Program Overview

Spend your semester in beautiful Southern France! On our Semester in Aix-en-Provence program, you’ll live in this tree-lined, cobble-stoned cultural heart of France while studying at Institut Américain Universitaire (aka IAU College). To maximize your experience, opt for a certificate program in Global Wine Studies, Fine Arts, or French Honors (at a low additional cost). Or, consider adding an internship.

GPA Requirement
2.5
Application Deadlines
Fall: April 15
Spring: October 1
Avg Course Load
5 Courses (15 US credits)
Language(s) of Instruction
English and French

Key Program Highlights

  • Diverse course offerings in English and full-immersion French studies
  • Volunteer opportunities including teaching English, olive picking, olive-tree trimming, and tree planting
  • Homestays with locals
  • Orientation in Paris, and trips to Nice, Fontaine de Vaucluse, Les Baux, and Le Luberon
  • Small, safe community in the stunning southern France
  • Optional French Honors Program & academic internship

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.

Academics

WHY THIS UNIVERSITY?

IAU College allows you to study abroad in the South of France, where you can enjoy an excellent education near the Mediterranean Sea. Since 1957, IAU has offered one of the longest-running education-abroad programs in Europe. Students respect the program for its intellectual substance and international focus. The campus is nestled in the charming, chic city and former medieval village of Aix-en-Provence, or "Aix," as the locals call it.

You'll have your pick of classes in humanities, social sciences, and fine arts. And, you can choose to take courses in English or French. Campus will certainly be your home away from home, which has a bustling student union, computer labs, and a medical center. Aix has become a university city, and another institute called the Sciences Po is located just across the cobblestoned street from IAU. This means you'll easily meet local and international students literally on every corner! At breaks and mealtimes, a flood of university students hit the streets and congregate in the small, charming squares to discuss current events and grab their next espresso.

IAU holds an Absolute Charter awarded by the Regents of the State University of New York. Additionally, it is registered with the French Ministry of Education. The College is comprised of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Marchutz School of Fine Arts, the School of Business and the French Honors 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.

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

Course Information

Semester in Aix-en-Provence is housed at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS). SHSS offers a wide variety of French language, literature, and culture courses, as well as content courses taught in English and French in the following disciplines: archeology, art history, business, civilization, comparative literature, economics, education, film, government, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, studio art, and theater. In addition, if your French is advanced (at least 4 college semesters of French or the equivalent), you are eligible to take courses taught in French at the University of Aix-Marseille, enroll in the French Honors Program, or take part in an academic internship.

Course descriptions and catalog: To see a list of courses offered at IAU College for the Spring 2019 semester, please click here.

You will be notified of what courses you are registered for approximately a month before the beginning of your program.

Helpful information:
You will be required to take at least one French-language course (you are living in France, after all). If you’ve never taken French, you’ll need to take a 6-credit introductory course, because we want you to know enough French to make the most of your time abroad!

Academic Internship:
If you have four or more semesters of college-level French language (some exceptions considered), you might consider adding an academic internship. The program places you in a field related to your studies at a local business or organization in Aix-en-Provence. You would spend roughly 12 – 15 hours per week at your host organization, which, when combined with an internship seminar and roughly two hours per week of internship-related academic activities, awards three academic credits. Please ask your CISabroad Global Advisor or Program Coordinator for details.

*Please note: An additional fee of $260 will be charged to all Semester in Aix-en-Provence students enrolling in a Marchutz studio art course.

Life in Aix-en-Provence

Welcome and Orientation

Orientation to Aix-en-Provence kicks off with a welcome “apéritif” on the Sunday following arrival, during which students, staff and host families meet and mingle. On Monday students are greeted by IAU’s President, Deans and Directors, and spend the day learning information such as adapting to living with your host family, staying safe while going out, joining sports teams and clubs, obtaining a cell phone or SIM card, adjusting course schedules, and getting to know your way around both the city and campus.

Farewell and Re-entry Program

Though you’re not an astronaut returning from space, re-entering your home culture after being abroad can be shocking to the system. We’ll walk you through some of the things to expect, rehash your time abroad so that you can remember the highlights and, yep, we’ll feed you again as part of our farewell to France.

Housing Options

During your semester in Aix, you’ll live in a homestay with a French family located within walking distance of the program. This homestay will be a key component of assimilating to life in Aix-en-Provence. Host families have been carefully selected, and many of them have hosted American students for several years. Many of the homes are a 15- to 35-minute walk to your courses on campus.

Amenities:

  • You may choose a single or a double bedroom
  • Daily breakfast and six dinners per week are included
  • Your host family will provide bed linens, pillows, and blankets, although you will need to bring your own towel
  • Your room will be cleaned each week
  • Usually provided with one load of laundry per week
  • Usually internet access at the home and you’ll have access to internet in cafés around the city

After studying abroad, many students report that homestays are their favorite part of the experience. You’ll become a part of the family, be able to improve your French, and get insiders tips for how best to enjoy Aix-en-Provence!

sun soaked buildings in aix en provence

Local Life

  • Marseille: Take a bus to Marseille, France’s second-largest city with a diverse and vibrant culture. From there you can take a boat to the Chateau d’If, an ancient fortress-turned-prison that was the setting for The Count of Monte Cristo.
  • Lavender fields: Visit the lavender fields in the summer, and try lavender ice cream or lavender honey.
  • Drink pastis: Drink pastis, the local spirit made from star of anise. Just be sure to drink it the proper way and mix with water!
  • Route de Cezanne: Follow the Route de Cezanne, the path of the famous artist inspired by the landscapes of Aix and admire the views from the same spot where he painted Mont Saint Victoire countless times.
  • Mont Saint Victoire: Climb Mont Saint Victoire mountain, the major landmark of the Aix Region and Cézanne’s muse, which reaches an altitude of 1011 m.
  • Place des Prêcheurs: Explore the open-air market in the Place des Prêcheurs that features produce and products from the region.

More About Aix-en-Provence

While Aix-en-Provence has always been at a crossroads, it remains an ancient yet youthful place of discovery. The city boasts one of the best universities in France, which warmly welcomes its students. Due to a growing number of international businesses planting themselves in the city, there's been an influx of people from all over the world.

As a university town, Aix (pronounced like the letter "X") naturally provides an intellectual environment. Aix has a reputation as one of France's most engaging cities thanks to its concerts, summer festivals, libraries, museums, bookstores, markets, and cafés. Additionally, don't forget a visit the spot where post-impressionist painter Paul Cezanne was born and created many beautiful works. In June and July, mark you calendar for the jazz and opera festivals that take over the city's courtyards, outdoor theaters, and streets.

The city is easy to navigate. You can walk across the main part of town in fifteen minutes! Since Aix is close to the Mediterranean coast, you can enjoy beaches and seaside towns. If you want to travel the area, Aix-en-Provence offers a comprehensive system of trains, buses, and taxis. Furthermore, the nearby Marseille/Provence airport lets you take advantage of low-cost flights to the rest of Europe and Northern Africa.

Program Excursions

While participating on a CISabroad program, you'll be able to take part in built-in day trips at no additional cost. These trips are subject to change from term to term; listed below are excursions that have run in the past.

Ardeche

Escape to the Ardèche region in the fall semester for a literal breath of fresh air from the enduring summer temperatures in the south. Students may go rock climbing, caving, canoeing, hiking, swimming, or just amble through the beautiful forest.

CISabroad Study Abroad Semester Program alpes france excursion

Vars in the Hautes-Alpes

Enjoy a weekend in the mountains during your spring semester. Students have the choice to go skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, or just to enjoy the cozy lodges in the mountains.

CISabroad Study Abroad Semester Program moustiers gorges du verdon france excursion

Moustiers & Gorges du Verdon

This summer excursion heads east into the Department of the Var, stopping to discover Moustiers Sainte Marie, a medieval village at the base of rocky cliffs. We’ll head to Lac de Sainte-Croix, a beautiful man-made lake at the entrance to the Gorges du Verdon, known for its beaches and water sports. On our return route, you’ll see some of the famous lavender fields that cover the plateau.


Student Feedback

I went to France knowing very little French… It was when I started learning little by little with my host family that I started improving on my French. Since I got back from my study abroad experience, I’ve become much more independent and confident. I’ve made some of my best friends, and I’ve gained some of the most amazing experiences of my life. If it wasn’t for my time abroad I would not be the person I am today.

Cynthia Rebeil, Semester in Aix-en-Provence, Wagner College

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 Coordinator for 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

Christelle Le Gars
Site Director in Aix-en-Provence

Travel Tip: If speaking French is a bit of a challenge, remember that a Bonjour or a Merci beaucoup from a smiling person always works out here in Aix! The light is just amazing in Provence: bring your camera, sketchbook or others to create great visuals from the South East of France. Marseille Provence Airport is next door – make the most of your stay by travelling during the weekend in Europe!

Learn more about Christelle

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.

  • Spring 2019: Early Start - Intensive French
    Application Deadline
    October 1
    Arrival
    January 19
    Orientation
    Week of January 21
    Classes Start
    January 30
    Classes End
    May 6
    Departure
    May 12
    PRICE
    $18,990 - $21,290
  • Spring 2019: Regular Start
    Application Deadline
    October 1
    Arrival
    January 24
    Orientation
    January 25 - 26; January 27 - 28
    Classes Start
    January 30
    Classes End
    May 6
    Departure
    May 12
    PRICE
    $18,990 - $20,090
  • Fall 2019: Regular Start
    Application Deadline
    April 15
    Arrival
    September 5
    Departure
    December 18
    PRICE
    $19,990 - $21,590
  • Fall 2019: Early Start - Intensive French
    Application Deadline
    April 15
    Arrival
    August 31
    Departure
    December 18
    PRICE
    $21,090 - $22,690

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

OPTIONAL ADD-ONS

Add on even more adventure with CISabroad’s Explore Europe Weekends – for only $490! Travel to Paris or Athens during your semester program and meet up with other CISabroad participants. Our trusted CISabroad site directors will show you the most famous excursions as well as how to truly live La Vida Local. Your all-inclusive Explore Europe Weekend package includes travel around the city, accommodations, and entertainment – an incredible value for $490.


Looking for both the academics AND work experience while you’re abroad? Consider adding an internship in a local business or organization in Aix! You’ll need to have close to four semesters of French or equivalent proficiency. You can expect to spend about 12 – 15 hours per week at your internship, for which you’ll earn 3 credits. Contact a global advisor for more info.


Interested in extending your stay? You could earn up to a $1,000 discount!

Many students wish they could extend their time abroad. It’s often easier to do so before your program starts, rather than when you’re on site. From doing a full-year program to adding an internship or even combining two programs in different countries, there are many ways we can help you. Ask your global advisor for more info.

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:

  • On-site orientation in Paris
  • Full-time tuition and fees
  • Housing (daily breakfast and 6 dinners per week)
  • Medical and accident insurance
  • CISabroad support services before, during, and after the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial aid counseling
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • Airport pickup
  • 2 day trips
  • On-site support
  • NYTimes Digital Subscription
  • La Vida Local cultural program
  • IAU College official transcript