With a mild Mediterranean climate, striking scenery, historic sites, and incredible restaurants, it’s easy to fall in love with Aix-en-Provence, or “Aix,” as the locals call it. During Semester in Aix-en-Provence, you can improve your French (or just begin learning the language) as you wind you way around this charming, chic city. A true “college town,” you’ll meet other students from all over the world, and together you can explore the nearby seaside villages, beaches, and exquisite sites. Additionally, you can join numerous service-learning opportunities to get involved both on campus and in your local community. What better way to truly immerse yourself in your new home?
- GPA Requirement
- Application Deadlines
Fall: April 15
Spring: October 15
- 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
- Trips to Nice, Fontaine de Vaucluse, Les Baux, and Le Luberon
- Small, safe community in the stunning southern France
- Optional French Honors Program
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.
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, adjusting course schedules, and getting to know your way around both the city and our 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.
During your January term, you’ll live in a homestay with a French family located within easy walking distance of the program. This homestay will be a key component of assimilating to life in Aix-en-Provence. Your 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.
- 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!
- 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.
While participating on a CISabroad program, you'll be able to take part in built-in weekend and 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.
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.
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.
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 Ste. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Choose your courses, making sure to get them approved by your home university and then fill out the Course Selection Worksheet.
Semester in Aix en Provence is housed at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS). SHSS offers a wide variety of courses taught in English and French, as well as French-language classes, in the following disciplines: archeology, art history, business, civilization, comparative literature, economics, education, film, government, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, studio art, theater, and the French language (beginner to advanced). 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 or enroll in the French Honors Program.
Course descriptions and catalog: To see a list of courses offered at IAU College, please click here.
You will be notified of what courses you are registered for approximately a month before the beginning of your program.
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!
*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.
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.
Emily Koehler - Indiana University Bloomington
Program SupportMeet 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.
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
PROgrams Team Manager - Thailand, China, Japan, France, Summer Multi-Country
Site Director in Aix en Provence, France
Application DeadlineApril 15ArrivalEarly Start with Intensive French: September 2; General Arrival: September 9OrientationSeptember 11 - September 12Classes StartSeptember 13Classes EndDecember 14DepartureDecember 20PRICE$17,990 - $19,090
Application DeadlineOctober 15ArrivalEarly Start with Intensive French: January 13; General Arrival: January 20 (Estimated)OrientationJanuary 22 - January 23 (Estimated)Classes StartJanuary 24 (Estimated)Classes EndMay 11 (Estimated)DepartureMay 13 (Estimated)PRICE$17,990 - $19,090 (Estimated)
CISabroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.
As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.
Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:
- 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