French Study Abroad Programs
For application deadlines, please contact the International Studies Office
The department encourages students on the 300 level and above to seek the linguistic, intellectual, and personal benefits that can be obtained only from a well-planned period of study in a French-speaking country.
Choosing a Program
The department strongly recommends programs organized by accredited American colleges. These, as a rule, surpass private agency offerings in quality and diversity of course offerings, economy, and administrative responsibility. Private agency programs are preferable to direct enrollment in French universities, for most students, as the latter tend to offer minimal direction, and do not assist the students through the formidable red tape of application for admissions and visa or annual registration. Moreover, they usually presuppose near-native fluency in French. Among the collegiate programs highly rated by University of Virginia students are those of Hamilton, Sweet Briar, Middlebury, and Bryn Mawr (summer only). For descriptions of numerous year and semester programs, read the section on France in Peterson's Study Abroad.
Students are urged to consult with a departmental study-abroad advisor about factors entering into a choice of program, then seek further details at the International Studies Library on the second floor of Minor Hall. Student evaluations of programs are an excellent resource, and program brochures provide very specific information concerning entrance requirements, academic calendar, courses, language(s) of instruction, housing arrangements, travel opportunities, costs, and availability of scholarship aid. Since costs fluctuate in response to inflation as well as the value of the dollar (and vary because of radically differing interpretations of the term "comprehensive fee"), the student must exercise caution in estimating expenses.
Once admitted to a program, the student will make a tentative selection of courses as part of the University petitioning process (see Formalities below). The following principles should guide the choice:
1. For graduation or major credit, a course taken abroad may not duplicate
the coverage already completed at or accepted for transfer credit by the
University of Virginia. If for example, a student has already taken FREN
343 or its equivalent, a foreign-program course designated "Survey
of 19th and 20th Century" would be avoided. However, a survey of
either 19th or 20th Century Literature would be admissible.
N.B. French civilization studies or "cultural studies" are construed by the College of Arts & Sciences and the department as interdisciplinary; that is, they involve two or more areas of the humanities or of the social sciences or, a combination of humanities and social science. Thus a course in a single field such as French political theory or the History of French Art, does not normally count for major credit in French. With sufficient evidence of interdisciplinarity (syllabi, reading lists, term papers, etc.), a departmental foreign study advisor may apply such credit to the French major or minor.
The International Studies Office requires prospective participants in a foreign study program to submit a leave of absence form filled out with (and signed by) a departmental study-abroad advisor. The form is due before the end of the last semester in residence before study abroad.Home Back Top