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Davidson College - France
Tours, France (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Academic Year,
Program Dates & Deadlines: Click here to view
Financial Information Academic Year,
Fact Sheet:
Program Housing:
Homestay, Hotels/Hostels/Guest Houses
Minimum GPA:
Language of Instruction:
Language Prerequisite:
Class Eligibility: 02-Sophomore, 03 - Junior, 04 - Senior
Program Description:
Davidson in France


Program Overview
With a population of 270,000, Tours is Tours participantsthe cultural capital of the Loire Valley. Known for its historic towns, Renaissance châteaux, and striking natural beauty, the Val de Loire is designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The city boasts a rich and varied architectural heritage, and the old city–Le Vieux Tours–attracts students and visitors alike to its lively Place Plumereau. A network of regional trains connects Tours to Orléans, Chenonceaux, Amboise, and other nearby sites of interest. Paris is 55 minutes away by high-speed train.

In September, fall semester and academic year students enjoy several weeks in Paris - La Ville Lumière - taking an intensive language course at the Alliance Française language institute and living in a student residence. During the month's stay in Paris, students explore the city with the Resident Director, visiting many museums, monuments, and neighborhoods. In addition, the program provides tickets to the Opéra and/or Comédie française and to concerts of classical music, as well as excursions to sites outside of Paris such as Monet's garden at Giverny, Versailles, the castle of Vaux-le-Vicomte, or the Chartres cathedral. From October to mid-December, students take courses at the Institut de Touraine. Advanced students may be able to take courses the Université Francois Rabelais in disciplines such as history, literature, philosophy, and the social sciences.

The spring semester program offers an equally rich but different experience. It begins in early January when students enroll at the Institut de Touraine in Tours. The Institut courses end around the end of March. Advanced students who may have enrolled in courses at the University François Rabelais remain in Tours until the end of the university semester in late May. Students will have nearly a week in Paris followed by a week-long excursion to Senegal with the Resident Director.

The Resident Director oversees the work of each student and is available as adviser and counselor in matters with which students need assistance. With a group limited to no more than 20 students, the Resident Director can give personal attention to the needs and problems of each student. The Director serves as primary liaison with both the Université and the Institut. As a member of the Davidson faculty, the Resident Director exercises his/her authority and that of the Davidson administration in academic and disciplinary questions.

The University of Tours - Université François Rabelais, which offers courses in literature, language, arts, and the social sciences, sits on the banks of the Loire River. Named in modern times for François Rabelais, the university welcomes 22,000 students, many of whom come from other countries in Europe and around the world.

The Institut de Touraine founded in 1912, under the auspices of the Université François Rabelais, specializes in teaching French to foreigners. Highly regarded for its success in language teaching, the Institut offers courses in French language, literature and civilization, including art history and French history for students on both the semester and academic year programs. A proficiency test, upon arrival in Tours, places students in the appropriate language courses.

All courses are transferred back to Davidson as ungraded credit for Davidson students, except for the director's course which may be taken for graded credit. Students from other colleges and universities will receive grades for all their courses on a Davidson College transcript. Please read the Registrar's policies regarding grading and credit, for further clarification.

Program Highlights
In Paris, a rich cultural program proposes outings to plays, operas and other musical events plus visits to museums and to nearby marvels such as Giverny, Versailles, Vaux-le-Vicomte, and Chartres.

Students participating in the academic year and semester programs have access to the university sports facilities in Tours. Cultural opportunities include an interesting and varied selection of plays, concerts, operas, and films. Moreover, Paris is only a short train ride away.The program arranges visits to a variety of the famous Loire Valley castles, such as Chambord, Azay-le-Rideau and Chenonceaux.

In addition, extended excursions are planned to other regions of France. Recent destinations include Normandy with the Bayeux tapestry and the World War II invasions beaches, Provence and the Côte d' Azur or Brittany with its rugged coast and neolithic alignments.

Housing and Meals
In Paris, students live in a student residence where they also take their meals. In Tours, students are housed with families with breakfast and dinner provided by the family. The program provides an allowance for lunch, which students may take at student restaurants or in the many restaurants, cafés, and bistros in the city.

Admission Requirements
Due to strict French Consulate visa regulations, students should have a passport before applying to the Tours program. If you do not have a passport or if it has expired, please apply for one immediately. Passports should be valid six months after the program ends and have blank visa pages.

Students in good standing who attain sophomore class status as of July 1, who have at least a cumulative B- average, and who have taken the equivalent of 3 semesters of college French (completion of French 201 at Davidson) may apply.

Contact Information
Professor Homer Sutton
Phone: 704-894-2246

Professor Florin Beschea-Fache
Phone: 704-894-2923

Visa Warning: Passports must be surrendered as part of the visa application process. Since it may take up to 90 days to receive a visa and have your passport returned to you, participating in consecutive study abroad programs in different countries, particularly between summer and fall, may be problematic or impossible.

Davidson College and consulate staffers cannot guarantee that a visa will be granted by a foreign government in any circumstance or in any time frame. International students should schedule a consultation with International Student Advisor, Jennifer Glass, to discuss their visa status.

Davidson College reserves the right to cancel or modify part or all of a study abroad program should changing circumstances make it necessary to do so. In cases where the college has security concerns, the program director and the Dean Rusk Program Director will gather information and make a recommendation to the Dean of Faculty. The dean will take his decision to the president, who retains ultimate authority to decide whether or not a particular Davidson-sponsored trip should proceed.

Davidson admits qualified students without discrimination of race, color, religion, national origin, age, handicap, gender, or sexual preference.

What did you personally gain from study abroad?
I can finally say I am fluent in French, and I think my French accent really took some leaps and bounds. I feel so much more comfortable speaking in French now, even with native French speakers, than I did before my stay in France. My vocabulary also grew tremendously because not only was I studying French academically, I also learned a lot from my host family and French friends about the language that French people my age use on a daily basis outside of an academic setting. I gained a much greater appreciation for French culture than I already had as well as a greater appreciation and knowledge of their cuisine and wine. The list of things I gained from this experience could honestly go on and on.
     — Fall, 2012 Participant
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Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2015 02/02/2015 02/23/2015 TBA TBA
Academic Year 2015-2016 02/02/2015 02/23/2015 TBA TBA

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