Spring Semester in Bordeaux, France | St. Lawrence University Patti McGill Peterson Center for International and Intercultural Studies

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. First Year Students may apply to complete their First Year Seminar (FYS) in Bordeaux.

  • Based in Bordeaux, France
  • Spring semester
  • Pre-requisites: 2.8 gpa recommended to apply, two semesters of college level French (Intermediate & Advanced French recommended). First Year Seminar (FYS) students require advanced high school French language and advanced course during the fall is highly recommended.
  • Housing in student residential facilities

Apply to Bordeaux, France program

First Year Seminar students require advanced high school French language and advanced course during the fall is highly recommended.

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.


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 Montaigne.  (Information on taking courses with French Professors.)

Required courses:

  • French – at the appropriate level
  • French 314F: The Food and Wine of Southwestern France and Bordeaux, taught by the St. Lawrence University Program Director:

This course will take advantage of living in Bordeaux this semester.  First, students will learn something about Bordeaux’s topography and its history.  Second, Bordeaux is known worldwide for its viniculture; some of the best, most prestigious, and most expensive wines in the world are produced just a few miles from where students are. Through readings, excursions, and tastings, students will be studying how wine is made, classified, sold, discussed, appreciated, and consumed. There will be a special emphasis on wines from the Bordelais.  Third, of all its many cultural contributions (Realism, Naturalism, Symbolism, Surrealism, Impressionism, Fauvism, Structuralism, the Enlightenment …), has French cuisine been that people’s most important contribution to world culture? Students will be eating French cuisine, to be sure, but also studying how this cuisine is prepared, served, and enjoyed – and how it has changed over time.  Excursions will take students to vineyards, museums, prehistoric sites, farms, and important cities in the Southwest. First-year students will complete the course by researching a topic on cuisine or wine, and writing (in English or in French) a paper on that research.     

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

Course enrollment is not confirmed until arrival in Bordeaux in January.

Sample Courses in English:

  • Agenda Setting and Issue Definition
  • Cities in European History
  • Comparative Politics
  • Environment in Europe: Policies and Politics
  • 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
  • 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

Sample 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 student residences and 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                             4-14 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 – 15 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: Dr. Eloise Brezault

Program Director: Dr. Maegan Bos

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

Apply to Bordeaux, France program