About Aix-en-Provence

Aix is a university town with a large student population. It is also a major cultural center of the Provence region, with concerts, festivals, museums and a lively café life for students to explore and enjoy. Although it has ancient roots, today Aix is a modern town with a diverse population. Provence, one of the most celebrated regions in France, is renowned for its Mediterranean cuisine, its mild climate and its natural beauty that inspired painters like Cezanne and Van Gogh.

The Program

The Colleges have an affiliate relationship with IAU College based in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France. IAU was founded in 1957 under the auspices of the Université d’ Aix-Marseille and has served more than 700 North American colleges and universities. The program has multiple tracks which can accommodate students at all levels of linguistic proficiency in a variety of subject areas. Through The School of Humanities and Social Sciences, students with a limited background in French language have the opportunity to take elective courses in English in a variety of disciplines while taking French language at their level of proficiency. The French Language and Culture track is designed for students who are interested in a more intensive language experience, combining language courses (offered at various levels) with electives in either English or French. Students with more advanced language skills seeking a full immersion experience may enroll in the French Honors Program, which includes the option of a creditbearing internship as well as other opportunities to attend a range of specially-arranged cultural activities and excursions. Advanced students may also choose to take up to two courses at the University of Provence Aix-Marseille with local students (spring semester only). Through their coursework and homestay accommodations, all IAU students will be challenged to broaden their perspectives while developing their linguistic and cross-cultural skills.


Students enrolled in The School of Humanities and Social Sciences and The French Language and Culture track are required to take two language courses according to their level of proficiency (these will count as one language credit) along with three electives in subject areas such as: studio art and art history (through the affiliated Marchutz School of Painting and Drawing), economics, history, media studies, IR, political science, archaeology and psychology, for a total of four credits for the semester. (Note that students in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences who wish to take a course at the Marchutz School may do so for an additional fee.) The following list gives some examples of electives typically available:

International Relations
Global Environmental Politics
Contemporary French Civilization
Provençal History and Culture
European History: 1918 to the Present
Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations
Cezanne and Van Gogh
Survey of Western Art: Renaissance to the 21st Century
France and Europe in the Cold War
Media and Conflict
Comparative Education Practicum
International and Intercultural Communication
Literature and the Language of Music
European City in Literature and Film
European History, 1870-1918
Human Development in Cultural Contexts
International Economics and the EU
Drawing and Painting
Ancient Art and Archaeology
Art in the 20th Century
Global Marketing
International Intercultural Management
Contemporary French Media

Students enrolled in the French Honors Program will take the required “French Honors Seminar” along with four electives in a range of subject areas, offered in French.

For more detailed information on curriculum and the Institute, students should review the IAU catalogue HERE.

Academic Focus

The IAU program is designed for students with an interest in French language and culture and can accommodate students at all levels of linguistic proficiency. The School of Humanities and Social Sciences is especially suitable for students who are pursuing an academic area of interest in the humanities or social sciences but who also wish to improve their French language skills. The French Language and Culture track will be of interest to students seeking a more intensive language experience, combining an intensive language course (at an appropriate level) with electives offered in English or French, while The French Honors Program is intended for advanced students seeking a full immersion experience. Note that IAU offers a pre-program “Early Start” program that includes intensive language study and excursions. This is optional and is billed separately, apart from regular program fees.


Students will live with host families, the best way to experience French daily life first-hand. Families are carefully chosen by the local housing coordinator who will make every effort to match students with families based upon their expressed preferences. Students will be provided with breakfast daily and dinner six days a week by their host families and can take lunch near the Institute in bistros or cafes.


IAU College’s Office of Student Affairs sponsors an extensive calendar of activities and events designed to introduce students to sites of historic and cultural interest throughout the region. Students in Aix will typically have two or three excursions, including visits to places like Le Luberon, Fontaine de Vaucluse, and Nice/ Cannes. In addition, students will have ample opportunity to explore Provence and other regions of France during weekends and breaks.


This program is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors in good academic and social standing with a minimum GPA of 2.5. While previous French language experience is preferred, all students admitted to the IAU program must successfully complete at least one semester of French language at HWS prior to going abroad. Students seeking admission to The French Honors Program must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, have successfully completed a minimum of 4 semesters of college-level French and be recommended by the Department of French and Francophone Studies. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.

Going Abroad With the CGE

Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and fees, room fees, a 2/3 board fee and a $600 administrative fee. This will cover tuition for a four-credit semester, course-related excursions, health insurance and homestay with partial board. Students should bring the remaining 1/3 board fee to cover meals not included (about $900). Additional expenses not covered include airfare, books/course materials, visa and personal expenses (laundry, entertainment, ground transportation and independent travel). We estimate airfare for this program at $1100-$1300 from the East Coast, books/course materials at $150, and visa-related expenses at approximately $230 (note that students are required to apply for their visa in person in New York City and will need to return there to pick up the visa—please budget accordingly, as these trips are not included in the $230 visa estimate.) It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of personal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1,500 above and beyond meal expenses. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less. If you are concerned about finances, we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation.


  • This program is offered every semester.
  • Applications are available at the Center for Global Education.
  • Applications are due at the CGE office on a selected date in October (for fall programs) and March (for spring programs). For specific dates contact the CGE.

NOTE: This information is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.



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