William & Mary

Paris, Strasbourg, Bruxelles : I.F.E.

Watch our video about the Internship in Francophone Europe (I.F.E) Program
Paris, Strasbourg, Bruxelles: the I.F.E program
Credit Hours for Students of French & Francophone Studies @ W&M
I.F.E's newsletter
W&M student testimonies: what they did with I.F.E.


The Program


I.F.E. is a field study and internship program approved by the College of W&M for students from all liberal arts fields, as long as they have very good oral and written skills in French. The workplace is used as a means for language perfection, for contact with European society, and research in a student's chosen field. This fully structured and well-mentored program includes extensive classroom preparation, individualized placement according to student goals,  guided independent study, and a final research paper.

The I.F.E. program in Paris, Strasbourg or Bruxelles consists of five weeks of classes (110-120 hours total), followed by a 12-week (400 hours) field research/internship and a required 40-50 page research paper on a related topic (under the supervision of a university professor on site).

William & Mary students will receive 16 credits for this semester abroad. If you have any question, please contact Professor Maryse Fauvel.

Preparation Session: 5 weeks

Course 1: The Foundations of French Politics, Policies and Institutions, Yesterday and Today                                                                                                                                           

45 hours in the classroom and at least 15 hours of site visits, 4 credits.

Course 2: Structure, Transformation and Issues in French Society: A socio-cultural approach                                                                                 

 45 hours in the classroom and at least 15 hours of site visit, 4 credits. 

Field Research: 12 weeks


Seminar: "Towards a European Society"                                                                                                                                                                                          

2,5 hours in the classroom and site visits, 3 credits.  

Field Research and Written Research Project

12 weeks, 8 hours a day, 7 credits

Students who are concentrating in French & Francophone Studies will receive the following credits:

For the first two courses and the seminar:

  • FR 300 (3credits)
  • FR 306 (3 credits)
  • FR 390 (3 credits)

For the field research and research paper:

  • FR 390 (3 credits)
  • FR 413 (6 credits)

See an example of a research paper written by Lenore Dukes '10 (pdf).



I.F.E's Newsletter

Click on the following links to access I.F.E's Newsletter

Summer-Fall 2011

Spring 2011

Fall 2010



 Catherine Kang '12 writes:

"After spending a semester abroad, I continue to witness the impact that this experience had on my life inside and outside of the classroom. Through the IFE program, I learned from esteemed French professors, interned at a prestigious music school in Paris, and completed an independent field study of my own choosing. Inspired by the songs that the young students sang in class, I researched the evolution of French children's songs and their role in education today. I visited libraries, observed classes as well as interviewed the instructors and parents of my students, enabling me to directly engage in the community. I entered my last year at William and Mary with greater confidence in my French speaking abilities and vastly improved comprehension skills. The IFE program seems daunting at first, but it takes you beyond the ordinary study-abroad experience. You build incredible relationships and leave feeling like a part of society."


Carolyn Shinn, IFE, Fall 2010

"IFE is an extremely rewarding program and I highly recommend it. After five weeks of classes on French history and culture, each student starts an internship tailored to their interests and goals. I wanted to work in children's museum education and that is exactly what I did. For three months, I worked full-time as a children's tour guide in a solely francophone environment. Each student also writes a research paper related to their internship. On top of vastly improving my language skills, the internship taught me much about my chosen profession and helped me get accepted to my masters program of choice."

William and Mary Profiles:

W&M Students at IFE 2010

W&M Students at IFE 2009