IAU College | French Honors Program in Aix-En-Provence
90% Rating
(6 Reviews)

IAU College | French Honors Program in Aix-En-Provence

The French Honors Program is designed for French Majors or other students with demonstrated advanced level French, interested in a comprehensive language and cultural immersion program. Students participate in field studies, homestays, internships and volunteer opportunities!

Subject Areas
Art History
Creative Writing
Cultural Studies
English Literature
European Studies
Global Studies
International Business
Liberal Arts
Peace Studies
Public Relations
Service Learning
Social Sciences
Visual Arts
Degree Level
Academic Year
Host Family
Online Application
Statement of Purpose
Official Transcripts
Letters of Recommendation
Age Requirement
Language Requirement
GPA 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

Program Reviews

based on 6 reviews
  • Academics 7.2
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 8.8
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
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La Belle Vie à Aix

The French Honors Program at IAU College was a fantastic experience that I highly recommend! I attended in the fall of 2011 and made so many friends that I continue to hear from today. This program is especially great for those who want to polish their French language skills, as students live with host families and sign a contract to speak only in French. If this sounds a little intimidating, students can transition into French around the clock, as not all students at IAU College opt to sign the language contract.

The program becomes what you make of it, and if you work hard to speak, read, and write in French as much as possible, the reward of your improved language skills will clearly present itself over time to you, your friends, host family, professors, and community members living in Aix and elsewhere in France!

When I attended in 2011, many of the students drawn to the program were also interested in meaningful experiences with the French people and culture, which made the program that much better! Give IAU College a try, and you won't be disappointed!

How can this program be improved?

As someone who wanted to have as much interaction as possible with the French people and culture, I found it was sometimes difficult to break out of the fun and vibrant group of IAU College students, in order to meet more French people of similar age. IAU College does offer a community club/sports/recreational activities introduction day at the start of semesters, and I encourage all students to take advantage and try to jump into any of these group and activities if you want to create a more immersive experience for yourself!

Yes, I recommend

Bonding with a host family

The homestay experience is a great opportunity to further your language skills, get an inside understanding of the culture, and develop relationships with locals. My experience was mostly positive. I was in a family of a single mom and 12 year old host sister, along with my roommate. They were kind and providing to us, despite a few misunderstandings. One experience I particularly enjoyed was when our host mom and sister took us paddle boarding in the Mediterranean. Overall I was very thankful for the opportunity to stay in a host family and would strongly recommend it to others.

How can this program be improved?

While I had a positive homestay experience, not all of my friends were as fortunate. I'm not sure of the details of the process to change host families, but that could potentially be made more clear or easier.

Yes, I recommend
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My French Honors Family

As any student with inhibitions about their personal level of French, I came into the program not knowing what to expect. However, all of my fears were settled once I walked into the classroom on the first day. There were only eleven other students, and the room was set up to be a comfortable and open environment for learning. Over the course of the rest of the semester, I came to learn and grow with no filter to speaking French. It was all thanks to an amazing professor who took us out to explore every nook and cranny of the city and the group of students with which I developed such a close bond. This program changed my life for the better in more ways than one.

How can this program be improved?

I would not change anything.

Yes, I recommend
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Rewarding Summer

I thoroughly enjoyed my abroad experience with IAU. Aix is a great city for students - lively yet safe, and the people are very excited to share their culture. I felt supported by the university but not coddled. There are many opportunities to travel and learn through the university, but you still have the time and freedom to explore independently. Classes provide a wealth of information but are still very manageable. Professors understand that a large part of your education is first-hand experience of the culture around you. I highly recommend living with a host family. My only caution is to remember that an overwhelming majority of the students in the program (with whom you will spend the majority of your time) are native English speakers. So, if you are looking to be fully immersed in the language, you may want to take this into consideration. However, I felt that my language skills improved, and I learned A LOT culturally because I was able to exchange deeper concepts in my native language.

How can this program be improved?

Opportunities for language acquisition

Yes, I recommend
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Full immersion with full-on fun

I came to this program because I wanted to go to France without being in Paris. Aix is such a great student city and attracts ex-pats of all nationalities that you feel totally immersed in the French culture with the ability to escape any time you need.

The French Honours Program (FHP) is relatively new at IAU so they are still developing it. It is more of an advanced French lit class than anything. However, I had the chance to read pieces and write about them in a way that I've never gotten to before. My professor was so kind and funny and she really helped me improve! She definitely helped "make" my experience at IAU. The rest of the classes were okay. Definitely take an art class if you get the chance!!

My host mom was a great cook. Even though she came across rather stern, she totally gave me space to be independent and helped me out with a few snags that me and my housemate ran into (i.e. mean train ticket sales people, unexpectedly cold weather). I was really lucky, but I think your homestay experience depends on who you get, so be sure to be honest in your questionnaire.

Walking to and from school was not far for me. I never used the bus system in Aix. The problem with homestays is that you can't really have friends over to hang out, so we all hung out at school, which became a social hub. At night, when the school closed, we moved to bars, which are all within walking distance of course.

A typical day was going to class, meeting friends for lunch, finishing class, doing some work in le cave at school, making plans for that evening, and then going out at night. On the weekends, a lot of people travel around Europe, but if you stay nearby or in Aix, there is plenty to do. Must sees: Cassis, Mt Sainte-Victoire, Parc Vendome, Lyon, Grenoble.

How can this program be improved?

If I could change one thing, I would not have taken on an internship because that interfered with my free time with friends, which has been more valuable than sitting in an office. Exploring Aix was the most important part of studying abroad. While it was nice to travel, you have to appreciate that you actually live somewhere totally different from the US. People who made friends with local merchants (i.e. had a regular market vendor, café, lunch spot) seemed the happiest and were so sad to leave Aix at the end. Get to know the professors too, because they love hearing about your experiences and your weekend travels. Also, see as many French cities as you can: I didn't and I wish I had.

Yes, I recommend
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Study Abroad!!

One of the best decisions I ever made in college was to study abroad in Aix-en-Provence, under the Institute for American Universities. The university's overall framework of the cultural immersion into France was more than I could have ever of hoped for. We stayed with french families, got to enjoy french cuisine, learn from the locals, and go on excursions. It was an amazingly memorably experience and I am a great enthusiast when speaking about it to others.

How can this program be improved?

classes with french students

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...