A viaduct in France

Engineering in France

  1. Program Details

    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.

    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 No Language Prerequisite
  2.  
  3. About Engineering in France

    Take engineering classes in English or French at the University of Montpellier to meet your US course needs. The university is one of the oldest and most respected universities in Europe. Integrate into French culture in Montpellier, located just miles from the Mediterranean. 

    Housing & Meals

    Homestay

    Homestays provide a vital connection to the local culture and social life, as well as the opportunity to experience the daily life of the French. Host families provide breakfast and dinner during the week and all meals on the weekend. Housing is not provided during program breaks unless specifically arranged. Host families are usually located in the suburbs, within 45 minutes from the city center and from campus via public transit.

    Traditional French Apartment

    Live with other program participants in apartments, usually located in town and approximately 20–30 minutes from the University and downtown Montpellier. You will share the apartment with 1–2 other students from the program, occasionally with 2 people (of the same gender) sharing a room. The program fee for this option does not include meals, utilities, or the $500 apartment 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 for you.

    Student Studio Apartment

    Small studio apartments within a student apartment building offer basic rooms with a small private bathroom and basic kitchenette. The rooms are furnished with a single bed and a desk. Semester student are placed in downtown Montpellier and will have a commute of about 30 minutes to the University. Summer students are placed near campus. This housing option does not include meals, but does include utilities. There is a $500 apartment deposit billed with your program fee. If you are independent, this housing option may be a good fit for you.

    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

    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

    Corrine 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.

     

    Cedric Carpanedo

    Cedric Carpanedo

    Cedric is the logistic coordinator for the program in Montpellier and teaches the Conversational French class. He has been part of the team for ten years and has lived in Montpellier for 12. He spent two years as a teaching assistant for the French Department at Macalester College in Minnesota.

    Originally from Avignon, he studied English and American civilization and literature at the Université d'Avignon et des pays de Vaucluse. 

     

    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.

     

    Kim Mousseron

    Kim Mousseron

    Kim is the Housing Coordinator for the Montpellier programs.

    Kim received her BA from Mount Holyoke College and MA from Middlebury College. After teaching French for a year at Boston College, Kim permanently moved to France where she obtained her TEFL certification. Kim has lived in Montpellier for over 20 years. She was born and raised in western Massachusetts.­­­

    About the Learning Abroad Center

    Learning Abroad Center programs are:

    • Affordable: our programs are cost effective.
    • Academically strong: many programs have strong University of Minnesota departmental support and offer pre-approved courses for many majors.
    • Culturally rich: regardless of the program you choose, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture.
    • Expertly managed: our staff in Minnesota and abroad are trained professionals and are always available to answer your questions from extensive pre-departure advising and online orientations to reentry programming. Your safety and well-being are paramount, and we work hard to ensure you have a rewarding and safe experience abroad.
  4. Program Structure

    Program Type Host University Study, Study Abroad Center
    Program Level 1000–3000 level courses
    Courseload

    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)

  5. Overview

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

    Coursework

    Required Courses

     

    French Language
    MONT 1001–1004
    Fall & Spring Semesters
    5 credits

    Students in 1st–4th semester enroll in a French language class that is divided into sections based on linguistic level:

     

    University of Montpellier Polytech Engineering courses
    MONT Integrated
    Fall & Spring Semesters
    3 credits

    Polytech offers a broad range of coures 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 Program Contact tab to contact Maria Mantey in order to review courses available for the semester you plan to study abroad.

     

    Directed Research
    MONT 3993
    Fall & Spring Semesters
    3 credits

    Under the supervision of a 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 Studies/Research (PDF) 

    Global Business & Industry: France at the Crossroads
    MONT 3802
    Fall & Spring Semesters
    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 exclusively to UMN program participants.

    Syllabus for Global Business & Industry (PDF)

    UofM equivalent: Approved for Global Perspectives Theme

    Community Engagement 
    MONT 3886
    Fall & Spring Semesters
    3 credits

    This course is offered on a "special request" basis, with priority placed on the required and engineering elective courses for the program.

    This course accompanies the engagement opportunity and reflects on work culture in France. Taught in English at the Montpellier Program Center exclusively to UMN program participants. Options include assisting with coaching after-school sports teams, working with charities, and assisting with English language classes in school settings.

    Syllabus for Community Engagement (PDF)

    UofM equivalent: Approved for the Civic Life and Ethics liberal education requirement

    Paul Valery University course
    MONT Integrated
    Fall & Spring Semesters
    3 Credits
     

    Optional Online Course

    Global Identity
    OLPD 3330
    Online, optional
    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 (PDF)

  6. Overview

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

    Coursework

    Required Courses

     

    French Language
    MONT 3015 or 3016
    Fall & Spring Semesters
    3 credits

    Advanced levels of language are offered in the special language program for international students and is included in the program fee. More advanced language levels are available, as needed:

     

    University of Montpellier Polytech courses (in French)
    MONT Integrated
    Fall & Spring Semesters
    3 credits

    Polytech offers a broad range of coures taught in French in Computer Science and Management, Electrical Engineering, Biological and Food Engineering, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering and Interactive Design, and Water Science. Please use the Program Contact tab to contact Maria Mantey in order to review courses available for the semester you plan to study abroad.

    Prerequisite: 4 semesters of college-level French 

    University of Montpellier Polytech courses (in English)
    MONT Integrated
    Fall & Spring Semesters
    3 credits

    Polytech offers a broad range of coures 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 Program Contact tab to contact Maria Mantey in order to review courses available for the semester you plan to study abroad.

    University of Montpellier courses
    MONT Integrated
    Fall & Spring Semesters
    3 credits

    Additional integrated courses at the University of Montpellier in a variety of fields of study. Upper-division courses are typically License 3 and Master's 1 courses at the University of Montpellier.

    Prerequisite: 4 semesters of college-level French

    Elective Courses

     

    Conversation (advanced)
    MONT 3309
    Fall & Spring Semesters
    3 credits

    Conversation practice through discussions on current topics, films and articles with the class and with an assigned conversation topic. Taught at program center exclusively to LAC program participants. 

    Syllabus for French Conversation (advanced) (PDF) 

    Prerequisites: 4 semesters of college-level French

    UofM equivalent: FREN 3018 (do not repeat if already taken on campus) 

    Directed Research
    MONT 3993
    Fall & Spring Semesters
    3 credits

    Under the supervision of a University of Montpellier 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. Topics must be pre-approved prior to participation.

    Syllabus for Directed Studies/Research (PDF)

    Prerequisite: 4 semesters of college-level French 

    Global Business & Industry: France at the Crossroads
    MONT 3802
    Fall & Spring Semesters
    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 exclusively to UMN program participants. 

    Syllabus for Global Business & Industry (PDF)

    UofM equivalent: Approved for Global Perspectives Theme   

    Internship
    MONT 3303
    Fall & Spring Semesters
    3 credits

    Placements in non-profit organizations with a focus on observation and service-learning. A mandatory course in French accompanies the internship and covers work culture in France. Taught at program center exclusively to LAC program participants. 

    Syllabus for Montpellier Internship (PDF)

    Sample placements

    Prerequisite: 4 semesters of college French

    UofM equivalent: FREN 3650. Fulfills elective credit for major/minor.

    Medieval Literature: Arthurian Legends & the Middle Ages
    MONT 3024W
    Spring Semester
    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. Taught at program center exclusively to LAC program participants. 

    Syllabus for Medieval Literature Arthurian Legends (PDF)

    Prerequisite: 4 semesters of college French prior to program start

    UofM equivalent: Approved for Literature Core and Global Perspectives Theme

    Medieval Literature: Love, Heresy, & Betrayal in the Middle Ages
    MONT 3021W
    Fall Semester
    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. Taught at program center exclusively to LAC program participants. 

    Syllabus for Medieval French Literature (PDF)

    Prerequisite: 4 semesters of college French prior to program start

    UofM equivalent: Approved for Literature Core and Global Perspectives Theme

    Paul Valery University courses
    MONT Integrated
    Fall & Spring Semesters
    3 credits

    See compiled fall semester course catalog and spring catalog for listing of typical courses offered. These courses are offered on "special request" with priority given to your required and engineering courses.

    Prerequisite: 4 semesters of college-level French

    Optional Online Course

    Global Identity
    OLPD 3330
    Online, optional
    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 (PDF)

  7. Fields of Study Available

    The list below provides details on the engineering and science options at the University of Montpellier. For the full range of fields available in all disciplines at the University of Montpellier and at University Paul Valéry, visit the fields of study listed under the Language & Culture in Southern France program.

    Chemistry
     
    Computer Science
     

    Note: Computer science technology in France is significantly less advanced than in the US.

    Computer Science areas of specialty with list of course offerings Systems & Networks Databases

    Eletrical Engineering
     
    • Electrical Engineering
    • Electrostatic
    • Electrokinetics
    • Theory of Telecommunications
    • Electromagnetism
    • Industrial Technics
  8. Dates & Deadlines

    Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
    Program Term App Open Date Deadline*
    Fall 2019 Dec 1 Apr 1
    Program Dates Early September - December
    Spring 2020 May 1 Oct 1
    Depart U.S. Jan 15
    Arrive Montpellier Jan 16
    Spring Break Apr 11 – 19
    End of Spring Semester Jun 11
    Departure for U.S. Jun 12

    *Program dates are subject to change. Contact the LAC for verification of dates before purchasing your airfare.
    **If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.

    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.

    Term Abroad Date/Time Location
    Spring 2020 Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 3:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. 45 Mondale Hall (West Bank)
  9. Fees for Engineering in France

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

    Fall 2019 Program Fees

    Traditional French ApartmentStudent Studio ApartmentHomestay

    Academic Year 2019-2020 Program Fees

    Traditional French ApartmentStudent Studio ApartmentHomestay

    Spring 2020 Program Fees

    Traditional French ApartmentStudent Studio ApartmentHomestay

    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.

    $45

    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.
  10. Prepare

    Complete pre-application advising.

    Be aware: All programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.

    To complete the online application for this program, you will need to select or provide the following information on the online application:

    Center Name TC Learning Abroad Ctr
    Education Abroad Term See Dates page for term options
    Program Name Engineering in France
    Track Name English Track or French Track
    Country France

    Submit

    University of Minnesota Student—apply

    Use your University of Minnesota internet ID and password to log into the Education Abroad application system. Your student account will be charged a $50 application fee.

    Non-University of Minnesota Student—apply

    Once you submit your application, Learning Abroad Center staff will create a University of Minnesota student internet account for you. You will use this account to access the Education Abroad Application System, and other University of Minnesota services. You will be charged a $50 application fee for this program.

    Our staff will contact you within 2–3 business days with your internet account information, and additional application instructions.

    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 two additional application items—the Low GPA Essay and Special Circumstances Recommendation. Both items will be added to your checklist after you start your application, and you will be notified when they have 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Program Contact

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

    Maria Mantey or call at 612.626.7535.

  13. Contact Program Alum

    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.
Program Handbook Visa Information

University of Minnesota students participating in a research project on this program may be eligible for the International Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (I-UROP) Scholarship