Center for Global Initiatives
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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
SIT France: Language, Community and Social Change
France - Toulouse
Study Abroad Website
The SIT France: Language, Community, and Social Change study abroad program explores contemporary France's ethnic, religious, urban and regional diversity as well as its complex post-colonial relationships with the Francophone world.
Placement in one of five language levels at L' Institute Catholique de Toulouse is coupled with field-based assignments that offer language acquisition necessary for seminars conducted entirely in French.
Students participate in immersive language instruction, interdisciplinary seminars, and homestays in French communities, while interacting with scholars, community members, local organizers, arts groups, and educational excursions. Thus students gain an understanding of the complex issues surrounding France's centralist tradition in the face of diversity within the country and the European Union at large. Furthermore, they will gain insight into the lasting impact of French "civilizing mission" in its ex-colonies.
With a base in Toulouse, second only to Paris as a university center, students conduct either a Field Study Project or an Independent Study Project appropriate for their skills and have unique opportunities to work with local organizations.
Students in the France: Language, Community, and Social Change program may follow one of two tracks:
TRACK A: Intensive Language Study Track
Prerequisites: None, open to beginning, intermediate, or advanced students
Language Study: 12-credit French intensive
Field Study: Included in 12-credit language study
Community and Social Change Seminar:4-credit
Beginning, intermediate, or advanced French language students take the 12-credit French intensive language course, complete a Field Study Project (FSP), and take the Community and Social Change seminar, taught in French.
Students choosing the intensive language track earn the equivalent of three college semesters of French in one semester. Completion of this program often meets the language prerequisite for SIT Study Abroad programs in Francophone Africa.
TRACK B: Intensive Field Research Track
Prerequisites: Four recent semesters of college-level French or equivalent and the ability to follow coursework in French, as assessed by SIT.
Language Study: 6 credits French intensive
Community and Social Change Seminar: 4-credit
Field Study: 2-credit Field Study Seminar and 4-credit Independent Study Project
Students who have completed four recent semesters of college-level French or equivalent and can follow coursework in French take the 6-credit French language intensive course and complete a field study seminar and an Independent Study Project (ISP). They also take the Community and Social Change seminar, taught in French.
Students choosing the intensive field research track conduct a research project based on intensive engagement with primary sources in the field. Such projects often form the basis for senior theses, or even graduate research.
Read more about the two Tracks for the France program and what to submit when applying.
A Cultural Mosaic
France, with borders along eight European countries, colonial ties to West Africa, and territories in North and South America, is a country influenced by myriad cultures. As one of Western Europe's leading asylum destinations, France is also home to a growing non-Christian immigrant population, with a significant percentage of immigrants coming from Muslim countries.
Within this diverse and evolving environment, students explore the impact of immigration on French politics, economics, and arts, and the ways in which individuals and communities maintain both separate cultural identities and a French nationality. Students explore the dynamics of cultural assimilation as well as France's state-level approaches to the impact of contemporary social forces on its national identity.
View a video clip of a France24 news story as a BBC reporter accompanies SIT students on their tour of an immigrant neighborhood in Toulouse.
Program dates are generally as follows:
Fall - Early September to Mid December
Spring - Late January to Mid May