Earn credit in this cohort-based program toward your Developmental Psychology or Psychology degree while studying in this vibrant city with a centuries-old history of intellectual advances and social tolerance. Enjoy the college-town atmosphere, nightlife, and student-centered community. The program offers a core course centered on children and youth: Resilience in Children and Youth: Global Perspectives. The second required course is Community Engagement, which consists of a course and placement in the community for local engagement. In addition to your required courses, you will choose from electives including Adolescent Psychology, Intro to Child Psychology, Cross-Cultural Psychology, and Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Language Learning.
|Term||Fall Semester, Spring Semester|
|Credit Type||Resident Credit|
|Sponsor||Learning Abroad Center|
|Student Type||UofM Students|
|Student Year||Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors|
|Language||No Language Prerequisite|
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 the ideal place to experience French culture as a study abroad student.
This program provides an exceptional opportunity to study resilience in young populations through a course co-created by a University of Minnesota Child Psychology professor and a French Psychology professor, who will teach the core course in Montpellier. Students will leave this program with a deep intercultural perspective on trauma, immigration, and other global issues that affect children and youth. Students will participate in a cohort-based program while engaging with the local community through their coursework.
Live with a French host family, in a traditional French apartment or a student studio in an apartment building.
If you have special dietary needs or severe allergies to cats or dogs, we strongly encourage you to select the traditional apartment or student studio. In some instances, host families cannot accommodate special dietary needs, and many families in France have dogs or cats.
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, 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 housing option will appeal to you. The level of integration you experience with your host family may vary—some families will go to great lengths to make you feel like part of the family while others may have a more independent approach. If you are concerned about adjusting to a host family, consider one of the other housing options.
Live with other program participants in apartments, usually located in town and approximately 30–45 minutes by foot and tram from the university and downtown Montpellier. You will share the apartment with 2–4 other students from the program, often with two 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.
Small studio apartments within a student apartment building offer basic rooms with a small private bathroom and basic kitchenette. The studios are simple, furnished with a single bed and a desk. The apartment building, located in downtown Montpellier, is 30 to 45 minutes by foot and/or tram to the university. This housing option does not include meals. Utilities are included in the program fee; however, it requires an additional $500 apartment deposit.
If you are independent and interested in living in the city center, the student studio may be a good fit for you. If you choose this option, be prepared for living in a small space. You should also be aware that there is typically little social interaction among residents, so this is not a good option if you are seeking a social community. If you are placed in this option, it is difficult to change your placement, and you may be liable for the cost of the studio for the duration of the semester, so think carefully before making your choice.
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.
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:
Day excursions sites may include:
Nimes and Pont-du-Gard
Anduze and the bamboo forest
Optional longer excursions (at an extra cost) include:
Hidden Treasures of France (Normandy and the Loire Valley)
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.
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 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 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 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.
Learning Abroad Center programs are:
|Program Type||Study Abroad Center|
|Program Level||1000–3000 level courses|
All courses are taught in English with the exception of the French language course.
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. We will 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. Students will also gain a global awareness of diverse perspectives on resilience from interactions with other MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) participants online in discussion forums.
Syllabus for Resilience in Children and Youth: Global Perspectives (PDF)
UofM equivalent: CPSY 4310
This course is an opportunity for you to gain valuable experience working with children and adolescents, often in underserved populations. This course will explore the historical, sociological and political context of the French community but also in relation to Europe and with a comparison to the American system. It will provide an opportunity for students to reflect on their community engagement in the host country environment. The course along with your engagement in the community will deepen your understanding of the host country cultural context and will lead you to critically examine your own worldview. Placement options for students with limited French may include assisting with coaching after-school sports teams, working with charities, and assisting with English language classes in school settings. Taught in English. Students with sufficient French language skills can enroll in the internship course in French (MONT 3303) instead and have a wider selection of possible placements.
UofM equivalent: CPSY 3896; approved for the Civic Life and Ethics liberal education requirement
Students in 1st–4th semester enroll in a French language class that is divided into sections based on linguistic level.
Advanced levels of language are offered in a special language program for international students and is included in the program fee.
Students beyond 6th semester French can enroll in a more advanced language course.
Students will 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. At the conclusion of this course students will understand major theories of adolescent development and be able to define central concepts, such as puberty, identity, emerging adulthood, and cliques. Students will understand the basic biological, cognitive, and social changes of adolescence and how these may influence each other, as well as the roles of family, peers, schools, work, media and culture. Students will be able to delineate the major developmental tasks of adolescence, the risks and protective factors that contribute to success or failures in those tasks, and common problems of human behavior that often emerge during the second decade of life.
Syllabus for Adolescent Psychology (PDF)
UofM equivalent: CPSY 4303
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 (PDF)
UofM equivalent: CPSY 2301/3301
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 (PDF)
UofM equivalent: PSY 3301
This course exams the process of language learning in children and the different philosophical approaches in the US and France regarding second language development.
UofM equivalent: CI 3610; also fulfills Social Sciences liberal education requirement.
|Program Term||App Open Date||Deadline*|
|Spring 2020||May 1||Oct 1|
|Depart US||mid January|
|Arrive Montpellier/Program Start Date||mid January|
|Break||early to mid March|
|End of Spring Semester/Program End Date||2nd week of May|
|Depart Montpellier||2nd week of May|
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.
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||Youth Development & Psychology|
|Track Name||Youth Development & Psychology|
Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.
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.
The French student visa process has 4 steps:
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.
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.
For further information or questions about this program, send an email toMaria Mantey or call at 612.626.7535.
Feel free to reach out to students who have participated in any of the other programs based in Montpellier: Study Abroad in Montpellier, Teaching Practicum in France, Business in France, or Engineering in France.
University of Minnesota students on the Youth Development & Psychology in France program will be eligible for the Evaluator's Discount of $800 for Spring 2020.
Application deadline is October 1, 2019.