France!

Layla, French and Journalism Major, Sophomore
I had the time of my life in Avignon! Living with a host family was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Practicing my French all day every day was amazing and I couldn't believe how much my language improved. All the excursions were really fun and a great way to see unique places outside of Avignon. I recommend getting to know students in the exchange association, because making friends outside of the OU group can be fun. I wish I could come back next spring. I can now say that France is a second home to me, and I can't wait to return in the next few years. Take advantage of your time in France, because before you know it, you're back in the states! Anyone who wants a life changing culture adventure should do the Avignon program.

Jared, Social Work Major, Freshman
My quarter in Avignon was without a doubt the most incredible experience of my life up to this point. I could never imagine another time when I have been or will be able to leave the country for three months and learn a language from a firsthand experience, really experiencing both the language and the culture in a way that isn't possible in the United States. Avignon was beautiful, and I had the opportunity to visit some other really amazing French
cities. In my opinion, if you have the chance to go spend a quarter in France, an appreciation for the language, and the desire to study abroad, you would be denying yourself a great experience if you didn't apply to the program.

Bethanne, French Education Major, Junior
Avignon is a beautiful city with a lot to offer. It is an ideal location to travel around France and there are a lot of little cities close by that have a lot to offer as well. Provence is the most beautiful area I have ever seen and I came to find a huge appreciation for nature just by living there. I think that immersion is a great way to learn the language and being in Avignon really helped. You get to see a completely different lifestyle than most people from big cities are used to. The one negative thing that I found was that since Avignon is such a tourist city, people automatically assumed that I was a tourist too. They usually ended up speaking a lot of English back to me at stores and stuff. Besides that, I really enjoyed my time there and feel as though I learned a lot of the language, and a huge amount of the culture through living with a host family. I also learned a lot of history and saw a huge variety of different cities and cultures through traveling, as well as a few things about myself too.












(Updated 11/11/2011)