Learning Abroad Center
students on Montpellier street

Engineering in France

Europe
LAC Program

Live and study engineering in Montpellier, France’s fastest-growing city and home to thousands of students from around the world. Experience the exciting hub of modern technological industries alongside historic traditions. Explore Montpellier’s historic city, the Place de la Comédie; and take excursions to the striking Provence region, nearby Medieval towns, and the famous historic cities of Avignon and Arles. It is an ideal place to take classes for your major, from computer science to mechanical engineering.

Program Details

Location
Montpellier, France
Term
Academic Year
Fall Semester
Spring Semester
Housing
Apartment
Homestay
Credit Type
Resident Credit
Sponsor
Learning Abroad Center

Program Eligibility

GPA
2.5
Student Type
UofM Students
Non UofM Students
Student Year
Sophomores
Juniors
Seniors
Language Prerequisite
No Language Prerequisite

Photos

Program Locations

Association Student Services

Program office. Houses program staff members, some classroom space, and space for students to hang out. There are also computers for student use, as well as wireless internet access.

Latitude
43.613400
Longitude
3.883600
Place de la Comédie

Main square in town, common meeting place for students.

Latitude
43.608200
Longitude
3.879300
Polygone

Located in the heart of Montpellier, this shopping center offers stores such as andré, Galeries Lafayette, L\'Occitan, fnac, Camaïeu, Etam, Naf Naf, and Monoprix. There are also several pâtisseries and cafés in the shopping center.

Latitude
43.608500
Longitude
3.884600
Aéroport Montpellier–Méditerranée

Coordinated flight arrives and departs from this airport. Airport also houses budget airlines EasyJet and Ryan Air, and serves many locations such as Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Fez, London, Paris, and Rome.

Latitude
43.577100
Longitude
3.959200
Gare Montpellier-Saint-Roch (Train Station)

Located just off the Place de la Comédie, the train station is within walking distance of the arrival hotel.

Latitude
43.603400
Longitude
3.880700
Piscine Olympique d'Antigone (Pool)
Latitude
43.607100
Longitude
3.892900
Odysseum

Easily accessible by tram, the Odysseum complex contains an aquarium, a planetarium, a shopping center, restaurants, and a skating rink.

Latitude
43.603500
Longitude
3.920600
Parc Zoologique
Latitude
43.643200
Longitude
3.879800
Jardin des Plantes
Latitude
43.614400
Longitude
3.873000
Palavas-les-Flots

Closest beach to Montpellier, easily accessible by tram or bicycle

Latitude
43.529200
Longitude
3.931800
Nîmes

About 30 minutes by train from Montpellier, Nîmes makes a great day trip. It is home to several remnants of the Roman Empire, such as the amphitheatre, where bull fights are still held, the Tour Magne, and the Maison Carrée.

Latitude
43.836000
Longitude
4.356100
Sète

About 20 minutes from Montpellier by train, Sète makes a great day trip. It is a port town with a strong maritime and fishing culture, and home les joutes nautiques (water jousting) during the St-Louis Festival in August.

Latitude
43.407500
Longitude
3.699700
Carcassonne

A short train ride from Montpellier, Carcassonne is famous for the Cité de Carcassonne, a medieval fortress and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Latitude
43.407500
Longitude
3.699700
Pont du Gard

Typical program excursion

Latitude
43.947600
Longitude
4.535000
Avignon

Typical program excursion

Latitude
43.948800
Longitude
4.804200
Les Baux de Provence

Typical program excursion

Latitude
43.743800
Longitude
4.794900
St-Guilhem-le-Désert

Typical program excursion

Latitude
43.734000
Longitude
3.548500
Aigues Mortes

Typical program excursion

Latitude
43.567100
Longitude
4.192000
Camargue

Typical program excursion

Latitude
43.499700
Longitude
4.499900

About

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, it is a young, vibrant city with a centuries-old history of intellectual advances and social tolerance. Montpellier is the ideal place to experience French culture as a study abroad student.

Take engineering classes in English or French at the Polytech, part of the University of Montpellier, one of the oldest and most respected universities in Europe. Montpellier has a long history of institutions advancing scientific and technological research, including the oldest active school of medicine in the modern world (founded 1180); CIRAD, the French agricultural research and international cooperation organization working for the sustainable development of tropical and Mediterranean regions; and many others.

Housing & Meals

Homestays

Homestays provide a vital connection to the local culture, as well as the opportunity to experience French daily life. Host families provide breakfast and dinner during the week and all meals on the weekend. Most families live in the suburbs of Montpellier, approximately 45 minutes by bus, tram, and foot from the city center and from campus.

If you wish to maximize your language practice and cultural development through regular family contact and are willing to adapt to a French family's lifestyle and schedule, this is a good housing option for you. The level of integration you experience with your host family may vary—some families go to great lengths to make you part of the family while others take a more independent approach. Host families are an option even for students who do not have prior French language study.

Traditional French Apartment

Live with other program participants in typical French apartments. These are usually located in the center of town or close to the universities and are easily accessible to the program center and the university. You will share the apartment with 1–2 other students from the program, occasionally with two people of the same gender sharing a room. The program fee for this option does not include meals, utilities, or the $500 security deposit. See the Fees page for additional costs. If you have special dietary needs or intend to have an active social life with frequent evenings out, this is a good option.

Student Studio Apartments

Small studio apartments within a student apartment building offer basic modern rooms with a small private bathroom and kitchenette. The rooms are furnished with a single bed and desk. The residence building is located in downtown Montpellier, about a 20-minute walk from the program center and a 30-minute commute from the university. This housing option does not include meals, but does include utilities. A $500 security deposit will be billed with your program fee. If you are independent, like your own space, and want to meet other students (French and international), this is a good option.

Excursions

Two or three day-long excursions are planned each semester to introduce you to the unique character of southern France.  These day excursions are included in your program fees. In addition, the program’s social assistants organize activities in Montpellier to help you get to know the city and to provide you with opportunities to meet French students. Optional longer excursions are also organized by the Program Center staff during the semester and are offered (at an extra cost) if there is sufficient interest.

Typical Fall Semester Excursions

Day excursions sites may include: 

  • Aigues-Mortes and the Mediterranean Sea

  • Arles and the Carrières de Lumière

  • Avignon and Fontaine de Vaucluse

Medieval Weekend Excursion (included in Program Fee)

  • Carcassonne, Lagrasse, medieval dining, and the Cathars' castles

Optional longer excursions (at an extra cost) include:

  • Morocco (One week in Fez, Morocco)

Typical Spring Semester Excursions

Day excursions sites may include: 

  • Nimes and Pont-du-Gard

  • Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert

  • Anduze and the bamboo forest

Optional longer excursions (at an extra cost) include:

  • Paris

  • Morocco (One week in Fez, Morocco)

Flight

The Learning Abroad Center works with Village Travel, a local travel agency, to arrange a coordinated flight for program participants. The flight is optional, and is arranged for those who want to fly with other program participants. Group flight information is typically available by the program application deadline, if not before.

Learning Outcomes

  • Gain new perspectives on science and industry through dedicated coursework in Engineering
  • Develop or strengthen French linguistic skills
  • Increase independence and self-reliance through integration into French society
  • Develop neworking skills and contacts through interaction with faculty and peers
  • Deepen cross-cultural understanding through interaction with faculty, local students, host families and community members

Faculty & Staff

Headshot of Françoise Defrecheux-Chaton

Françoise Defrecheux-Chaton

Françoise has been the On-Site Director of the program in Montpellier since 1990. With her staff, she oversees student services, excursions, housing arrangements, and academic coursework. She is also a professor in Business English at the Université de Montpellier and is well-connected in the local university community in Montpellier.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Germanic Languages from the Université de Liège and a Master's from the University of Minnesota in French Literature. She has also taught at the University of Minnesota and Carleton College in Minnesota.

Corrine Dumas

Corinne Dumas

Corinne has been the Assistant Director of the University of Minnesota Program in Montpellier since 2006. She currently teaches the course on Leadership and Experiential Learning for the program.

She received a MA in English from the University of Orléans in France and a MA in French and ESL from West Virginia University. Corinne studied for five years at the University of North Carolina where she was also a teaching assistant in the French department. She completed her course work and passed her PhD exams in Comparative Literature.

Paul Roger

Paul Rogers

Paul is the Academic Adviser for the Montpellier programs. He has been teaching university courses for over twenty years, and currently teaches in his specialty for the University of Minnesota program and at the Université Paul-Valéry in the Lettres Modernes department.

Paul holds a PhD in medieval French literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is originally from southern Rhode Island.

Program Structure

Program Level
1000–3000 level courses
Courseload

5 courses (15–18 credits) per semester

Overview

  • Taught in English and/or French
  • Courses in English available for 3rd and 4th year level engineering students
  • Courses in French available for 1st–4th year level engineering students
  • Dedicated program course with visits to labs and industry available
  • Summer language options, including an advanced Science and Technology course

Coursework

Depending on the language track you choose, you may select from a range of classes in computer science and management; electrical engineering; energetics; biological and food engineering; materials science and engineering; mechanical engineering and interactive design; and water science and engineering. 

Semester & Academic Year Programs

English Track (3rd & 4th year level students, no language prerequisite)

French Track (1st–4th year level students, 4+ semesters of college-level French proficiency)

Full Course List

English Track

  • Designed for 3rd and 4th year level engineering students
  • French language class required alongside engineering electives
  • Minimum course load is 15 credits

French Track

  • Minimum 4 semesters of French language competency required
  • 1st year–4th year level engineering courses available
  • Students focusing on French language courses and/or liberal education courses in French with only 1–2 engineering courses should apply through the Language & Culture in Southern France program option
  • Minimum course load is 15 credits

Beginning French Language

Course ID
MONT 1001–1002
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
5
Credits

Students in 1st or 2nd semester French enroll in a language class that is divided into sections based on linguistic level:


Language Taught In
  • French
UofM Equivalent
FREN 1001 or 1002

Intermediate French Language

Course ID
MONT 1003-1004
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
5
Credits

Students in 3rd or 4th semester French enroll in a language class that is divided into sections based on linguistic level:


Language Taught In
  • French
UofM Equivalent
FREN 1003 or 1004

English Direct Enroll Courses at Polytech

Course ID
MONT 3000-level
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
Varies

Polytech offers a selection of courses taught in English in Computer Science and Management, Biological and Food Engineering, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering and Interactive Design, and Water Science.

Please use the Contact tab to contact Maria Mantey in order to review courses available for the semester you plan to study abroad.


Language Taught In
  • English

French Direct Enroll Courses at Polytech

Course ID
MONT 3000-level
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
Varies

Polytech offers a broad range of courses in Computer Science and Management, Biological and Food Engineering, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering and Interactive Design, Microelectronics and Automation (Robotics), and Water Science.

Please use the Contact tab to contact Maria Mantey in order to review courses available for the semester you plan to study abroad.


Language Taught In
  • French

Cross-Cultural Psychology

Course ID
MONT 3006
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
3
Credits

This course will examine how cultural factors influence human behavior and development. Additionally, the interaction between different cultures and how to solve the difficulties that may arise during the acculturation process may be discussed. The course also studies the vision and treatment of mental disorders in different cultures, especially the differences and similarities between French and North American cultures. Mental Health systems of both countries will be also analyzed and compared.

Syllabus for Cross-Cultural Psychology

Language Taught In
  • English
UofM Equivalent
PSY 3301

Advanced French Language

Course ID
MONT 3015 or 3016
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
3
Credits

Advanced levels of language are offered in a special language program for international students.

Students in 5th or 6th semester enroll in a French language class that is divided into sections based on linguistic level:


Language Taught In
  • French
UofM Equivalent
FREN 3015 or 3016

Medieval French Literature: Mysteries, Marvels and Monsters

Course ID
MONT 3021W
Terms
  • Fall
3
Credits

This course examines the origins of French literature and its development during Western Europe’s first true Renaissance of the 12th and 13th centuries.

Syllabus for Medieval French Literature: Mysteries, Marvels and Monsters

Language Taught In
  • French
Fulfills Liberal Education Requirement
  • Literature
  • Writing Intensive
UofM Equivalent
May be approved for FRIT 3101W for students who have completed FREN 3016. Email the FRIT Director of Undergraduate Studies for approval.

Medieval French Literature: The Once & Future King

Course ID
MONT 3024W
Terms
  • Spring
3
Credits

This course gives students a thorough understanding of the Arthurian tradition as it has been depicted in French in the medieval period and the present day. Students will also acquire critical thinking and analytical skills with respect to works of literature and television drama/cinema, and learn how these artistic creations function from a sociological/socio-cultural perspective.

Syllabus for Medieval French Literature: The Once & Future King

Language Taught In
  • French
Fulfills Liberal Education Requirement
  • Literature
  • Writing Intensive
UofM Equivalent
May be approved for FRIT 3101W for students who have completed FREN 3016. Email the FRIT Director of Undergraduate Studies for approval.

French [R]evolutions through Film: Transformations in French Society from 1945 to the Present

Course ID
MONT 3025W
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
3
Credits

Through the lens of cinema and documentary film, this course explores the changes in French society from the period of the Second World War to the present day. Key moments in France’s history will be examined in a range of prominent films that reflect cultural, social and political evolutions that have taken place. By examining these works from a variety of perspectives, students will develop a deeper understanding of French culture and the community in which they are immersed. Taught at the UofM Program Center. 

Syllabus for French [R]evolutions through Film: Transformations in French Society from 1945 to the Present

Language Taught In
  • English
Fulfills Liberal Education Requirement
  • Arts/Humanities
  • Writing Intensive

French Writers: Transformations in French & Francophone Society from 1945 to the Present through the Eyes of Novelists

Course ID
MONT 3026W
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
3
Credits

Through the lens of literature, this course explores the changes in French society from the period of the Second World War to the present day. Beginning with the trauma of the Nazi occupation, students will look at how French literature over the years has served as a mirror on society, reflecting cultural, social, and political evolutions. Students will examine key moments in France’s history that have left a mark: the period of Nazi occupation and the conflict between collaborators and resistance fighters (as portrayed in Tatiana de Rosnay’s Sarah’s Key), France in Indochina and the underpinnings of its postcolonial legacy (Marguerite Duras’s Sea Wall), the cultural revolution of May 1968 (Annie Ernaux’s The Years), evolving family models and changing visions of the world in the 1980s (Tahar Ben Jelloun’s The Sand Child), social upheaval and exclusion from the 1990s to the present day (Edouard Louis’s Ending Eddy, Michel Houellebecq’s Platform, Mounia Meddour’s Papicha). Recent texts and film will engage with an exploration of contemporary France around issues such as francophone multiculturalism, societal unrest (the yellow-jacket movement) and the terror attacks (Marie N’Diaye’s Ladivine, Jacques’s Audiard’s Un Prophète, Ladj Ly’s Les Misérables, Emmanuel Leconte’s Humour à mort—the Charlie Hebdo attacks), but also France’s continuing mission to promote literature through the Prix Goncourt. The course aims to provide students with tools for understanding a culture through an exploration of its creative artifacts.

 

Syllabus for French Writers: Transformations in French & Francophone Society from 1945 to the Present through the Eyes of Novelists

Language Taught In
  • English
Fulfills Liberal Education Requirement
  • Literature
  • Writing Intensive

Language Development from a Cross-Cultural Perspective

Course ID
MONT 3121
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
3
Credits

This course exams the process of language learning in children and the different philosophical approaches in the US and France regarding second language development.

Syllabus for Language Development from a Cross-Cultural Perspective

Language Taught In
  • English
Fulfills Liberal Education Requirement
  • Social Sciences
UofM Equivalent
CI 3610

Internship

Course ID
MONT 3303
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
3
Credits

This course accompanies the internship and reflects on work culture in France. Hours at the internship site are typically 8-10 hours per week.

Sample Placements

Syllabus for Internship

Language Taught In
  • French
UofM Equivalent
FREN 3650. Fulfills elective credit for major/minor.

Advanced Conversation

Course ID
MONT 3309
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
3
Credits

Advanced conversation practice through discussions on current topics, films and articles with the class and with an assigned conversation topic.

Note: UofM students who have taken 3018 on the UofM campus cannot enroll in the Advanced Conversation course in Montpellier.

Syllabus for Advanced Conversation

Language Taught In
  • French
UofM Equivalent
FREN 3018

Introduction to Child Psychology

Course ID
MONT 3321
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
3
Credits

This course will examine normative physical, social, and cognitive development from the prenatal period through adolescence, bringing in the French context. The major goals include fostering an understanding of the usefulness of a developmental approach to psychological issues, familiarizing students with current research and methodology in child psychology, and engaging students in the experiences of developmental psychology through observation and analysis of child behavior.

Syllabus for Introduction to Child Psychology

Language Taught In
  • English
Fulfills Liberal Education Requirement
  • Social Sciences
UofM Equivalent
CPSY 2301/3301

Global Business and Industry: France at the Crossroads

Course ID
MONT 3802
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
3
Credits

This course examines the development and current state of the European business environment from a French perspective. Topics will include the background/aftermath of the establishment of the European Union (EU) as well as institutional, political, legal and socio-cultural factors at work in the contemporary business and industry landscape. Taught in English at the Program Center.

Syllabus for Global Business and Industry: France at the Crossroads

Language Taught In
  • English

Community Engagement

Course ID
MONT 3886
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
3
Credits

This course provides a cross-cultural experience of working with a local company, school, or nonprofit organization. Students are prepared for entering into their community work through discussions on the work culture in France which provide context about the cultural values guiding this culture.  Through practical internship experiences as well as readings, discussions, and written assignments, students will deepen their understanding of the host-country cultural context and critically examine their own worldview. Options include assisting with coaching after-school sports teams, working with charities who interact with migrant and refugee populations, and assisting with English language classes in school settings, among others.

Syllabus for Community Engagement

Language Taught In
  • English
Fulfills Liberal Education Requirement
  • Civic Life and Ethics

Directed Research

Course ID
MONT 3993
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
3
Credits

Under the supervision of a University Paul Valéry (UPV) faculty member, a student engages in 100 hours of directed research on a topic designed by the student in consultation with the on-site faculty member. Research topics must be pre-approved prior to participation.

Syllabus for Directed Research

Language Taught In
  • French

Adolescent Psychology

Course ID
MONT 4303
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
3
Credits

Gain a foundational understanding of what is currently known about the transformational processes that shape human development as children mature into adults. This course will review what has been learned about the biological, cognitive, and social development of adolescents in the context of their multiple worlds and the issues and challenges that adolescents confront along the way. This course will provide an overview of development in the teenage years/second decade of life looking at both the US and French perspectives.

Syllabus for Adolescent Psychology

Language Taught In
  • English
UofM Equivalent
CPSY 4303

Resilience in Children and Youth: Global Perspectives

Course ID
MONT 4310
Terms
  • Fall
  • Spring
3
Credits

How do children overcome hazardous experiences to succeed in life? What can be done to protect young people at risk from trauma, war, disasters, and other adversities? This course examines the global literature on resilience in children and youth. Focus on the origins, methods, findings, controversies, and future of research on how young people overcome adversity, as well as the implications of this body of knowledge for fostering resilience in children and societies.

Syllabus for Resilience in Children and Youth: Global Perspectives

Language Taught In
  • English
UofM Equivalent
CPSY 4310

Global Identity

Course ID
OLPD 3332
Terms
  • Online (all terms)
1
Credit

Global Identity: Connecting Your International Experience with Your Future is an optional 1-credit online course that helps you process your international experience and apply what you've learned upon your return.  Global Identity gives you the opportunity to work individually with a trained cultural mentor, helping you articulate your newly acquired skills and differentiating you from your peers.

This course is offered at no additional cost on programs six weeks or longer. The Learning Abroad Center will email out registration instructions, or you may contact a program team member.

Syllabus for Global Identity

Language Taught In
  • English
Fulfills Liberal Education Requirement
  • Global Perspectives

Program Dates

Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:

Orientation Dates & Locations

Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.

See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.

Academic Year 2021-22

Application Open Date: December 18, 2020
Application Deadline: April 15, 2021

Schedule Date
Depart U.S.

September 2

Arrive Montpellier (program start date)

September 3

Orientation

September 4-10

First day of class

September 13

Fall Break October 30 - November 7
Last day of fall semester

December 17

First day of spring semester Late January, TBD
Spring Break Dates TBD
Last day of class and housing Date TBD
Depart Montpellier (program end date)

Early June

Fall 2021

Application Open Date: December 18, 2020
Application Deadline: April 15, 2021

Schedule Date
Depart U.S.

September 2

Arrive Montpellier (program start date)

September 3

Orientation

September 4-10

First day of class

September 13

Fall Break October 30 - November 7
Last day of class and housing

December 17

Depart Montpellier (program end date)

December 18

Spring 2022

Application Open Date: May 1, 2021
Application Deadline: October 15, 2021

Schedule Date
Depart U.S. Mid-January
Arrive Montpellier date TBD
Orientation

mid-January, dates TBD

First day of class late January
Winter break dates TBD
Easter Monday holiday date TBD
Spring break dates TBD
Last day of class and housing date TBD
Depart Montpellier Early June

Fees

University of Minnesota participants pay the program fee instead of on-campus tuition and fees for the term they are abroad.

If you do not see a budget estimate for the term you intend to go abroad, the fee has not yet been finalized. We strive to post fees for this program at least 30 days prior to the application deadline. The Learning Abroad Center will delay the posting of some fees until enrollments, inflation and exchange rates are determined. Note the average increase in fees will be 3–10%. Program fees are based on estimates and may change depending on international economic factors.

Fees or tuition from home institutions may be added to or differ from the University of Minnesota Learning Abroad Center fees listed on this page.

Billing & Payments

Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.

Bridging Loan

Bridging Loan, a no-interest/no-fees loan that funds the upfront deposit and flights costs, is available for this program for eligible students.

Cancellation Policy

Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.

Spring 2021

Academic Year 2021-22

Fall 2021

Prepare

Complete pre-application advising.

US Passport holders require a visa to study on this program. In order to obtain a visa, you must have a valid passport. Due to COVID-19, passport processing times are currently delayed. If you do not have a passport, or your passport expires less than 6 months after your return date from your time abroad, apply for a new passport now, and pay for expedited processing.

Apply

You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

Apply Now

Complete

After you submit your application, you will receive an email notification confirming that your application was received. Submitted applications are assigned an application checklist, which will include the following items:

  • Application Essay
  • Academic Recommendation from a college French instructor (French Track only)

Additional Items Required for non-UofM Students:

  • Transcript 
  • Home Institution Nomination

Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.

If you do not meet the GPA requirement for this program you will be required to submit an additional essay. It will be added to your checklist after you start your application, and you will be notified when it has been added.

After your application checklist is complete, your application is reviewed by our program team. You will be notified of an acceptance decision by email. If accepted, you will be assigned an acceptance checklist, which you will complete to confirm your participation in the program. If you decide not to continue with the application process, log into the online application system and submit a Cancel Request.

Visa

Student Visa in France (Long-stay)

Semester and Academic Year students need a “long-stay” student visa in order to study in France (programs longer than 90 days). Prior to departure, you must apply for and receive your visa before you can arrive in France. The visa process has multiple steps, so plan on getting your passport in order as soon as you have been accepted to the program.

Our role at the Learning Abroad Center is to guide you through the process, provide you with the documents you need, and trouble shoot any questions that come up. You are responsible for your passport, paying for all associated fees and travel, completing all steps in a timely manner and informing the Montpellier team if any issues arise.

After you have confirmed your spot in the program through the Learning Abroad Center online system, additional step-by-step visa instructions will be provided to you. Each step must be completed sequentially so it’s important to wait for the instructions before getting started with the visa application process.

Visa Process for US passport holders

The French student visa process has 4 steps:

  1. Obtain a passport or verify that your passport is valid for 6 months after your program end date.
  2. Register with Campus France online.
  3. Apply for your French student visa online.
  4. Book and attend an in-person appointment at one of the VFS Global visa application centers. The Learning Abroad Center does not offer batch processing of visa applications for the French visa because of the requirement for biometric data to be collected in person at a VFS Global visa application center.

Your student visa is a document attached to a page in your passport, so you must have your passport prior to applying for your visa. 

If you are applying for a passport for the first time, visit the US Department of State website for information on the steps you will need to take. It can take up to 10 weeks to receive a new passport during busy processing times, so apply as soon as possible. Consider expedited service if necessary. 

If you already have a passport, make sure that it is valid for 6 months after your program end date and has at least 2 blank pages available. 

Carefully consider how any international travel plans may affect your ability to get your student visa. At your in-person appointment, you will give your passport to a VFS Global official. It will then be sent to the Embassy in Washington, D.C. for processing. You will pick up or request to receive your passport via mail approximately 3-8 weeks after your in-person appointment. 

If you are a dual citizen: holding a US passport and a passport from another country; determine which passport you will use for your travel to and from France. Complete the “Do you need a visa?” questionnaire on the France-Visas website.

Visa Process for students who do not hold a US passport

If you do not hold a US passport, permission from US authorities to exit and re-enter the US may be required. Consult with the international student office on your campus for assistance with this documentation.

In order to determine what the entry regulations are for France, a good starting point is to complete the “Do you need a visa?” questionnaire on the France-Visas website. Depending on the type of visa required of you for studying in France, you may need additional documentation for entry. Please contact the Montpellier team at the Learning Abroad Center to consult.

If you are an international student, please note that processing times for international passports can take up to 2 months. During the processing period, you cannot leave the US, because you will not have a valid passport in your possession.

Program Contact

For further information or questions about this program, send an email to

Maria Mantey or call at 612.626.7535

Contact Program Alumn

Below is a list of additional students who participated in past program sessions. They are ready and willing to answer your questions about this program. Feel free to contact them during your decision-making process or anytime during your pre-departure preparation to get a student perspective.

Isabelle J.: Spring 2020, Materials science and engineering major