Saint Francis University's Office for Study Abroad offers a semester abroad program in France for the same room/board and tuition costs as a semester on campus in Loretto (students' financial aid packages apply). Students stay in the University's facility in Ambialet, located in southwestern France. The site is perched on a hilltop overlooking the Tarn River and the village of Ambialet. The program is based in Ambialet but includes extended stays in Paris and Barcelona. Students profit from numerous visits to important sites in the region. Visits to museums, monuments and natural sites are enhanced by events such as fairs, pastry fests and concerts.
Students in every major are eligible for the France program upon completion of their first semester. Most students find the Semester in France program fits their curriculum best either during the spring semester of their freshmen year or one of the sophomore semesters. Students interested in this program should talk with their academic advisors about which semester fits best in their college career.
Courses offered each semester in France include French Language, Culture and Values, Early and Medieval Church History and Architecture, Comparative Health Systems, and Human Anatomy and Physiology. Additional courses are offered, each semester, by visiting faculty. Students may also take on-line courses to help maintain their progress toward graduation.
Ambialet is located 25 minutes from Albi (population 50,000), the largest city in the Tarn region of Southwest France. In Ambialet/Albi the focus is on the language/culture course to ensure everyone has basic communication skills in French. The course work covers intensively the religious pilgrimages and the fascinating period in southwestern France that involved the Cathars. This is the primary historical foundation of the region, and every advantage is taken to include the region's hilltop towns, fortified castles, cities, splendid cathedrals and shrines. Students in the Health Systems course will also visit numerous health care facilities to experience, first-hand, the French health system.
While in Paris and Barcelona, the academic focus is on art, history, language and culture. From their centrally–located dormitories, students will visit working artists in their studios, museums, landmarks, architectural wonders (even the department stores are works of art!) – indeed, everything that make these places the magical cities they are!
The tuition and room/board costs for a Semester in France are the same as a semester in Loretto. Students may use their complete financial aid package (some exceptions may apply). The only additional expense will be airfare and personal spending. Students are also expected to cover their own costs for non-course related travel (mid-semester break, etc.).
Students interested in this program will need to obtain a valid passport and student visa. If you have any interest in traveling abroad, and don't yet have these items, please begin the process ASAP. For the student visa, you will need to complete the "long term visa" form.
Students must have a 2.7 QPA (anything lower requires approval from the program director).
A completed Semester in France Application is to be returned to the Office for Study Abroad in 15 Francis Hall along with:
Semester in France Spring Application
Semester in France Fall Application
Semester in France Student Handbook
Student Visa Information (France)
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