Study Abroad in Montpellier, France

Study Abroad in Montpellier, France — About

About Study Abroad in Montpellier, France

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 to experience French language and culture.

Based at Paul Valéry University and at the University of Montpellier, this program provides access to humanities, engineering, sciences, and business courses through an extremely flexible course structure. Choose from a mix of special courses for study aboad students and regular courses with French students.

Housing & Meals

Homestay (Semester, Summer)

Homestays provide a vital connection to the local culture and social life, 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. They are usually located in the suburbs, within 45 minutes from the city center and from campus via public transit.

Traditional French Apartment (Semester)

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 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 Apartment (Semester, Summer)

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. You will be placed in downtown Montpellier about 30 minutes 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, this housing option may be a good fit.

Dormitory (Semester)

Dormitories in France are not similar to residence halls in the US. Both French and international students live in the dorm, called a Cité universitaire and take many of their meals at the nearby restaurant universitaire or Resto U, which is a very economical option for students in France. The dormitory for students on this program is conveniently located near the Université Paul Valéry campus. You will have a single room, and each room has a toilet, shower and sink. There is a small fridge in each room and you will have access to communal cooking facilities. Laundry facilities are available nearby. The program fee does not include meals, but does include utilities. There is a $500 security deposit billed with your program fee. If you have an advanced level of French proficiency and prefer to live very independently and simply, this option may be a good fit for you.


Multiple day-long excursions are included each term to introduce you 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. 

Typical Fall Semester Excursions

Aigues-Mortes and the Mediterranean Sea, Carcassonne, Arles and Saint Remy de Provence, Avignon and Fontaine de Vaucluse, Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert

Typical Spring Semester Excursions

Nimes and Pont-du-Gard, Couvertoirade or Budhist Temple and Roquefort Caves, Marseille, Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, Anduze

Typical Summer Excursions

Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, Avignon or Pont-du-Gard

Optional longer excursions at an extra cost are also organized by the program during the semester and are offered if there is sufficient interest. These include excursions to Normandy, the Loire Valley, and Morocco.

Learning Outcomes

Faculty & Staff


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 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 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 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 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:

Visa Information

I-UROP Scholarship

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