IAU College | Study Humanities & Social Sciences in France
94% Rating
(9 Reviews)

IAU College | Study Humanities & Social Sciences in France

The School of Humanities and Social Sciences, located in the beautiful old section of Aix-en-Provence, once a medieval village, is the only study abroad center in the region that offers classes in both French and English. IAU prides itself on the diversity of its course offerings in both languages, which enables students with strong French language ability and those with not so strong language ability to gain access to a study abroad experience.

The multiple course offerings allow students to fulfill many of their general education requirements and complete major and minor requirements linked to areas in the humanities, social sciences, education, and the arts. Students find courses in subject areas such as psychology, political science, comparative literature, art history, studio art, business, economics, philosophy, education, history, archeology, civilization, theatre, government and the French language from the beginning to the advanced levels.

Subject Areas
Art History
Conflict Studies
Creative Writing
Cultural Studies
English Literature
European Studies
Global Studies
International Business
Liberal Arts
Media Relations
Museum Studies
Peace Studies
Service Learning
Social Sciences
Theater, Drama and Dance
Visual Arts
Women's Studies
Degree Level
Academic Year
Host Family
Online Application
Statement of Purpose
Official Transcripts
Letters of Recommendation
Age Requirement
GPA Requirement
Health Requirement
Starting Price
Price Details
Program fees include tuition, housing, continental breakfast every day and six evening meals per week, activity fee, orientation, textbook rental, health, liability and repatriation insurance, excursions, and scheduled cultural activities. Additional student costs include round trip airfare, lunches, and personal expenses.

Questions & Answers

The rigor of IAU classes was comparable to my classes at my home university. I found IAU classes to be easier to follow though since the class size was smaller than my home institution (10-15 students per class typically) and I felt more comfortable asking questions and discussing the material with the professors. I also found that the IAU professors take more time to make sure every student full...

Program Reviews

based on 9 reviews
  • Academics 7.7
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.2
  • Housing 9
  • Safety 9.1
Showing 1 - 9 of 9
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Aix-en-Provence, an International Adventure

Studying abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France in my fall semester of junior year was so much more than just a ‘French’ semester abroad. I continued my International Studies coursework that consisted of classes dealing with the contemporary social and political climates in France, as well as a course about the unity and expansion of the European Union taught by an American ex-pat. A history course taught through the exploration of antique monuments and a course on international wine marketing and analysis rounded out my schedule. I enjoyed the balance of learning about big-picture, macro-level ideas and institutions, while still concentrating on topics inherently Provençal.
In giving advice about my experience, a lot of talk has come up about travel abroad being 'study tourism.' Thus, I implore those who are wanting to study in France to actively take advantage of what this amazing country has to offer and not be overcome with having to travel every weekend. I visited only places that I knew I would never have the chance of seeing again.

How can this program be improved?

Coming from a prestigious liberal arts college in the US, the level of academics was not up to par to what I have here. Also, I think the program could offer more in terms of actively helping students contact members of the local community to pursue actives they are interested in. I basically took it upon myself to find a community where I could continue practicing and training for tennis, the sport I play collegiately in the US.

Yes, I recommend
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Building Freindships

The beautiful thing about IAU's location in France is how it is situated perfectly in the center of Aix-en-Provence. The size of the town is about the same as a medium/large sized college in the United States, so overwhelming size isn't something you need to think about on top of everything that comes along with being in a different country. The best part is that you really have a chance to get to know the locals, especially students who attend the French college just around the corner. Having the ability to immerse myself by getting to know actual people like me who are local made all the difference.

How can this program be improved?

I would focus on housing and how to deal with any snags students have with the homestay policy.

Yes, I recommend

Great program!

I really enjoyed my experience at IAU! Despite the fact it is a study center for just US students, they give you plenty of opportunities to practice your French and interact with locals. I took all my courses in French, and the university put me in contact with a French business for an internship, and local French students whom I could practice my French with. My host family was great, and the on-site staff was always super friendly and helpful! I would definitely recommend this program to other people.

How can this program be improved?

When I was there, a few of my friends had some poor housing experiences. I believe this was because the university had just gotten a new housing coordinator, so that could be improved.

Yes, I recommend
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IAU College-Aix-en-Provence

IAU College was simply an amazing experience. The professors are all so fantastic and the school is incredible. They teach through experiential learning, small group discussions, readings, essay responses and sometimes through exams as well. The way they teach is a way to teach you how to enjoy learning the material. It was such a refreshing environment coming from a huge Univ such as Colorado State. I loved the 150 person semester class of students from all over the US and UK! The school truly cares about the students and this you can truly feel as a student there. I highly recommend this program. I also highly recommend Aix-en-Provence as a study abroad city. It is a notorious college town for students of all backgrounds. It is also very safe and not too big but large enough where there is plenty to see and do.

How can this program be improved?

I don't see any ways this program could be improved.

Yes, I recommend
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IAU College Fall Semester 2014 in Aix

I wanted to study abroad for a variety of reasons: to experience a different culture, improve my French language skills, and travel. IAU college allowed me to do all these things. While I certainly wanted a rich academic experience, which I got with the courses I took this semester, I really appreciate the cultural experiences that I've had through IAU. My home stay has been fantastic as I've learned so much about French culture and really been able to hone my skills in French conversation. My French class is creative and not so grammar heavy that the conversational and everyday usage of the language is lost. The small class sizes allow for great discussion and the field trips really add a tangible, real-world aspect to class. For example, the material we learned in class came to life during our visit to vineyards in my wine studies class. If you want to meet other French students or locals, there are a ton of opportunities to do so and the IAU administration will help you find these opportunities. Aix is lovely and in a great location for travels to other countries from the Aix-TGV station or the Marseille airport. I highly recommend this program!

How can this program be improved?

I think that continuing to introduce and make available opportunities to meet other locals/French students is really important and could be done more.

Yes, I recommend
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Can I go back now?

My semester in Aix was the most wonderful and memorable experience of my life so far. Studying abroad, more specifically studying in a city as beautiful as Aix, was an unreal experience. I was able to learn about and immerse myself into so much of the culture and way of life through my time with my host family, and living right by the city center. It is a social place, as much of the city is filled with students, both French and International. I felt that it was a great balance between the historical culture of Aix and a present day social culture as well. I met the most amazing people in, and outside, of the IAU program, and living with my host mom was definitely the most rewarding. I learned more than I ever thought possible about the culture, and about myself. Between the support from IAU's staff, the in and outside classroom learning opportunities, and doing a bit of my own exploring -- I would not change the last 4 months for anything. I am happy to have found a home away from home in this wonderful city and cannot wait to return.

How can this program be improved?

I would say maybe even more opportunities to interact with French students, though there were definitely a few offered. In addition, maybe adding more of a conversation based curriculum in the French classes.

Yes, I recommend
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IAU - Aix-en-Provence, France

This is an amazingly well organized program with fantastic staff and faculty. My family has been attending IAU for three generations!

Yamina is amazing and she is always available to talk to, ask questions, handle any issues that come up, etc. The university is super quaint, and upon my visit last year they have added an entire new building! The faculty are all amazing and really focus on integrating the local culture into the classroom by taking visits to the local market, visiting local candy shops, etc. In one of my classes we went to Chateau D'If in Marseille!

This program also offers really great excursions. After the second week in the program you take an overnight trip to Nice and along the Cote d'azur visiting Cannes, Monte Carlo, Fragonard (perfumerie), and the beautiful beaches. The program also offered weekend activities and excursions to Le Beaux, Arles, and other Provencal towns.

This is a great place to study abroad if you really want to practice the language and immerse yourself in the culture. Aix is a very walkable city so it's very easy to get around. I also really enjoyed my host family experience and recommend this to anyone studying abroad anywhere!

How can this program be improved?

I wish the schedule of classes was different because there were so many classes I would have liked to take but couldn't because of schedule conflicts.

Additionally, the program was pretty expensive as so is the city of Aix, so budgeting was quite difficult.

Yes, I recommend
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Best Semester of My College Career

To give perspective of the learning experiences IAU offered to me, there was such a richness to each of my courses that I found myself always looking forward to what the next class would bring. Class size was small, so I always felt that the teacher cared about each individual student's progress.
As far as cultural immersion, I would say that you got what you put into it. It is always the student's choice to go out and meet new French people, and speak French whenever possible with the locals. And for me...I seized any opportunity I could get and learned a lot in return. I will never forget my time in Aix and everything my experiences abroad gave me.

How can this program be improved?

More language immersion in the school among all of the American students outside of class.

Yes, I recommend
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My 2 IAU College Experiences

I studied abroad for a semester in Spring 2011 and for 3 weeks in Summer 2013 at IAU College, and I could not have had a better experience. Aix-en-Provence is a fairytale-esque city in the South of France with beautiful architecture, art, atmosphere and culture. My time with IAU has been fantastic, which is why I chose to come back. While I was studying abroad for a semester, I took four courses which ranged from French language to World War II history to Provencal culture to a painting and drawing class. The professors that I've had during both of my experiences have been some of the best professors that I had the pleasure of working with during my four undergraduate years. I also liked the format of my classes; every class I've taken at IAU has incorporated field trips to local places which help to emphasize class material. I think that if you're studying abroad, then it's best to use that time to its full advantage, and experiential learning such as this is a great way to do that! For example, in my France During the Occupation course, we traveled to a transit camp right outside of Marseille where we were able to see the exact buildings that we had discussed in class. Additionally, the professor was able to bring in a lecturer who had been involved with the French resistance, and we were able to hear his personal story directly from the source. Hearing this lecture was a once in a lifetime experience which I wouldn't have been able to get anywhere else. My French professor would take us to the local market and restaurants where we would have to speak with local Aixois to order food and learn about different items. I found this type of language learning much more effective than sitting in a classroom doing grammar exercises, because I was able to actually practice the language with native speakers and build my speaking confidence. My host experience was also really great, I chose to live with the same host mom when I came back to Aix for a second time. Although my walk to school was a little far (about 30 minutes each way on foot), I lived in a suburban neighborhood which was extremely safe and comfortable. My host mom was very friendly and would help me with my French homework as I was taking lower level language classes. Although its not at all required of the host families, she took me to a beach for the day when I came to study over the summer and treated me like part of her family which was truly lovely. My experiences with IAU College have been absolutely life changing, and I would recommend studying with IAU to anyone who is looking for a culturally immersive experience in a small city with rich history.

How can this program be improved?

I wish that there had been more opportunities to interact with other French students. Although it is possible to meet them in the city on your own, because of the language and culture barriers, making those introductions can be tough so it would be nice if IAU sponsored events to help these students come together.

Yes, I recommend

About IAU

IAU College - with semester, summer and academic year liberal arts and studio art programs in Aix-en-Provence France and summer programs in Barcelona, Spain - has been providing high quality study abroad opportunities for U.S. college and university...