Program Overview

Trade your winter blues for a unique travel-study program in the Mediterranean. During our January Mediterranean Basin program, you’ll spend a little over two weeks traveling in three different sun-kissed countries: France, Greece, and Italy. Visit eleven cities and study the history of art and archaeology, as well as cross-cultural and religious studies from the Mediterranean Basin. You’ll attend lectures from leading experts and take a deep dive into the topics that most interest you. Soak up the history of Italy and France and explore the Greek islands. This is the perfect program if you want to travel as much as possible during your winter break.

GPA Requirement
Application Deadlines
October 1
Avg Course Load
1 course (3 U.S. credits)
Language(s) of Instruction

Key Program Highlights

  • Winter break program allows you to get ahead academically
  • Fun, experiential learning approach
  • Credit in a variety of fields, including art, archaeology, history and politics, or religion
  • Great support services with English-speaking staff
  • All program-related travel (except round-trip airfare from the US) included in price

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."

CISabroad 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 and 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.

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

Course Information

Course descriptions and catalog:

The following are the approved courses for January 2018:

  • Art History 385: Ancient and Medieval Classical Art and Architecture
  • History 385: Ancient and Medieval Mediterranean Cultural History
  • Archaeology 385: Greek and Roman Archaeology
  • Cross-Cultural Studies 385: Cultural Identities in Mediterranean Europe
  • Religious Studies 385: From Polytheism to Monotheism, The Early Christian Period in France, Italy, and Greece

For details or syllabi, please contact your designated CISabroad staff or a study abroad advisor.
Helpful information
You will be notified of what courses you are registered for approximately a month before the beginning of your program.

Life in Aix-en-Provence, Florence, Rome, Amalfi Coast, and Athens

Welcome and Orientation

While you can certainly expect a pleasant physical and social atmosphere as you explore Mediterranean-influenced destinations on this epic and engaging January travel-study program, we’ll prepare you for what’s to come in the form of an extensive orientation. Upon arrival at our extensive program base in Aix-en-Provence, you’ll meet your fellow students and the professors and program leaders. We’ll cover local topics such as culture and language, as well as rules, regulations, guidelines, and expectations of the program in general. We’ll then enjoy our first social outing in the form of a welcome dinner at a local restaurant, where we can get a first taste of the fine food typical of the Mediterranean region and enjoy a less formal setting to get to know each other.

Farewell and Re-entry Program

After soaking up the best of the Mediterranean climate, culture and history, it’s not going to be easy to leave! Although your personal and academic gains will continue much beyond the program’s end, we’ll gather everybody for a final wrap-up and reflection. We’ll also start to prepare you for what to expect emotionally upon returning home, which oftentimes comes with a bit of “reverse culture shock,” symptoms of which commonly include daydreaming, storytelling, and frequent hashing of plans for your next trip overseas. We’ll give you some pointers on how to verbalize your experience in a resume and job interview, resources to stay involved in study abroad and a discount for a future program. We have plenty of programs that can take you back to places you visited on this program, and even more that will expose you to wonderful, new places and people!

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.

buildings on greece hillside

Local Life

  • Idyllic Southern France: Southern France enjoys a great quality of life and operates at a slower pace than its northern neighbors. Its fine food and wine and beautiful and historic cities are the envy of Parisians and encourage people from afar to expatriate to fully immerse in this idyllic yet vibrant setting. When in southern France, make sure to do as the locals do (which is oftentimes nothing!), and allow ample time to idle by the sea and stroll through fields of lavender.
  • Rich Cultural Heritage of Italy: Reaching all the way back to the Roman Empire, Italy's historical significance is apparent in the form of its countless monuments and ancient architecture. However rich its legacy, Italians are as proud as ever to be part of a nation that enjoys such a vibrant culture that largely resists tendencies to "modernize" and commercialize. Explore traditional neighborhoods where social networks pulse in the streets, not online, and the streets are too narrow for "big box" stores to attempt to displace mom-and-pop shops.
  • Grecian Monuments: Equally impressive as its beautiful landscapes and vibrant culture, Greece's ancient monuments are awe-inspiring. We'll dig deep (pun intended) into the archaeology of Ancient Greece through visits to sites such as the Acropolis, Olympia, and Delphi to uncover (pun intended) one of the richest and most dynamic cultures ever.

More About Aix-en-Provence, Florence, Rome, Amalfi Coast, and Athens

The following are some locations that may be part of the program's itinerary; specific destinations will be communicated closer to departure.

Aix-en-Provence is often filled with visitors from around the world that come to shop in its vibrant markets, view the works of Paul Cézanne, and of course, taste the region's wine.

Glanum showcases well-preserved ruins from the ancient Celts and Romans. This former town is nestled in the foothills of the Alpilles Mountains.

Florence is located in the heart of Italy’s Tuscany region. This vibrant city is alive year round, with markets, architecture, and more for you to explore.

Pisa is a vibrant, maritime city rich with historical sites. Located along the shoreline of central Italy, this city was once a key player in major trade routes.

Rome is Italy’s capital and is home to approximately 2.7 million people. This city holds a prominent position as a European hub for politics, art, fashion, history, and more.

Amalfi Coast is easily described as a paradise by the sea. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the coast boasts gorgeous views and is known for its production of lemons.

Pompeii is a famous, ancient town destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius around two thousand years ago. This UNESCO World Heritage site features significant portions of the city that are well-preserved for archaeologists to research.

Athens is the capital city of Greece and has long held influence in the realms of business, culture, politics, and education. Dotted with historical landmarks and echoes of the past, this city is a gold mine for those seeking to understand the roots of our modern world.

Cape Sounion is the site of the ancient Greek temple of Poseidon and a popular spot for visitors to see sunsets over the Aegean Sea.

Mycenia (Mycenae in Greek) is an ancient citadel located on the top of a hill. Once a prominent city in Greece, its ruins are an archaeological treasure.

Epidaurus is a small city known in part for the Sanctuary of Asclepius, an infamous healing center of the Classical world, and its ancient theatre.

Delphi was once a powerful and highly regarded holy place because it housed the revered Oracle, or prophet. Located on the side of Mount Parnassus, many of the ruins still show the splendor of this Greek sanctuary.

Student Feedback

The best part of a J-term program is that it is packed into 3 weeks. The places we visited were rich in culture and religion, details that I would have missed if I visited the places on my own. If I had the opportunity I would definitely go on the trip again.

Lakshmi N. - Saint Josephs University

Program Support

Meet Our Staff

Before, during, and after your study abroad experience, you’ll be supported by the dedicated and passionate CISabroad staff. Our goal is quick responses to your questions before you depart, and even quicker once you’ve arrived on site.

Robust Advising Center

Our team of advisors will help you choose a program, connect with your home university regarding classes and financial aid and get you prepared to apply for your program.

Team of Dedicated Program Coordinators

Your Program Coordinator will assist you in finalizing housing, enrolling in courses, booking flights, obtaining visas, arranging payments, and provide pre-departure orientation.

Experienced On-site Staff

From greeting you at the airport to a robust On-site Orientation to La Vida Local Activities our on-site staff will be there to support you throughout your time on-site.

Ongoing Support

Our support doesn’t end when your program does. We have alumni programming, webinars, and resources to help you readjust when you’ve returned from your experience.

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.

Joan Perreault
Manager of Programs - Europe and Latin America

Travel Tip: Drink coffee the local way. Dine with a host family. Eat some recommended street food. Drink fresh juice from local fruits. Find that hole-in-the-wall restaurant that will probably serve the best meal of your time abroad (and it will likely cost less too!). Food and drink can be an excellent inroad to getting to know another culture.

Learn more about Joan

Bruce Hitchner

Travel Tip: This is an intensive experience in the sense that we start early in the morning and we go until late afternoon. It does involve a fair amount of walking and talking, so the first thing I’d say is get a good pair of shoes.

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 2019
    Application Deadline
    October 1
    December 28
    January 14
    $5,790 (Estimated)

CISabroad 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:

  • All program-related travel (except round-trip airfare from the US)
  • Breakfast daily and some dinners
  • Academic, social, cultural and recreational activities
  • 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
  • NYTimes Digital Subscription
  • La Vida Local cultural program