Sports and Culture in France

Sports & Culture in France

  1. Program Details

    Long known as one of France’s most sporty cities, Montpellier is an ideal place to learn about French sports culture. This course will cover such topics as sports tourism, sports psychology, and sports pedagogy.

    Location Montpellier, France
    Term May Session
    Housing Apartment
    Credit Type Resident Credit
    Sponsor Learning Abroad Center

    Program Eligibility

    GPA 2.5
    Student Type UofM Students, Non UofM Students
    Student Year Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors
    Language No Language Prerequisite
  3. About Sports & Culture in 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, 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.

    Long known as one of France’s most sporty cities, Montpellier is a great place to learn about French sports culture. This program will cover topics including sports tourism, sports psychology, and sports pedagogy. You will also learn about several European sports, such as pétanque and team handball, and visit several sports-related sites in and around Montpellier.

    Housing & Meals

    You will live in an extended stay hotel with other program participants. You are responsible for your own meals.


    The program includes excursions to several local sports and recreational facilities. Students will participate in local visits, such as hiking in the national park of Cévennes, observing a training session of the Montpellier handball club, and attending a professional handball game.


    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

    • Deepen cross-cultural understanding through interaction with faculty and community members
    • Gain French, European, and international perspectives on sport
    • Increase independence and self-reliance by learning to navigate French society
    • Acquire practical knowledge in sports-related professions such as coaching, sport management and kinesiology

    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

    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.

    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 Study Abroad Center
    Program Level 3000 level courses

    One 3-credit course


    Sports & Culture in France
    MONT 3701
    May Session
    3 Credits

    Spend your morning examining sports, sports psychology and the nature of professional sports in France and the USA and then engage in a variety of sport activities in the afternoon. Classes are taught by University of Montpellier experts in the field.

    Syllabus for Sports & Culture in France (PDF)

    Sports Management B.S. major focus elective and minor elective; Kinesiology B.S. focus elective; Recreation, Park and Leisure Studies B.S. focus elective.

    Approved for Global Perspectives Theme

  5. Dates & Deadlines

    Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
    Program Term App Open Date Deadline*
    May Session 2022 Aug 1 Mar 1
    Depart U.S. mid-May
    Arrive Montpellier (program start date) mid-May
    Orientation TBD
    First day of class TBD
    Last day of class and housing early June
    Depart Montpellier (program end date) early June

    This program was canceled for May 2021. 

    *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
    May 2022 TBD online
  6. Fees for Sports & Culture in France

    Cost of Participation, May 2021 (PDF)

    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.
  7. 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
    Program Name Sports and Culture in France: La vie sportive
    Track Name Sports and Culture in France: La vie sportive
    Country France


    May & Summer Programs – University of Minnesota Students

    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 for each application you submit.

    Apply Now

    May & Summer Programs – Non-University of Minnesota Students

    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 each application you submit.

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

    Apply Now

    Fall 2021 & Beyond Programs – All students

    All students, both UofM and Non-UofM should use this apply button if applying for a program Fall 2021 or beyond (academic year, winter break etc.). You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

    Apply Now


    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
    • Transcript (Non-UofM students only)
    • Home Institution Nomination (Non-UofM students only)

    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 your start your application, and you will be notified when they have been added.

    Application Review Process

    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 a confirmation 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.

  8. Student Visa in France (Short-stay)

    Students traveling with a US passport do not need a student visa in order to study in France for less than 90 days. You will need a valid passport.

    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. 

    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.

  9. Program Contact

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

    Maria Mantey or call at 612.626.7535.

  10. Contact Program Alum

    Jake O., MIS and Business Analytics major, May 2019