Institute for American Universities (IAU)
Institute for American Universities (IAU) Programs
Travel to Aix-en-Provence and enroll in world-class courses at the IAU College. While we are based in southern France, we offer programs in different study locations. We
Travel to France and attend IAU, where you will sign up for a program that matches your study major and French proficiency. Take liberal arts courses in French and English...
Institute for American Universities (IAU) Reviews
Submitted by Jack Mahoney - - | April 07, 2017
As with any experience, The Marchutz School is what you make of it. My advice is to jump in with both feet. I thought about being a part time art student in the afternoon classes, but after meeting John and Alan, the alumni fellows, Pauline, and a few of the students I took a chance on being a full time student. It is one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I went from thinking I would only be there in the afternoons, to camping out in the studio with my classmates. Meeting new people and sharing unbelievable experiences through our daily work, afternoon excursions into the landscape, and trips abroad. I spent more time there than I did with my host in Aix.
If you are looking for a place that will plunge you into a transformative experience, look no further. You will not simply learn how to use a pencil and a paint brush, you will learn how to see, how to listen, how to share your ideas, and how to create, all at a higher level.
Whether you are there for a term, a year, or signing up for the MFA program all you need to do is jump in. It will bring out the best in you.
Submitted by R - University of St. Thomas | January 24, 2017
I had an absolutely amazing experience during this traveling seminar. I was able to see many historical and interesting cities in such a short amount of time. Not only were the places we visited beautiful to see, but the educational experience was fantastic. It was so exciting to learn about important aspects of history while standing in front of the artwork or archaeological site we were discussing. I felt very fortunate to have the staff that was provided to us. They were knowledgeable, and their interest and excitement surrounding the subject matter made it an even more enjoyable experience.
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.
Program: IAU - The French Honors Program
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.