Semester in France

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  • Saint Francis University's Center for International Education and Outreach offers a semester abroad program in France. Students stay in the University's newly-renovated facility in Ambialet, located in southwestern France. The site is perched on a hilltop overlooking the Tarn River and the village of Ambialet. The program is based in Ambialet but includes extended stays in Paris and Barcelona. Students profit from numerous visits to important sites in the region. Visits to museums, monuments and natural sites are enhanced by events such as fairs, pastry fests and concerts. Students also participate in events at the unviersity in Albi and with students in an enology program in Brens.

    France Campus Aerial steps

    Academic Program

    Students in every major are eligible for the France program upon completion of their first semester. Most students find the Semester in France program fits their curriculum best either during the spring semester of their freshmen year or one of the sophomore semesters. Students interested in this program should talk with their academic advisors about which semester fits best in their college career.


    Academic Offerings

    The core academic program offered in France is 10 credits: French Language (3 credits), Religious Studies elective (3 credits), Culture and Values (3 credits), and Exploration in the Arts (1 credit). Additional courses are offered by visiting faculty. Students may also take on-line courses to help maintain their progress toward graduation.

    Ambialet is located 25 minutes from Albi (population 50,000), the largest city in the Tarn region of Southwest France. In Ambialet/Albi the focus is on the language/culture course to ensure everyone has basic communication skills in French. Students will enjoy activities at the university in Albi. Albi becomes a second home. The art history course covers intensively the religious pilgrimages and the fasci-nating period in southwest France that involved the Cathars (a heretical religious sect that was prominent in the region in the 11th – 14th centuries). This is the primary historical foundation of the region, and every advantage is taken to include the region’s hilltop towns, fortified castles, cities, splendid cathedrals and shrines.

    While in Paris, the academic focus is on art, history, language and culture. From their centrally–located dormitory in Paris, students will visit working artists in their studios, museums, landmarks, architectural wonders (even the department stores are works of art!) – indeed, everything that makes Paris the magical city that it is.


    The tuition and room/board costs for a Semester in France are the same as a semester in Loretto. Students may use their complete financial aid package (some exceptions may apply). The only additional expense will be airfare and personal spending. Students are also expected to cover their own costs for non-course related travel (mid-semester break, etc.).


    Students interested in this program will need to obtain a valid passport and student visa. If you have any interest in traveling abroad, and don't yet have these items, please begin the process ASAP. For the student visa, you will need to complete the "long term visa" form.

    Students must have a 2.7 QPA (anything lower requires approval from the program director).

    A completed Semester in France Application is to be returned to the Center for International Education and Outreach in 214 Schwab Hall along with:

    • A Statement of Purpose
    • Current Saint Francis University Transcript
    • Transcripts form other colleges/universities, if applicable
    • Deposit of $300
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