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  • Locations: Montpellier, France
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: UM Learning Abroad Center 
  • Dates / Deadlines
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Housing Options: Apartment, Homestay, Residence Hall or Dormitory Click here for a definition of this term Areas of Study: Business and Management, English, French Studies, History
Program Type: Study Abroad Language of Instruction: English, French
Click here for a definition of this term Class Year: 2. Sophomore, 3. Junior, 4. Senior Language Study Offered: French
Program Description:

Study Abroad in Montpellier

Integrate into French culture in Montpellier, a vibrant city located just miles from the Mediterranean. Hone your French language skills and take classes in a variety of subjects alongside French students at Paul Valéry University, one of Europe’s oldest universities. Enjoy the city’s college-town atmosphere, medieval and contemporary architecture, and sunny climate. 


  • Attend classes at Paul Valéry University.
  • Choose between a language and culture program, an integrated studies option, a May session, an advanced summer program, or an intensive summer language study.
  • Improve your French language skills.

This program offers options for students at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced language levels at Paul Valéry University.

Courses are offered in French language, culture, history, literature, humanities, social science, sciences, and business for advanced students.

Students at an advanced French language level choose from the regular course offerings at Paul Valéry University.

  • Program type:
    Take classes at Paul Valéry University and choose between four program options. Instruction is in French by French faculty.
  • Level:
    Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced
  • Term:
    • Language and Culture: Fall & Spring semester
    • Integrated Studies: Fall and Spring semester, Academic Year
    • May Session: Three weeks
    • Advanced French Summer Program: Five weeks
    • Intensive French Summer Program: Four or eight weeks
  • Prerequisites:
    • Language and Culture: 2–5 semesters of college-level French
    • Integrated Studies: 4 semesters of college-level French*
    • May Session: No language prerequisite
    • Advanced French Summer Program: 5 semesters of college-level French
    • Intensive French Summer Program: No language prerequisite

    *Fall and Academic year students who have 4 semesters of French and wish to enroll in the integrated studies track are strongly encouraged to enroll in the Intensive French Summer Program.

  • Courseload:
    4 credits


Françoise Defrecheux-Chaton is the on-site director. She provides participants with an in-country orientation, academic advising, on-going support during the program, and oversees housing arrangements. She has coordinated this program for many years and has taught at US and French institutions.

A team of additional on-site staff--an administrative assistant, a housing coordinator, and two social assistants--provide support to participants and organize a variety of cultural activities.

How to Apply

Click the button below to visit this program's web page for more information about the application process for this program.

About This Program

Live and study in Montpellier, one of France's fastest growing cities and an emerging cultural and educational center. Within easy reach of both mountains and the Mediterranean, and home to 100,000 university students, Montpellier is a young, vibrant city with a centuries-old history of intellectual advances and social tolerance. It is the ideal place for an introduction to French language and culture.

Three photos from previous trips

Based at the Paul Valéry University, the liberal arts division of the University of Montpellier, this program also provides access to the highly regarded medical, engineering, and law departments through an extremely flexible course structure. Choose from a mix of special courses with American and foreign students, and regular University of Montpellier courses with French students.

Host family, apartment, or dormitory living allows for different types of integration into everyday French culture. Summer students live in the university dorms.

  • Homestay
    Homestays are a vital connection to local culture and social life and provide students with the opportunity to experience daily life of the French from a first-hand perspective.
  • Apartment
    Students are placed with other program participants in shared apartments.
  • Observatoire
    Students are housed in single studio apartments in a dorm-like setting.
  • Dormitory
    The university dormitory is conveniently located near the Paul Valéry campus. Students are placed in a single room.

Supplemental excursions introduce the unique flavor of southern France. An excursion is included each term and introduces students to the unique character of southern France. In addition, the program's social and administrative assistants organize activities to familiarize you with the city and provide you with opportunities to meet French students. Students are encouraged to participate in local clubs that offer activities such as skiing, hiking, and photography. A two-week break in December, a two-week break in the spring, and travel before or after the program are excellent opportunities to explore France.

About Learning Abroad Center

The Learning Abroad Center in the Office of International Programs is the University of Minnesota's comprehensive resource for study, service-learning, work, intern, volunteer, and travel experiences worldwide.

The Learning Abroad Center is a leader in providing innovative international learning experiences that expand and redefine the world for a diverse population of students, colleagues, and staff. The Learning Abroad Center staff and University of Minnesota faculty and staff participate in numerous leadership opportunities and serve on the advisory boards of organizations who provide and/or support education abroad programs. Through collaboration and individual attention, the Learning Abroad Center continues to promote empowerment, development, understanding, and responsibility in the global community.

A variety of program options--300 programs in over 80 countries--have been developed to address the diverse needs of students. Programs vary in length, level, academic focus, teaching format, language requirements, cost, and degree of independence demanded of the participant.

Further information about UMN Montpellier specific to Wheaton College students

Wheaton College is committed to providing students with opportunities to broaden their understanding and vision beyond the borders of this campus and this country. We work in collaboration with carefully selected partner institutions around the world to support our students as they prepare to study abroad and while they are overseas. Students must apply to Wheaton's Center for Global Education as well as the institution through which they plan to study abroad. The most up-to-date information can be found on the program provider's website above.                   

Admission Requirements:
Minimum one year of college French or the equivalent for Language & Culture Program.  Four semesters of college French or the equivalent for Integrated Studies and University enrollment.

Courses & Credits:
Students will enroll in five courses, 15-16 U.S. semester hours, will earn 4.0 Wheaton credits . 

Housing & Meals:
Homestay families, apartments and residence halls. Students apply for housing directly to the University of Minnesota. Students are responsible for meal costs.

Budget Information:
Students studying abroad will continue to pay Wheaton tuition. Students are not charged Wheaton room and board, or the Wheaton technology, laundry, or student activities fees while on a study abroad program. Wheaton will, in turn, pay the program for all tuition and academic fees and international insurance. Students will pay living costs directly to UMN. Please note that this may or may not include a meal plan. Students will book and pay for their own flights.

Fees billed by Wheaton will be charged to students on their regular Wheaton College student account during regular billing cycles (July/December). 

Federal, state, Wheaton need-based and merit scholarships will be applied to these charges for Wheaton-approved programs. Students must consult with the Office of Student Financial Services (SFS) for a comprehensive review of their aid. If a student receives aid beyond the cost of Wheaton tuition, they can request a refund through SFS. This can in turn be used to pay their program for room and board charges.

Please do your research as housing and meal costs vary greatly from program to program. This Budget Worksheet can help you estimate the total costs of your program. Refer to the UMN Montpellier website directly for an overview of all additional expenses, which may include visas, international cell phones, and discretionary expenses.
A photo of a building with a concrete brick sidewalk with different gold style windows with a dome on top
     For Wheaton specific questions contact:    
     Center for Global Education
     5  Howard Street
     Wheaton College
     Norton, MA 02766-2322
     508-286- 4950

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2024 03/01/2024 03/01/2024 TBA TBA
Academic Year 2024-2025 03/01/2024 03/01/2024 TBA TBA