Learning Abroad Center
sports game in France

Sports & Culture in France

LAC Program

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.

Program Details

Montpellier, France
May Session
Languages Taught In
Languages Taught In

Program Eligibility

Student Type
Student Type
UofM Students
Student Year
Student Year



Sports & Culture in France: La vie sportive

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.

Place de la Comédie

Main square in town, common meeting place for students.


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.

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.

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.

Piscine Olympique d'Antigone (Pool)

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

Parc Zoologique
Jardin des Plantes

Closest beach to Montpellier, easily accessible by tram or bicycle


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.


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.


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

Pont du Gard

Typical program excursion


Typical program excursion

Les Baux de Provence

Typical program excursion


Typical program excursion

Aigues Mortes

Typical program excursion


Typical program excursion



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.

Program Model

Experiential Learning
Study Abroad Center

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

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
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

Program Dates

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

Application Open Date: August 1, 2021
Application Deadline: March 1, 2022

Schedule Date
Depart U.S. May 13
Arrive Montpellier (program start date) May 14
Orientation May 15
First day of class May 16
Last day of class and housing June 3
Depart Montpellier (program end date) June 4

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.

May 2022

  Date & Time Location
Part 1 Wednesday, March 30, 2022 11AM - Noon (CST) On Zoom
Part 2 Tuesday, May 3, 2022 11AM - Noon (CST) On Zoom


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.

May 2022

Sports & Culture in France

May Session 2022

Program Fee

  • UofM students pay program fee instead of on-campus tuition & fees while abroad
  • Billed through UofM account
Non-refundable deposit $400
Tuition and educational costsIncludes excursions as well as Program Center service and support. $3,475
International health insurance $50
Housing and/or meals $2,015
Transportation (if required and included in program fee) $0
Total Program Fee $5,940
Program discount for University of Minnesota and Big Ten students, if applicable $-500
Total Program Fee with discount, if applicable $5,440

Estimated Additional Expenses

  • Financial aid-eligible but not included in program fee
Costs Typically Incurred Prior to Departure These costs may need to be paid before your financial aid is disbursed for your term abroad.
Transportation to and from program siteEstimated round-trip airfare from Minneapolis/St. Paul to Montpellier. $1,700
Passport/photos $150
Visa/required documentsU.S. citizens do not require a visa for stays less than 90 days. $0
Travel clinic/immunizations*Required COVID test for reentry to the US. $30
Housing deposit $0
Total Estimated Cost Incurred Prior to Departure $1,880
Costs Typically Incurred After Arrival in Host Country
Texts/materials $0
Housing and/or meals not included in program fee$120/week for food $480
Essential daily living expenses$100/week spending, $30 tram pass, $20 local phone $450
Total Estimated Cost Incurred After Arrival in Host Country $930

Total Estimated Cost of Participation

  • UofM students—compare this to your estimated on campus cost of attendance
Total Estimated Cost of Participation $8,250
Spending money and personal travel Not included in financial aid calculation $500
Additional Notes & Information
* Immunizations Note: This estimate is based on approximate cost of travel-related vaccinations and medications required for entry or recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Your costs may be higher or lower depending on your travel clinic, the specific immunizations and medication prescribed, and your insurance coverage.


Complete pre-application advising.


The COVID-19 vaccine and booster are required by the host country and/or on-site partners and facilities for most study abroad programs. Complete your COVID-19 vaccine doses immediately.

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

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.

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.

After You Apply

Before your program begins, review these resources.

Health & Safety

Learn more about staying healthy and safe abroad, including mental health and wellness, international travel insurance, and safety precautions.

Power of Attorney

Consider designating someone as your power of attorney to act as your legal representative while you’re abroad.

Student Identity

Consult our resources on student identities as you prepare for your abroad experience.

Travel Resources

Ready to go abroad? Our travel resources will help you pack and learn what to expect.


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. Contact the Montpellier team at the Learning Abroad Center to consult.

If you are an international student, 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

Jackie Gmiterko or call at 612.624.1537

Contact Program Alum

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