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. 

  • Based in Bordeaux, France
  • Spring semester
  • Enrollment does not normally exceed 18 students per semester.
  • Pre-requisites: 2.8 GPA recommended to apply, two semesters of college level French (Intermediate & Advanced French recommended).
  • Housing in student residential facilities

Apply to Study in Bordeaux, France

Location    Academics   Co-Curricular   Housing

Calendar   Orientation   Program Contacts


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.  In addition to Bordeaux, the program will travel to Paris, sites in southwestern France related to the Director’s course, and Senegal for approximately ten days.

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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 Sciences Po Bordeaux and/or the University of Bordeaux Montaigne.  (Read more about taking courses with French Professors.)

Required courses:

  • French Language: at the appropriate level
  • French 314F: Bordeaux, France, EU:  the construction of European identity

Taking Bordeaux as a point of departure and choosing France as an instance representing the creation of the EU, this course will explore the historical roots of contemporary manifestations of European identity and the meaning of “Europeanness.” Based on Norbert Elias’ perspective on the relationship between “The Established and Outsiders,” the course will uncover several dynamics that transpire in contradictory and complementary parallel European and French identities. Accordingly, the course covers issues ranging from migration/immigration laws and processes, racialized and gendered control of mobility, construction of we-ideals and we-image, to questioning ‘what is Europe’ adopting an eco-socio-historical lens.

This course will be taught in English.  Students at an advanced level in French will write papers and complete presentations in French.  

Elective courses:

Students will also 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.

According to the Francophone Studies major information, students participating in the Bordeaux semester program receive four units toward the Francophone studies major or minor if they take courses taught in French at the university (300-levels). Students will get 2 units if they take courses taught in English and French language classes.

Students minoring in Francophone Studies who participate in the Bordeaux semester program may count only three courses toward the minor. 

Grading Scale Equivalency:

Bordeaux Grading scale

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All scheduled group activities, including field trips, are included in the comprehensive fee.  The program will include one longer educational excursions to Paris and shorter excursions throughout France.

Student Blogs from Bordeaux

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Students will be housed in student residences and will have their own rooms and will share common space with French and other international students.

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7: Departure date for Sciences Po

9: Departure date for University Bordeaux Montaigne

9-12: Orientation at Sciences Po

11: Orientation at University Bordeaux Montaigne

16: Classes begin at both institutions


24-29: Program Week-long Excursion


12-14: Program Week-end Excursion

19: End of Classes at Sciences Po

20-28: Easter Holiday Break

24- Exam/Final Assessment Period begins for Sciences Po


4: End of Classes for University Bordeaux Montaigne

6: Exams/Final Assessments begin at University Bordeaux Montaigne

16: Exams/Final Assessments conclude for both programs

17: Depart France

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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, pre-departure preparation, 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.

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Program Contacts

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

CIIS Office:  Matt Carotenuto, Hanson Associate Dean, International and Intercultural Studies.

Faculty Coordinator: Dr. Eloise Brezault, Associate Professor in the World Languages, Cultures, and Media Department

Apply to Study in Bordeaux, France

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