Aix-en-Provence, France PDF Print E-mail

Click on any photo to start a slideshow

Quick Facts

Host Institutions:

IAU College: The School of Humanities and Social Sciences, The French Honors Program, and The Marchutz School of Fine Arts - Semester/Academic Year programs, Summer programs.  

In addition, we offer several J-Term Traveling Seminar programs through IAU College, where students visit several different countries during a 2 to 3-week trip.

The French Honors Program is held at The School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Through the Early Start Program, semester students have the option of arriving a week early to brush up on their French and get to know their new city.  If you haven't taken French in a while, are unsure of your language skills, or would just like some extra time to settle in, Early Start is the perfect opportunity to gain confidence and get a leg up on your peers!

Eligibility Rules: click here
Language/Academic Focus: Courses are available in French and English. Subject areas include French Language and Culture, Archeology, Art, Art History, Business, Economics, Education, Political Science, History, Literature, Philosophy, Psychology and more. (Click here for Course Offerings)
Volunteer Opportunities: Semester students in Aix-en-Provence will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of volunteer opportunities (not for credit). A minimum Intermediate level of French is required to participate in volunteer activities.
  • English language tutor for schoolchildren ages 9-14
  • English language tutor for adults ages 19-28 who are going back to school to try and pass their BAC
  • Trimming olive trees on local farms
  • Planting trees on Mte. Ste Victoire (Spring semester only because of planting season)
  • Volunteering in a soup kitchen (December only)
Internship Opportunities: Please CLICK HERE to learn about our semester Internship Opportunities in Aix-en-Provence!
Housing: All semester and summer students live with French host families. Daily breakfast, 6 dinners per week and 1 load of laundry per week are included.  Accommodation for the J-Term program is in hotels.
Sample Day Excursions: Luberon Valley, Isle sur la Sorgue, Gorges du Verdon, Arles & Saint Remy
Sample Overnight Excursions: Nice & Cannes

Why Aix-en-Provence?

  • 1/3 of Aix's population is made up of students
  • Has a unique Mediterranean feel, breathtaking scenery and nature
  • Fantastic open-air farmer's markets
  • School buildings are located in the oldest section of town
  • One of Europe's centers of learning for Law, History and the Arts

City Description - Small city of 130,000

Aix-en-Provence is many things; it is a center of culture, art, academics, and a place of amazing beauty. This small city of approximately 137,000 people is located in southern France in the region of Provence. Provence, one of the wealthiest regions in France, is bordered by the Mediterranean on its southern coast and offers hot summers and mild winters. Provence averages 300 days of sunshine a year, creating light and warmth throughout this southern region of France. The region's primary income is tourism, which is not at all unreasonable when one sees the beauty of the countryside and the small medieval towns. A booming information technology sector accounts for Provence's secondary income.

The Provence region of France appeals to its inhabitants and to those who visit not only because of its beauty, but also because of its diversity in offerings. The ambiance of Provence ranges from the lively and crowded capital of Provence, Marseilles, to the quiet peacefulness of Avignon. Adventure can be found in a variety of ways; biking, walking, and paragliding are just some of the ways to enjoy your surroundings.

In Aix, you can spend days walking the twisted cobblestone side streets or exploring the numerous fountain-filled, mansion- lined squares that make up this quaint city. The city's main cathedral, Cathedrale St-Sauveur, is one of the major attractions, as it exemplifies the major architectural periods spanning the 5th to the 18th centuries, including Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque styles. Also, the workplaces of Paul Cézanne and and subjects of his paintings can be found throughout the city and its environs.

Founded in 123 BC as a military camp on hot springs that still flow today, Aix-en-Provence blends its past and the present with the help of its many students. Several French universities are located in Aix, including the Université de Provence Aix-Marseille I, Université de la Méditerranée Aix-Marseille II, and Université Paul Cézanne Aix-Marseille III.

In addition to Aix's regular cultural offerings and nightlife, the summer months absolutely explode with music festivals. During the month of June, you can attend Musique dans la Rue (Music in the Street), a month full of free concerts, from classical to jazz to pop. In July, Aix hosts the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, an international opera festival founded in 1948, which attracts opera lovers from all over the world. It features about three weeks of opera and classical music performances in a variety of locations in Aix, and sometimes master classes as well.

Aix-en-Provence also has a fantastic culinary reputation. The world's top ranking producer of almonds, Aix is known for its trademark almond-shaped candy called Calisson. The freshest fruits and vegetables you can find, along with the famous Provencal lavendar soap and other goods made in the surrounding country, are sold at weekly open-air markets.

An elegant university town, Aix-en-Provence offers something for everyone in addition to a great education. There are cafes, cinemas, restaurants, discotheques, museums, churches, monuments, bookstores, festivals and concerts to satisfy a wide range of interests.

IAU College - The School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Founded in 1957 under the auspices of l'Université d'Aix-Marseille, chartered by the Regents of the University of the State of New York, IAU College is one of the oldest institutes in Europe for American study abroad students.

Classes at The School of Humanities and Social Sciences are taught in English or in French. The curriculum is broad, offering archeology, art history, studio art, French language, literature, and civilization, European and international studies, social sciences, business, comparative literature, economics, education, government, history, philosophy, political science, and psychology.

Students in the semester program take five 3-credit courses, and summer students take two 3-credit courses. Along with their electives, students are strongly encouraged to take at least one French language class, and many students take two.

The Marchutz School of Fine Arts

The Marchutz program is an intensive and well-rounded studio art program that allows students to also take one French class and one art history elective of your choosing. It is open to students with any level of French and any level of art background. The Marchutz School welcomes students with any level of studio art background - from students who are majoring in art to those who have never picked up a paintbrush.

The fundamental principle of the Marchutz School is simple: the synthesis of sight (a perception of the world) and insight (a perception of art) can be the precursor to fresh, original painting.

Students at the Marchutz School begin on this principle. They draw and paint - every day if possible. They work from models, children, musicians, and dancers. They interrelate figure drawing, portraiture, landscape and still-life with interpretative copies of master works, memory work, and sketch book journals. Painting and drawing, study in museums and reading/writing assignments challenge students to explore the correspondences between natural and artistic forms.

Group and individual critiques are integral aspects of each student's process. Technique is developed in concordance with each student's vision and imagination. Individual projects give students the freedom to explore their unique concerns.

The core of the Marchutz program consists of 6 studio painting and drawing credits, plus a 3-credit seminar all taught at the Marchutz School locale on the outskirts of Aix. Students additionally take two 3-credit elective courses at The School of Humanities and Social Sciences to complete an academic load of 15 credits. The elective courses may be chosen from any of the offerings at The School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Students who attend the Marchutz semester program take at least 9 credits of core art classes taught at The Marchutz School of Fine Arts, plus one French language course and one Art History elective of their choosing, taught at The School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Marchutz summer students take 2, 3-credit art courses and a French language "survival course," which is not for credit.

Excursions are an integral part of the Marchutz program. Students visit small towns and villages of Provence, which in the past have included St. Remy, Arles, Luberon Valley villages of Bonnieux and Lacoste. In addition, the Marchutz program often takes students on a longer painting trip. Past students have enjoyed such destinations as Paris, Giverny, and Venice.

The French Honors Program at The School of Humanities and Social Sciences

The French Honors Program is designed for advanced French students and French majors as an opportunity to live and study in a 100% French-speaking environment.  This program offers students full immersion into their classrooms, French homestays, excursions and optional internships.  Students sign a contract to only speak French and will be spoken to only in French by IAU College faculty and staff.   They also keep a daily journal of thoughts, feelings and experiences in French.  This journal is discussed in the weekly core class.  There are special receptions, cultural activites and excursions, all in French, as well as a lecture series in French on topics such as politics, journalism and cultural history.   

For more information about the French Honor's program, click here.

J-Term Traveling Seminar Trips

The J-Term Traveling Seminar is a 2 to 3-week trip where students travel to several different countries during one trip and earn credit for 1 class at the same time.  We offer THREE different J-Term trips, each of which has a different academic focus and brings students to a different set of countries and cities!  For example, the Europe & the Islamic World trip brings students to 12 different cities in 5 countries (France, Morocco, Gibraltar, Spain and Turkey), and the Great Cities in Literature and Visual Arts trip includes 6 different cities in Italy, France, Czech Republic and England. The academic component of each J-Term trip consists of a series of lectures from leading European academic, literary, political personalities and experts. Participants will attend daily lectures and meetings with distinguished scholars from IAU College, in addition to local guides and experts in the field of politics, history and culture.
The J-Term Traveling Seminar can be treated as a stand-alone program, or it may be combined with any ASA Spring semester program (your semester program start date permitting).  For full details on our three different J-Term Traveling Seminar trips, please click here!

Early Start Program

ASA is pleased to offer an Early Start Program in conjunction with our Fall and Spring Semester programs in Aix-en-Provence.  The Early Start Program begins one week before the semester starts and is designed to help students at any French level get the most out of their semester.  Early Start is an opportunity for students to brush up on their French in a fun and relaxed environment.  In addition, you'll have an extra week to settle in and get adjusted to life in France.  If you haven't taken French in a while or are just feeling unsure about your language ability, the Early Start program will help you feel more comfortable.  Students who participate in Early Start will earn 1 credit, consisting of 15 in-class hours.

For full details on the Early Start Program, please click here!


ASA students attending a semester or academic year program in Aix-en-Provence can have the opportunity to participate in an internship at a French company/organization while also earning credit!  Participating in an internship is a fantastic way to gain a deeper cultural immersion, improve your French, and meet local people.  Internships are available in a variety areas, such as Communications, Journalism, Tourism/Hospitality, Culinary Arts, Education/Teaching, Marketing, Sales, Business Management and more.  For full details about Internship opportunities in Aix-en-Provence, please click here!   


Costs and Dates

Please CLICK HERE for Costs and Dates.


What's Included - Aix-en-Provence - Semester, Academic Year, and Summer Programs

(For a list of what's included with the J-Term Traveling Seminar program, please click here.)

  • ROOM & BOARD with a French host family.  7 breakfasts, 6 dinners, and 1 load of laundry per week are provided.  Rooms are double or single occupancy.
  • EXCURSIONS, The School of Humanities and Social Sciences: 2 day excursions (Semester programs and 6-week Summer programs).  1 day excursion (3-week Summer programs).
  • EXCURSIONS, The Marchutz School of Fine Arts: 1 overnight excursion (Semester programs). 2 day excursions (6-week Summer programs). 1 day excursion (3-week Summer programs).
  • TUITION at The School of Humanities and Social Sciences of Humanities and Social Sciences or The Marchutz School of Fine Arts.  Please note, there are additional materials/lab fees for certain classes which are not included, and an additional fee of approximately $735 for advanced students to take classes at the University of Provence Aix-Marseilles I.
  • ACADEMIC CREDITS: Students who receive pre-approval from their home institution can transfer the credits they earn to their home institution. Possible number of credits:  15-18 (semester programs) or 3-9 (summer programs).
  • OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT: At the conclusion of the program, an official transcript from IAU College will be sent to your home institution. If your college or university requires an official transcript from an accredited U.S. institution, you are able to receive one from Truman State University for an additional fee of $500.  (If you require a TSU transcript, please be sure to notify us at least 3 months prior to departure.)
  • TEXTBOOKS/MATERIALS are provided on loan - must be returned before departure.  Art supplies are provided for students enrolled at The Marchutz School of Fine Arts.
  • CELL PHONE: ASA provides one cell phone for each student.  Students are responsible for the cost of phone usage.
  • INTERNET ACCESS at The School of Humanities and Social Sciences or Marchutz School of Fine Arts (NOT with your host family).
  • AIRPORT PICK-UP at Marseilles (MRS) airport for students who arrive on the official arrival date by the designated time.
  • MEDICAL INSURANCE: for a Description of Coverage, please visit our Information Library.
  • SITE DIRECTOR: on-site to assist students with any academic or cultural difficulties they may encounter.
  • VISA ADVISING: While students are ultimately responsible for obtaining their visa (if required for their term/host country), ASA will provide detailed, helpful information upon acceptance as to which visa students will need and how to go about applying for one.  Please click here and scroll down to "Student Visa Information" to find out if a visa is required for your program.

Not Included:

  • Airfare
  • Local transportation
  • Personal expenses
  • Materials/lab fees
  • Student Visa & Registration with Immigration Office in France (semester/academic year students only)
  • Daily lunch, one dinner per week
  • Meals on excursions

Click here for Billing Information and Cancellation/Refund Policy

NOTE: If you need a "Costs of Attendance" budget for your financial aid office, or simply need more details about the additional costs listed above, please email chelsea(at) 

Program Itinerary

Please CLICK HERE for detailed program itineraries.


If you have questions about HOW TO APPLY and make sure your credits transfer back to your home university, please CLICK HERE.

We encourage both prospective students and parents, as well as those who have already been accepted to an ASA program, to visit our INFORMATION LIBRARY. Here you will find tons of helpful info to help you know what to plan for and what to expect, such as:

  • ASA Guide to Study Abroad
  • Student Visa info
  • Medical Insurance info
  • Booking your flight
  • Financial Aid info