Spring Semester in Bordeaux, France

St. Lawrence’s newest program operated for the first time in Spring 2018 in Bordeaux, France. Bordeaux is the center of the famous wine region in southwestern France. In 2016, the port city was named the favorite city of the French for quality of life and reasonable cost of living. The Bordeaux program offers two tracks from beginner through advanced French. First Year Students may apply to complete their First Year Seminar in Bordeaux.

  • Based in Bordeaux, France
  • Spring semester
  • Pre-requisites: 2.8 gpa recommended to apply, one semester of college level French (Intermediate & Advanced French recommended)
  • Students at all language levels may apply
  • Housing in student residential facilities


Apply to Bordeaux, France program


First Year Students apply here for Bordeaux, France

Location    Academics   Co-curricular   Housing

Calendar   Orientation   Program Contacts

Student Blogs from Bordeaux


Bordeaux is the capital of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and the fifth largest city in France.  It is often referred to as the “Pearl of Aquitaine” with amazing landscapes such as the Dune du Pilat and hundreds of historical monuments; Bordeaux was named a World Heritage site in 2007.  The program will be based at the University of Bordeaux Montaigne with access to the Sciences Po Bordeaux and the University of Bordeaux.  In addition to Bordeaux, the program will travel to Paris, sites in southwestern France related to the Director’s course and to Senegal for approximately ten days.


The program is designed to serve students with elementary French through Advanced level.  All students will enroll in French language at the appropriate level at the University of Bordeaux Montaigne’s Centre de Langue as well as the Director’s Course taught by the accompanying St. Lawrence Faculty Director of the program.  Students will choose electives from a range of offerings in English or French at the University of Bordeaux, Sciences Po Bordeaux, and/or the University of Bordeaux.  (Information on taking courses with French Professors.)

Required courses:

  • French – at the appropriate level
  • French 240F: Cross-Cultural Encounters in France: A Traveler's (Mis)Guided tour, taught by the St. Lawrence University Program Director:

This course is designed to help students think critically about cultural stereotypes in the Francophone world. Students will focus on the representations of foreign cultures in France (and in Bordeaux) and they will reflect also on their own status as a foreigner when they travel to France. What is “travel” and to what degree does it allow the participants to truly understand a foreign culture? We will also discuss the differences between travel, immigration and exile.

The class will draw from varied sources – novels, secondary texts, songs, graphic novels, films, online material – to help deepen students’ understanding of French culture and provide critical tools for analyzing cross-cultural encounters. Texts will include Montaigne’s “On the Cannibals,” excerpts from Montesquieu’s Les Lettres persanes, songs from hip hop artists Gael Faye, Abd Al Malik or musicians like M, graphic novels from Bessora, Majid Bâ, and more contemporary writings by Barthes, Ndiaye, or Mbembe. Part of the class will also be dedicated to images, movie clips, and paintings so as to help students reflect on their own practice of taking photos while living abroad. Students will have to reflect critically on their experience while abroad when they work on their final project, which will be about digital narratives, so that they can share their experience with the rest of the campus.

This course will be taught in English.  Students at an advanced level in French will write papers and complete presentations in French.  First Year students will complete the work required for the FYSeminar course and will earn 1.5 units.

Elective courses:

Students will be able to select elective courses from a range of courses offered in English or in French such as:

Courses in English:

  • Agenda Setting and Issue Definition
  • Cities in European History
  • Comparative Politics
  • Environment in Europe: Policies and Politics
  • European economics
  • European integration
  • European Monetary Union: issues and challenges
  • Gender and Politics in the European Union
  • History of French Politics
  • History of International Politics
  • History of Modern Europe (combination of SLU HIST 205 & 206)
  • Immigration and Integration in a 21st Century Europe: Main Challenges and Future Trajectories
  • Intercultural communication and diversity studies
  • International economics
  • International economic institutions
  • Intercultural negotiation and cultural codes
  • International migration
  • International Relations Theories: an Introduction
  • Media and Journalism: an introduction to History and Trends
  • Montesquieu to Hugo
  • Representation of French Society in Film
  • Russia and the EU: Challenge Relations
  • The World as It is: Current Strategic Analysis
  • The World Economy in the 20th Century

Courses in French:

  • Afrique subsaharienne
  • Les Cadres Juridiques de la vie Politique Francaise
  • Civilisation du Commonwealth
  • Economie Politique, Introduction
  • Economie Monetaire
  • Etudes de la Pensee Economique
  • Histoire culturelle et politique
  • Histoire de l’idée européenne
  • Histoire des politiques culturelles
  • Histoire des relations internationales
  • Histoire politique française
  • Introduction des études de genre
  • Les Institutions de la Veme Republique
  • Littérature francaise
  • Littérature du Canada, du Maghreb, d’Afrique de L’Ouest
  • Littérature Comparee
  • Institutions Europeennes
  • Institutions politiques françaises
  • Littérature Britannique et Commonwealth
  • Macroeconomie
  • Mouvements artistiques et littéraires
  • Sociologie Politique
  • Theorie Politique
  • Traduction et themes

*St. Lawrence University cannot guarantee that a particular course will be offered in any given semester.


All scheduled group activities, including field trips, are included in the comprehensive fee.  The program will include two longer educational excursions to Paris and to Senegal and shorter excursions in the southwest region to locations such as Perigord and Toulouse. 


Students will be housed in either in the historic downtown area of Bordeaux or on the Bordeaux Montaigne campus.  Students will have their own rooms and will share common space with French and other international students.


The following dates are tentative and will be confirmed during pre-departure orientation:

Arrival                             8-14 January

Beginning of Program    15 January

Paris excursion               18-21 February

Spring Break                  22-26 February

Last Day of classes        14 April

Senegal excursion          15-23 April

Exams                            23 April – 9 May


Pre-Departure:  The CIIS office organizes in-depth orientation sessions on-campus prior to the students participation in the program.  This includes a program specific session(s) in which the students will learn more about the program, local culture, academic expectations, and any other important information.  There is also an orientation session led by the CIIS office on culture shock, and what to expect, as well as safety and security while abroad.

On-site:  Upon arrival in Bordeaux students will participate in an orientation in which they will learn more about the city, student housing, the university site and their classes.  Students are required to attend all orientation meetings and activities.

Program Contacts

If you are interested in learning more about the Pilot Program in Bordeaux please contact one of the following people:

Faculty Coordinator: Eloise Brezault

Program Director:  Eloise Brezault

CIIS Office:  Karen Smith, Associate Director of Off-Campus Programs


Apply to Bordeaux, France program


First Year Students apply here for Bordeaux, France