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France Study Abroad Aix-en-Provence

Pre-College Residential French Immersion
French Studies in the Arts, Language, Culture and Cuisine

A city of artists and students, Aix-en-Provence is one of France’s most elegant, sophisticated and vibrant communities. A perfect location for high school students looking to study abroad in France, Aix, also known as “Little Paris,” is famous for its summer arts festivals, thriving café scene, and its many restaurants, boutiques, museums, and galleries. Aix is also a delight for enthusiasts of architecture, with great examples of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and 18th-century representations. Sculpted doorways and wrought-iron balconies are found in the various monuments, churches, fountains, and park squares of this beautiful city.

Our summer program in Aix-en-Provence is an authentic residential study abroad experience designed to immerse participants in the local culture and improve their French language skills. Our students, along with the program staff, live in an apartment-style residence just a two minute walk from the city’s main attractions in the intimate historic center. Taking advantage of our ideal location, the daily program itinerary allows high school students to experience what it is like to live as a local teen while building pre-college skills in a controlled environment. From shopping for produce alongside locals in the open-air markets to enjoying lunch with friends in Aix’s charming plazas after class, our students can both exercise their independence in small groups and benefit from daily classes, weekend day trips, and group activities carefully planned and executed by our seasoned program staff.


All students are enrolled in the daily French Language course as their program major. The experiential nature of the course takes students out of the classroom and into the community thus allowing them to practice their French in real settings. Students are placed in the appropriate level upon arrival. In addition to their French Language major, students select one of the following options to serve as their tri-weekly elective. Advanced students may sign up for university courses when offered. University schedules and course options are made available during the spring by special request.
• Provence Sports and Games (elective)
• Survey of French Literature (elective)
• Digital Photography (elective)
• Studio Art: Drawing (elective)
• French Conversation (elective)
• French Culture and Cinema (elective)
• Université de Provence Course (major/elective)

Provence Sports and Games
During this exciting exploration of the sports, games and leisure activities enjoyed by French teenagers throughout Provence, students will be exposed to the local culture of Aix from a thrilling new perspective. Each week, classes alternate between cultural sports and/or games native to Southern France such as pétanque, tarot and belote, and 2-3 internationally enjoyed sports such as volley ball, soccer, swimming, tennis, bicycling, and squash. In addition to being a great way to stay physically active this summer, this elective provides exciting opportunities for cultural and language exchange with local French teenagers who will often join us in our play. Qualified instruction and equipment (with the exception of running shoes and cleats) are provided to all participants. No previous athletic experience is required.

Studio Art: Drawing The wealth of sculpture and painting in Southern France serves as inspiration, while students learn the basics of drawing, such as lighting, shading, dimensionality, movement and the human form. The course covers a variety of drawing techniques, ranging from the classical to the contemporary. Throughout the course, students work with a variety of materials and are encouraged to utilize their skills in capturing the essence of the city. No knowledge of French required.

Intensive French Language
Taught solely in the target language, Abbey Road’s French Language course focuses on oral communication and the use of the language in authentic and realistic situations. Classes are conversational and make the best use of the resources specific to the host community and its surrounding areas. Instructors prepare and lead exercises that use the community as either a subject or as an active background. All levels welcomed. Students interested in enrolling in the Advanced French Language Course taught through the Université de Provence must contact Abbey Road for course descriptions and pre-requisites.

French Conversation
The goal of this course is to strengthen communicative competencies and vocabulary in the target language in a fun and relaxed environment. Exciting discussions on pop-culture, current events and history are geared toward the practical improvement of pronunciation, syntax and oral comprehension, while fostering a deeper understanding of contemporary French culture and civilization. All levels welcomed.

French Culture and Cinema
An integral part of France’s artistic legacy, the cinema is an excellent way to learn about French culture. Study the key values underlying France’s cultural identity from WWII to the present day as you view films in French and discuss thematic elements and their relationship to modern French society. All levels welcomed.

Survey of French Literature
Considered an introduction to French literature of the 19th and 20th centuries, students will read selected\ works from key authors of the time followed by in-class discussion. Intermediate and advanced levels.

Digital Photography
This course serves as an introduction to the basic principles and applications of digital photography as an artistic medium. Classes emphasize visual concepts, as well as basic image capture and camera functions. Important topics covered include the manipulation of camera settings, controls, lighting and exposure. No knowledge of French required.


Abbey Road students and staff enjoy life together in our modern university apartments located right in the heart of the famous historic center that makes Aix-en Provence one of France’s most beautiful cities. The comfortable student suites offer our students both the privacy of a single-room and the fun of socializing with 3 or 4 of their peers who share the suite’s common areas that include a kitchen, a living room, and a private bathroom. Of course, the suite is also equipped with Wireless Internet access.

Perfectly located, just steps away from the lively Cours Mirabeau and surrounded by stylish boutiques and restaurants, this upscale residence provides an ideal home from which to explore Aix-en-Provence. Abbey Road’s meal program is always a point of distinction: Students savor fresh French food from local markets, delight in group meals at Aix's gourmet restaurants, and learn Provençal recipes as they cook and dine together with their roommates and staff.


During the week, students explore French language and culture through their chosen major and elective courses. Exciting and engaging, these interactive classes take full advantage of Aix’s thriving student population and inspirational historic and cultural legacies. Imagine yourself on a scavenger hunt through the city during Monday’s exciting lesson on commands and cultural icons. Test your skills midweek during a conversational exchange at a local café or soccer game vs. the locals. Welcome the weekend during Friday’s excursion to Marseille as you interview members of a community garden in the morning and explore the harbor with your peers during the afternoon. Outside of class, our student’s enjoy a wide selection of activities and events that change daily from kayaking the azure Mediterranean waters of picturesque Cassis, painting in Cezanne's atelier and playing soccer or Frisbee with local Aixois, to enjoying blockbuster cinema in the city center, attending live concerts and music festivals and even celebrating Bastille Day in France!

Sample Daily Schedule
9:00-9:30 Morning Group Meeting
9:30-12:30 French Language Class
12:30-2:00 Afternoon Break and Lunch
2:00-5:00 Tri Weekly Electives OR Afternoon Activities
5:00-7:00 Free Time
7:00-8:30 Dinner: Restaurant, Stipend or Cooking Groups at Residence
8:30-11:30 Evening Activities
11:30-12:00 Return to Residence, Face-to-Face Nightly Check-in


Aix-en-Provence is but a stone’s throw to some of the most beautiful sites of Southern France, and you can bet that Abbey Road students will spend many afternoons and weekends getting a good taste of nearly everything Provence has to offer. We’ll be awed by the blue lagoons and white cliffs of the Mediterranean coast at Cassis, and feel the excitement of Marseille, France’s second largest city during several visits to this large and diverse metropolis. We will step into the past as we visit the historical city of Avignon and revel in the exuberance of its world-renowned theater festival. We will ponder the fate of ancient civilizations at the Roman Aqueduct of Pont du Gard, and steep ourselves in visual art at the world famous photography festival in Arles, the city of Van Gogh.


Ah, Paris! The city if lights! Good food, fantastic art, amazing architecture! A visit to Paris is the perfect way to complete an Abbey Road adventure in France. Abbey Road offers its French program participants the wonderful option of spending 4 nights in this celebrated European capital. Students who choose to join us for this optional travel extension will have the chance to explore every corner of the city. Our exciting itinerary includes both guided visits to museums and historical sites as well as time for students to explore Paris’s famous neighborhoods and shopping centers with their friends. Abbey Road will show you the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, the Centre Pompidou, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower, just to name a few of the highlights. You will also be free to enjoy the café scene, so famous in Paris, you might even take in a dinner cruise on the Seine. Abbey Road’s Paris extension c’est MAGNIFIQUE!


Click here to view this program's dates and fees.

Aix-en-Provence France Study Abroad
France Study Abroad Aix-en-Provence
France Study Abroad Aix-en-Provence France Study Abroad Aix-en-Provence France Study Abroad Aix-en-Provence
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