Event Date: 

Monday, February 1, 2021 - 2:30pm

Studying Abroad in Lyon, France

Studying Abroad in Bordeaux, France

Studying Abroad at the UC Center
in Paris, France

The French and Italian Department strongly urges its students to complete some portion of their undergraduate study abroad through the University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) in France. Living and studying in France will expand your horizons, improve your critical thinking, increase your independence and better prepare you for a career in an increasingly internationally competitive world.

Why study abroad? 

Being a French major, you have already shown that you have international interests. Why not take that interest a step further and have a transformative and life-enriching experience? Go live in France, enroll at a French university and experience French language and culture firsthand. 

Improve your knowledge of the language you have already studied by using it for everyday life as well as in school. Learn how to better express your thoughts on complex topics and follow your interests in French. Participate more fully in national and international politics and events. Discover greater access to French films, music, and the visual and dramatic arts.

French majors who study abroad find that a semester, or better yet, a full year abroad not only is critical for their language fluency, but that the experience of adapting to another academic and cultural world expands your self-understanding and gives you a keener sense of the political, cultural, and social differences in today’s world.

The intellectual and personal growth you experience during your time abroad will serve you well throughout your life. Participating in UCEAP provides further advantages when it comes to the challenges of graduate school and the competitive job market.

When should I study abroad?

While it is possible for you to go abroad at almost any point in your academic career, the particular year, semester or quarter that you study abroad depends on what courses you plan to take. Students wanting to fulfill upper-division major requirements should, in most cases, go abroad in their junior or senior year. Students interested in language and culture programs, or in fulfilling major preparation and General Education requirements, can participate as early as their sophomore year.

If you go abroad in your junior year, you should strongly consider doing a senior honors thesis based on the coursework and intellectual interests you developed abroad. This provides an ideal way of integrating time abroad with the completion of the French major. For requirements for the senior honors thesis, please check the department website.

PLAN AHEAD! Applications are typically due six months to a year prior to the program’s start date and some programs have academic or language prerequisites that must be satisfied in advance. Please check the UCSB EAP website for application deadlines.

Where should I study abroad?

Go to France, of course! And go for a full academic year if possible. UCEAP offers a variety of year-long and short-term programs in multiple locations in France, including:

Immersion Programs – Live and study with French students. These are the best programs for French majors.

  • University of Bordeaux (fall, spring, year) – Study in a historic city full of art, culture, and extraordinary 18th-century architecture with easy access to nearby beaches and wine regions.
  • University of Lyon (fall, spring, year) – Live in a student-friendly food capital with glaciers and warm river valleys, mountains and lakes, some of the most beautiful medieval villages, and the best skiing in the world nearby.

Language and Culture Programs – Consider extending to an immersion program after spending a term working on your French.

  • French in Bordeaux (fall, spring) – for intermediate French students
  • French in Paris (fall, summer intensive or summer semi-intensive) – for absolute beginner (fall or summer semi-intensive) or beginner to intermediate (summer intensive) French students 

Special Focus Programs

  • Food, History, and Culture in Paris, UC Center in Paris (fall) - Courses in English on French media, art, history, and politics. Includes French language study at beginning to intermediate levels.
  • Sciences Po Paris (fall, spring, year) - Courses in Economics, Law, History, International Relations, Political Science, and Sociology (in English or French) for students with a strong upper division background in political science or related field.
  • Social Justice and Activism, UC Center in Paris (winter, spring) - Courses in English on French media, history, and politics through the lens of social justice and activism. Includes a French City and Language course with an introduction to Paris and the practical use of French.

Internship Programs

  • Field Research & Internship, Paris or Strasbourg (fall, spring) - Courses in French on French politics, society, and history.  Includes a 12-week internship with a related research project.
What classes should I take?

All UCEAP coursework is automatically credited towards the unit requirement for your degree. Depending on your course selection, you may fulfill major, minor or GE requirements as well. An updated list of how UCEAP language courses in France will transfer to fulfill specific course requirements for the French major and minor at UCSB is available here.

The French Department strongly encourages its students to take all of their courses abroad in French. In addition to language classes, we recommend that students consider taking courses on French literature, culture, and society. If you are a French major, you can use up to 24 upper-division units taken abroad towards your major. If you plan to minor in French, you can use a maximum of 8 upper-division units towards the minor.

Use Gaucho Credit Abroad to search for the types of credit (i.e. major, minor, GE areas, or electives towards graduation) that UCSB students received for courses taken on UCEAP. You can find more UCEAP courses in the UCEAP Course Catalog and additional course listings on UCEAP partner university/program websites.

The undergraduate staff and faculty advisors will work individually with each student to ensure the most effective use of courses taken abroad for major requirements. Internships, independent study and field work completed abroad can be used for major requirements upon approval of the department.

If you take courses abroad for which you wish to get credit towards your major or minor, you MUST keep your syllabi, course materials, essays and exams to support your petition for major credit after your return. You will automatically earn UC credit for all classes successfully completed on UCEAP, just not necessarily credit within the department.

What language level am I?

If you took courses in high school, you should take the French placement exam through the French department. If you took the French Language & Culture AP exam, your level depends on your score:

AP Exam Score Equals Placement
Language & Culture 3 1-3 French 4
Language & Culture 4 1-4 French 5
Language & Culture 5 1-5 French 6

Other exams to determine language level:

If you took the French IB exam and recieved a score of 5, 6, 7, this will satisfy French 1-6 at UCSB. You will be placed in French 100.

If you took the Special Subject French/ French Listening SAT and recieved a score of at least 590, you will be placed in French 4. 

How do I get started?

Academic Planning Form Tutorial

Gaucho Credit Abroad Database