Program Overview

On our January European Culture program, you’ll travel throughout several of Europe’s most famous and illustrious cities, including Rome, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Paris, Amsterdam, and Prague. This three-week program explores each city’s historical art and literature. Expect to absorb an academic foundation about each location, and take a deep dive into the cities’ culture, literature, cinema, music, and art. You’ll attend lectures and study with distinguished, expert scholars and local guides. At the end of this seminar, you’ll have a better appreciation for how art and literature have shaped Europe and the people who live there.

GPA Requirement
Application Deadlines
October 1
Avg Course Load
1 course (3 U.S. credits)
Language(s) of Instruction
  • Great support services with English-speaking staff
  • Various academic focuses, including anthropology, communication studies, European studies, geography, and literature
  • Trips to famous landmarks, fun outings, and unique tours
  • All program-related travel (except round-trip airfare from the US) included
Your Journey Begins Here
  • Connect with your Global Advisor to start planning. Apply by the application deadline.
  • Meet your Program Coordinator to finalize acceptance paperwork, housing, courses, flights, visas, payments, etc. Attend a pre-departure orientation.
  • Fly away. You'll be greeted at the airport, participate in a robust On-site Orientation and La Vida Local Curriculum with your Site Director.



IAU College, a not-for-profit institution of higher education, has been operating study abroad programs for US college and university students since 1957. IAU College has received students from more than 700 colleges and universities, with over 20,000 participants over its long history. The oldest and largest American institute in southern France, IAU College has recently expanded program offerings outside of France to compare and contrast the languages, cultures, landscapes, and contemporary issues within and between broader European and African locations and contexts.

With operation bases in both the US and France, as well as staff and faculty who travel to and research throughout much of Europe and Africa, IAU College’s programs offer a unique cross-cultural perspective. While proud of their French foundation, IAU College are equally enthusiastic about their multi-disciplinary and comparative multi-country study abroad programs. Through intensive study, travel, and reflection, IAU College’s thematic traveling programs allow students to gain leaps and bounds personally, academically, socially, and culturally. IAU College continually strives to deliver on its mission of providing “an international education that inspires intercultural awareness and prepares students for responsible roles in a global community through the study of European and Mediterranean history, languages, cultures, and contemporary issues.”

CIS Abroad is proud to collaborate with IAU College to offer this unique “traveling seminar” or travel-study program.

Accreditation(s): IAU College (formerly the Institute for American Universities) holds an Absolute Charter awarded by the Regents of the State University of New York, is registered with the French Ministry of Education and recognized by the Recteur of the Université d’Aix-Marseille.

How to Choose Your Courses

Now the fun part! You get to pick the courses you will take abroad. Review the course information on this page. Once you’ve decided which courses you want to take, fill out the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet in your online portal.

Course Approval

Make sure to talk with your home university about course approval and get additional classes approved before you go abroad. For example, if you are taking 4 classes abroad, we recommend getting 8 approved. This gives you some flexibility in setting up your class schedule. Think about courses required for your major, but also courses that fulfill your elective requirements.

GPA Requirement

If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement listed at the top of this page, do not despair! Get in touch to let us know your situation. In many cases, there are additional application materials that you can submit to make your case for acceptance.

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Choose Your Courses

Choose your courses, making sure to get them approved by your home university and then fill out the Course Selection Worksheet in your portal.

Life in Rome, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Paris, Amsterdam, and Prague

Welcome and Orientation

This traveling study abroad program packs a lot in a short amount of time. That said, it’s of utmost importance that students respect and can confide in the professors and program leaders. We’ll start building good rapport among all program attendees and establish expectations through a comprehensive orientation. We’ll cover local topics such as culture and language, as well as rules, regulations, guidelines, and expectations of the program in general.

Since we’ll be moving at such a quick rate, we’ll typically provide a briefing of each location before or upon arrival, as well as city tours and tours of various places of interest. While you can’t expect to learn your way around each new city, you’ll always have resources and the program staff and local guides of whom to ask questions about each location. Program activities are sufficient, allowing you to see most iconic sights. However, you’ll also have free time to explore, and with just a bit of preparation you can be sure to make the absolute most of your time!

Farewell and Re-entry Program

While your academic and personal learning and growth will continue long after this amazing and engaging program is over, we’ll have to part ways eventually… Swap contact details and plans to share your treasured memories in digital form, and plan a European reunion with the friends you’ve made. We’ll also provide resources so you’ll know what to expect upon your “return to reality,” which will likely come with a dose of “reverse culture shock.” Not to worry though, as you’ll have plenty of resources to continue to process your experience, whether that’s through involvement at your school, through our ambassador program, or by planning your next study abroad program with CISabroad (for which you’ll get a discount!). If friends and family can’t appreciate all that you experienced, we know of some great “support groups” (one being us)!

Housing Options

Housing will be shared rooms with up to four people per room. Students will stay at hotels, hostels, student dorms, and/or homestays in each location. Breakfasts will be included most days.

students behind pillars in Rome

Local Life

  • Rich Culture, Then and Now: This program was designed to emphasize the cultural richness of each destination visited. It shouldn't come as a surprise that cities renowned for their cultural heritage dating back a couple centuries still maintain a certain sense of pride and rich cultural traditions nowadays. "When in Rome" (or any of the other program's culturally-rich cities) do as the locals do, whether that is strolling the promenade, sipping espresso at a streetside cafe, lounging in the park, enjoying a fine meal, or simply people-watching in the plaza.
  • Awe-Inspiring Monuments: Awe-Inspiring Monuments: From the Colosseum and Pantheon to Fascist-era architecture, Rome alone will allow you to visit a wide range of landmarks of historic and cultural significance spanning a wide timeline. Enjoy a glimpse back in time while walking through places like the old town of Prague. Equally inspiring are more contemporary places like Palais Garnier in Paris, and Soviet-era remnants in Prague.
  • Field-Based Studies: In other words, ditch those books for the real thing! This study-tour type program not only moves frequently between destinations, but also within each impressive city. Enjoy tours of historic districts, archaeological sites, palaces, gardens, museums and just about anything of aesthetic, historic, and/or cultural significance. Bring extra memory and charging capability for your preferred photo capturing devices!

More About Rome, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Paris, Amsterdam, and Prague

This three-week program is absolutely packed with travel and exploration. You'll visit four countries and six cities so you can experience a wide range of European cultures. Expect to see and do things that provide genuine insight into the places you’re visiting.

The program kicks off in Aix-en-Provence (or just "Aix"), a lovely university town and great place to get oriented to your fellow participants and program staff. Aix also happens to be one of the most charming cities in France. The winding streets of Aix are often filled with visitors from around the world. In spite of its global appeal, Aix feels quaint, and you can walk across the center of town in just fifteen minutes. From your home base in Aix, you'll also spend some time in Marseille, the largest port on the Mediterranean coast.

We'll then hop a train up to Paris. Famous for its romantic atmosphere, rich history, and incredible influence on fashion, design, art, cuisine, and culture, Paris provides the perfect location to dial up the program energy a bit! This densely populated city is the capital of France and considered a cultural capital internationally. While in Paris, you can visit iconic sights like the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral (to witness the restoration efforts), and the Tuilerie Gardens. Just strolling along the Seine River and watching life go by can be a magical experience in Paris.

We'll fly over to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. Widely considered one of the European continent's most beautiful, best-preserved cities, Prague is small enough to avoid being overwhelming, yet large enough to hold many treasures. From the hill-top Prague Castle, you can see Charles Bridge over the Vltava River and the city beyond.

The final destination on this epic jaunt around Europe is the "Eternal City" of Rome. If you've ever wanted to glimpse the past while also enjoying the thrills of a modern city, you've come to the right place. Rome offers countless historical attractions alongside a vibrant cultural scene. As the hub of European politics, art, and fashion, it's an appropriately culminating stop on a tour of Europe's great cities.

Your Support Staff

Global Advising Team

Travel Tip: We love what we do and want to talk to you! The Global Advising Center is here to help you decide on a program, and complete the Online Application. From the moment you first hear from us be it through a phone call, email or personal visit, you will find that our passion for international education is contagious. We’re ready to launch you abroad.

Zachary Bookman
Program Enrollment Coordinator - Europe

Travel Tip: Try that strange-looking food. Learn to navigate the city with public transportation. Interact with the locals. Pushing through what can sometimes be uncomfortable situations can be the best way to experience a culture and eventually feel at home in it.

Learn more about Zachary

Barbara Castaldo

Travel Tip: Everyday we have many activities scheduled, classes in the morning, visits in the afternoon, so it is very important that you come prepared.

Learn more about Barbara

Student Feedback

Over the course of a little over two weeks, I saw such an impressive arrangement of great cities. In each city, our professors brought the literature and arts we studied about in the classroom to life when we visited museums, operas, and went on neighborhood tours. My study abroad adventure was made complete by a great group of friends. We keep in touch to this day, even if we’re half a world apart.

Rebecca Baron, January European Culture: Rome, Aix, Marseille, Paris, London, & Prague, Brooklyn College

Program Fees & Dates

Advisor Tip: Please do not book flights until you have received confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork. Dates posted here are subject to change.

  • January 2020
    Application Deadline
    October 1
    December 28 (Estimated)
    January 14 (Estimated)
    $6,290 (Estimated)

CIS Abroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.

Program Inclusions

As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.

Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

  • Cities on itinerary are Rome, Paris, Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, London, and Prague
  • Visits to museums, galleries, and historical monuments
  • All program-related travel (except round-trip airfare from the US)
  • Breakfast daily and most dinners
  • Housing
  • Medical and accident insurance
  • CISabroad support before, during, and after the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial aid counseling
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • On-site orientation
  • Tuition and fees
  • IAU College official transcript
  • La Vida Local cultural program