Study Abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France

Quick Facts | Why Aix-en-Provence? | City Description | Host Institution | Housing | Course Offerings

Internship Opportunities | Excursions | Costs & Dates | What’s IncludedProgram Itinerary | Volunteer Opportunities | FAQs

Quick Facts

Host Institution:

IAU: The School of Humanities and Social Sciences, The French Honors Program, and The Marchutz School of Fine Arts – Semester, Academic Year, Summer

Semester students have the option to participate in the Early Start Program, where you arrive a week early to brush up on your French and get to know your 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, Archaeology, 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 minimufm 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 students live with French host families. Daily breakfast, 6 dinners per week, Internet, and 1 load of laundry per week are included. For further details about living with a host family, please click here!
Sample Day Excursions: Luberon Valley, Isle sur la Sorgue, Gorges du Verdon, Arles & Saint Remy
Sample Overnight Excursions: Nice & Cannes

Why Aix-en-Provence?

  • Live and study in the South of France!
  • 1/3 of Aix’s population is students
  • Relaxed, Mediterranean atmosphere with breathtaking scenery
  • Fantastic open-air farmer’s markets
  • School is located in the oldest part of town
  • Center of learning for Law, History and the Arts

City Description – Small city of 140,000

Aix-en-Provence is located in the south of France in the region of Provence, along the Mediterranean Sea. Here, you can experience traditional French culture in an intimate, accessible setting.

Provence is a breathtaking mixture of rolling countryside and medieval towns and cities. Not only is it a place of amazing beauty, but it is also known for offering some of the best cuisine in the world, using the freshest local ingredients. Provence is one of the wealthiest regions of France, its famous resorts attracting tourists from all over the world. Bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, Provence has a beautiful, mild climate, and an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, creating a sense of light and warmth, as well as a very relaxed atmosphere.

A quaint yet elegant university town, Aix-en-Provence was founded by the Romans in 123 BC. It has been an important educational center in France since the 1400’s, a tradition that IAU carries on in their varied offerings for American students. Aix-en-Provence is also known for its beloved painter, Paul Cézanne, whose works were inspired by the landscape surrounding the city.

Summertime in Aix-en-Provence is filled with music, when two annual festivals gather world-class musicians and directors. You can find classical, jazz, and popular music emanating from outdoor theatres and venues throughout the city.

IAU (Institute for American Universities)

Founded in 1957 under the auspices of l’Université d’Aix-Marseille and chartered by the Regents of the University of the State of New York, IAU (Institute for American Universities) is one of the oldest education abroad programs in Europe. In addition, IAU is registered with the French Ministry of Education and recognized by the Rectorat of the Université d’Aix-Marseille.

IAU offers several different semester and summer program options in Aix-en-Provence: The School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the French Honors Program, and The Marchutz School of Fine Arts.

The School of Humanities and Social Sciences

The School of Humanities and Social Sciences is open to students with any level of French, from beginner to advanced. Classes are available in both English and French in a variety of subject areas. It is mandatory for semester students to take at least one French language class. It is not mandatory to take French during the summer sessions.

The French Honors Program

The French Honors Program is available during both semester and summer terms at The School of Humanities and Social Sciences and is designed for advanced French students and French majors as an opportunity to live and study in a 100% French-speaking environment. This program gives students a full immersion experience, plus optional internships. To participate, students should have taken at least 4 semesters of college French (or equivalent).

All French Honors students (semester and summer) take a mandatory seminar called “Crossing Spaces in the Intercultural Context.” It explores literary and artistic themes related to the notion of space, both internal and external, and the tensions created by crossing between spaces.

In addition to the mandatory seminar course, semester students enroll in 4 additional classes. Summer students take 1-2 additional classes. Semester students may take 1 class in English (the rest must be in French). Summer students must take all their classes in French.

For full details about the French Honors Program, click here.

The Marchutz School of Fine Arts

The Marchutz School of Fine Arts offers an interdisciplinary and holistic fine arts program that is open to students with any level of French and any level of art background. Through this unique program, studio art production is combined with study in the liberal arts disciplines. Your art studies will include spontaneous perceptual painting and drawing, intensive critical dialogue, extensive museum visits, and a community of students and artists at all levels.

Located on the “Route de Cézanne,” the school’s location on the outskirts of Aix-en-Provence has many advantages. Among them are its light-filled space, the studio’s proximity to the famed Chateaunoir and Saint Victoire, and, most importantly, its calm and contemplative atmosphere, conducive to sustained artistic concentration.

The goal of the Marchutz art program is to help you develop a holistic approach to the study of art and art making. It will enhance your capacity to see and your awareness of the relationship between perception and imagination. You will form an integrative relationship between knowledge and intuition, perception and concept, and self-expression and global awareness.

You will draw and paint – every day, if possible, working from models, children, musicians, and dancers. You will interrelate figure drawing, portraiture, landscape, and still-life with interpretive copies of master works, memory work, and sketchbook journals. Study in museums and reading/writing assignments explore the correspondences between natural and artistic forms, and, finally, group and individual critiques are integral to each student’s process.

Excursions and museum visits are an integral part of the Marchutz program and are included with your program fees. Students will visit small towns and villages, such as St. Remy, Arles, and the Luberon Valley. In addition, semester students typically go on a longer painting trip to Paris, Giverny, or Venice.

Semester students attending the Marchutz School of Fine Arts will take 3 mandatory core art classes: Painting, Drawing, and Art Criticism and Aesthetics. In addition, you’ll take 1 French language class and 1 elective of your choosing at The School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Summer students at Marchutz will take 2 core art classes: Art Criticism and Aesthetics, and a Painting & Drawing class. In addition, summer students may take an optional 3rd course of their choosing at The School of Humanities and Social Sciences (additional fee required).


All students live with French host families. Daily breakfast, 6 dinners per week, and 1 load of laundry per week are included. All ASA student housing includes Internet access and is located in safe neighborhoods, within a reasonable distance from school. Full details about ASA housing, as well as answers to commonly asked questions, can be found on our Housing page.

Early Start Semester

The Early Start Semester Program begins one week before the regular 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 Semester will help you feel more comfortable.  Students who participate in the Early Start Semester will earn 1 credit, consisting of 15 in-class hours. For full details on the Early Start Program, please click here!


ASA students with an advanced level of French attending a semester or academic year program in Aix-en-Provence may 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 for advanced level students 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!


The School of Humanities and Social Sciences semester program includes 2 day excursions. The Marchutz School of Fine Arts semester program includes 1 overnight excursion plus museum visits. 6-week summer programs include 2 day excursions, and 3-week summer programs include 1 day excursion. Destinations may vary term. Past terms have included trips to:

  • Le Luberon (day excursion) – Renowned for its natural beauty, Le Luberon is a typical Provençal countryside featuring quaint hilltop villages, stone houses, vineyards, olive groves, and fields of lavender and sunflowers. In the village of Lourmarin, a Renaissance chateau that was once a fortress now hosts concerts and art exhibitions in this very fashionable town.
  • Moustiers & Lac de Sainte Croix (day excursion) – Moustiers Ste Marie is a medieval village where you can explore the picturesque streets and enjoy a fantastic panoramic view from a 12th century chapel. We’ll also visit the Lac de Saint Croix, a lake known for its beaches and water sports.
  • Giverny / Venice (overnight trip- Marchutz School of Fine Arts only) – The Marchutz School of Fine Arts includes one unforgettable, multi-day painting trip every semester. Fall semester students typically enjoy a trip to Giverny, where they will paint and draw in Monet’s garden. Spring students typically visit Venice, where they will paint and draw along the famous canals and lagoon.

Costs and Dates

Please CLICK HERE for Costs and Dates.

What’s Included – Semester and Summer programs in Aix-en-Provence

  • ROOM & BOARD with a French host family.  Daily breakfast, 6 dinners per week, Internet, and 1 load of laundry per week are included.  Rooms are double or single occupancy.  We cannot guarantee you a single room. For further information about living with a host family, please click here!
  • TUITION at the IAU School of Humanities and Social Sciences or The Marchutz School of Fine Arts for the maximum number of credits indicated on the program course offerings page. Enrolling in more than the maximum number of credits (if permitted by the host institution) will result in an additional fee.  Some classes carry additional fees  for materials or academic field trips which are NOT included and must be paid for by the studentEstimated additional fees are noted on the program course offerings page.
  • ACADEMIC CREDITS: Students who receive pre-approval from their home institution can transfer the credits they earn to their home institution.
  • OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT: Final transcript is issued by IAU.  Upon completion of the program, ASA will provide one free shipment of your final transcript to your U.S. institution.  If your home institution requires an official transcript from an accredited U.S. institution, you may receive one from Truman State University for an additional fee of $500.  If you need a TSU transcript, please be sure to notify us at least 3 months prior to departure.
  • TEXTBOOKS are provided on loan and must be returned to IAU at the end of the term.  For students enrolled in the Marchutz School of Fine Arts program, art supplies/materials are provided (included) for the mandatory Marchutz core art courses.
  • EXCURSIONS, The School of Humanities and Social Sciences: 1 day excursion. Locations to be decided. Meals on excursions are not included.
  • EXCURSIONS, The Marchutz School of Fine Arts: 1 overnight excursion (Semester programs). 1 day excursions (Summer programs). Locations to be decided. Meals on excursions are not included.
  • CULTURAL ACTIVITIES within Aix-en-Provence (museum visits, walking tours, etc.)
  • INTERNET ACCESS: Students will have free Internet access on the IAU campus and in their program housing.
  • AIRPORT PICK-UP: Group ground transportation is provided from Marseilles (MRS) airport for students who arrive on the official arrival date, by the designated time.
  • SITE DIRECTOR: Students will have an on-site director to assist them with any academic or cultural difficulties they may encounter.
  • MEDICAL INSURANCE: Comprehensive international medical insurance is included.  For full details on benefits and coverage, please click here.
  • 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:

  • Round-trip airfare and travel expenses to and from the program location
  • Materials fees
  • Local transportation
  • Personal expenses
  • Daily lunch, one dinner per week
  • Meals on excursions
  • Student Visa and registration with Immigration Office in France (if required for your program)
  • Transportation from the airport if the student does not arrive on the official arrival date by the designated time
  • Transportation back to the airport at the end of the program
  • For academic year students or those enrolling in more than one session, room and board and all other ASA services and benefits are not provided during the break between sessions.

Click here for Billing Information and Cancellation/Refund Policy

NOTE: If you need a “Costs of Attendance” budget for your financial aid office, or if you simply want an estimate of the not-included costs listed above, please click here.

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