IAU's founding philosophy is rooted in its passion for opening French language study to all students and its programs are designed for all majors and all levels of French...
IAU College is based in the South of France but offers many different programs and locations for study. Programs are offered for fall and spring semesters, academic year,...
Working with French
Submitted by AS - Carnegie Mellon University | April 06, 2016
My main goal in studying in France was to work on my capacity to speak French. The French Honors Program at IAU College has been a perfect place to really learn the language. The entire course load is in French. There are plenty of classes to choose from. As a Writing major, I was able to take an entire semester of classes based on literature, writing, or linguistics. This includes a class of creative writing in French.
Because these classes are with other students learning French, it’s not nearly as intimidating as speaking French in front of French students. This also means that the professors are willing to really work on the language with us. They’ll mark the grammar mistakes on papers and go over small rules if it’s necessary. And everyone at the university is incredibly patient with French learners. I really found the opportunity here to take my knowledge of French and work on weeding out the small errors.
The French Honors Program has worked with the French language just as much as it provides an opportunity to find new perspectives and ways of thinking. There are small excursions and activities throughout the semester that have showed us places and experience around Aix-en-Provence that we might not have seen otherwise. This semester, we had excursions to a nearby art museum and a small Provencal town. These were also times to be around other non-native French speakers to practice speaking with. Overall, the French Honors Program and IAU College in general has been a safe space to really work with the language.
A perfect place to spend a semester
Submitted by Matthew M. - U Texas | March 21, 2016
In brief: This semester has absolutely been one of the best experiences of my life. Aix is amazing and gorgeous, I've loved my courses at IAU, and I really feel like I've gotten an immersive French experience, both in the language and the culture of southern France. 10/10. Here's some further elaboration if that's what you seek.
When I began the process of finding a suitable study abroad program - before I knew of IAU - I had a wide variety of problems: finding a suitable program in a suitable place, making money work, and a program cancellation 2 days before deadline. An adviser finally told me of IAU, I whipped up a frenzied application, and waited. Almost immediately, I got help from the IAU administration, checking in with me throughout the process, taking great care to fix an error I'd made in applying for my visa, and generally keeping me from tearing my hair out while I waited for things to become solidified.
Once I got to Aix, the trend continued. The program administration is always friendly and helpful in any way that they possibly can. They really do care about giving students all chances possible at having a semester which they will never forget. They set engaging weekly guest lectures, organize outings on some weekends, and hold fun events like wine-tastings or the talent show often. In terms of academics, I've loved every single one of my classes. All of my teachers are great sources of knowledge and all strongly encourage in-class discussion, so my semester has been particularly stimulating intellectually. My workload is very reasonable, and assignments are designed to reinforce what's learned while allowing plenty of time for students to take weekend travel (most students do not have Friday courses). Additionally, most classes have at least one field study; an art history trip to Paris, a Mediterranean Politics excursion to Marseille's tremendous MUCEM, an EU Politics journey to Brussels to visit NATO and an EU delegation, to cite a few examples.
Just as importantly, the cultural experience of living in a beautiful city like Aix is absolutely incredible. Aix has a large student population, so young people are everywhere. You immediately feel that you are in a vastly different place from what you've ever been used to in all the best ways, so you adapt very quickly to the way of life of southern France. Few people speak English, but everyone is patient, making it a perfect place to truly learn the language. The city has beautiful parks, squares, and public spaces. It is also a short, cheap bus trip away from a TGV station (15 minutes) and the Marseille's airport (25-30 minutes) so regional and international travel is easy. The only drawback of Aix is its relatively high cost of living. One can avoid break the bank being here, but it definitely takes some effort not to overspend.
That said, IAU's homestay program is phenomenal, and I highly recommend it rather than securing independent accommodations. My host family speaks very little English, so I get constant French practice every day. Families also provide at least six breakfasts and six dinners each week, and my mom's cooking is incredible. IAU's hosts are people who relish the experience of having students in the house, so everyone wants students to have a good time in Aix.
In total, my semester has been an unforgettable experience. To be sure, studying abroad is guaranteed to be novel in a lot of ways, but studying in Aix and in the IAU program has ensured that my experience has been a complete one, filled with intellectual stimulation and cultural immersion. I can't believe I have to leave.
Just DO IT!
Submitted by Caroline | March 05, 2016
Honestly, I had done a study abroad program before, and IAU and Aix blew it out of the water. GO HERE. The people of Aix and the IAU administration make this the most unforgettable experience. Can't say enough good things, it went by way to quickly.
Submitted by Colostate - Colorado State University | January 22, 2016
I did this program January 2016 and I was so amazed at everything about it. The profs were fantastic, the lectures were applicable and interesting, the staff were beyond helpful. The cities you get to go to on this program were truly eye opening and the cultural experience was influential to say the least. I would recommend this program to anyone, it was really incredible.
Mediterranean Basin and More: The best of study/tour/travel/academics
Submitted by V - Philadelphia | January 07, 2016
What a sensational experience and where to begin. I was amazed with the balance of professionalism and familiarity which the IAU staff could provide, all while organizing a group for 60+ students traveling around Europe on multiple study areas. The head of school is also a professor and a damn well informed one too! Each professor I engaged with was extremely knowledgeable and also incredibly talented at providing information in a way that people with different learning styles could understand. (This was noticeable for me because I studied education) I can't say enough about how influential this experience was for me in my life and for my academic experience.