The institute for American Universities is one of the oldest education abroad programs in Europe. It provides students with academic program of intellectual substance and international focus in the fertile foreign setting of southern France. Founded in 1957, IAU offers a compelling combination – the assurance of a rigorous American form of education thoroughly integrated into all that is exceptional and powerful in French culture. In smaller cities like Aix, where Americans are not quite so common a sight, it is easier to meet residents and other university students spontaneously, and to speak French. A variety of academic options accommodate beginning, intermediate to advance / bilingual French speakers. You will learn about French traditions and gain insight into the culture through your homestay family.
Website of Program/University:
Unique Aspects of Program:
Being a university town, Aix provides a natural intellectual environment from which the Institute for American Universities benefits and to which it contributes. The many concerts, summer festivals, libraries, museums, bookstores, markets, and cafés have earned Aix its reputation as one of France’s most engaging cities. This is a city whose diverse offerings are easily accessible for students-it is small enough that one can walk across the main part of town in 15 minutes. Aix is emphatically not, however, a sleepy village. It bustles with pedestrians, cars, mopeds, and the voices of its inhabitant.
Country and/or City Information
Aix-en-Provence is the city of art, and a city of light and activity. Aix is also a home of art schools and several universities, including some American, attracting a youthful population that sparks the atmosphere. The center of Aix is the old town (vieille ville), ringed by a circle of boulevards and squares. Cours Mirabeau is the center and the heart of Aix. The Cours Mirabeau is a beautiful tree-lined avenue, with one side lined with wonderful terrace cafés and bookshops. Large plane trees overhang the length of the avenue, giving day-long shade on hot days.
2.5 GPA, Open to sophomores, juniors or seniors.
The courses are in the areas of; Archaeology, Art, Art History, Business, Drama, Economics, Education, French Civilization, French Language, French Literature, History, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology
Students are generally housed in the homes of French host families, though independent living arrangements can be made when necessary. Living in a French home is considered the best form of housing because it provides an immediate introduction to life in this new place. “Family” should not be interpreted too narrowly. Increasingly, about 50% of IAU’s host families are childless couples or divorced women with children who enjoy having a student living with them. Host families come from a cross-section of society; they belong to no particular professional or social milieu, but all are carefully chosen and many have hosted American students for several years. Students find that speaking French at home is the single greatest factor in increasing their facility with the language.
Living in a French home is seen universally as an invaluable opportunity not found in many study abroad programs. Naturally, all students must accept the constraints and responsibilities that such arrangements entail. Whenever possible, IAU accommodates students’ stated housing preferences.
Daily continental breakfasts and most dinners are taken in the student’s French home. Students are responsible for lunches. There is a multitude of affordable cafés, brasseries, small sandwich and grocery shops from which to choose. Many other food markets are available around town during the week.
If you are a student at one of the U.S. Lasallian universities or colleges, you will remain enrolled at your school and pay tuition and program fees there. Tuition is based on your campus tuition rates and may include an additional surcharge depending on the program. Contact the person on your campus responsible for study abroad.
Fall semester – September through December
Spring semester – January through May
Fall semester – March 1
Spring Semester: October 1
Must complete SMC online application and Institute for American Universities (IAU) application..
Please be sure to include a printed copy of all your application pieces in the packet to be sent to Saint Mary’s College of California.
For more information, please visit La Sallian International Programs Consortium.