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.
Read about all our students' projects with IFE from 2010 to 2016!
Preparation Session: 5 weeks
45 hours in the classroom and at least 15 hours of site visits, 4 credits.
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
- 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).
Click on the following links to access I.F.E's Newsletter
France and Belgium: Five William & Mary students abroad with IFE
Zarine Kharazian – Paris – SciencesPo, Centre de recherches internationales
Zarine is working as an assistant researcher with CERI, a renowned center for IR research and joint laboratory of Sciences Po and the CNRS. Zarine was assigned to a research project entitled ITIC and aimed at analyzing modern political uses of new information and communication technologies. She was assigned to the topic of Five Eyes, an intelligence network federating several Anglophone countries, especially as related to the Snowden affair. Her theme is to demonstrate the limits of any cultural familiarity linking the member countries.
Rachel Larned – Brussels - ESISC - European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center
In her internship, Rachel is a research assistant with this think tank and intelligence consulting service. Recent events at home and abroad have generated considerable activity for ESISC. Rachel has been assigned to work on Francophone countries and in particular the Congo and Burkina Faso. She participates in briefings, lends a hand with translations of documentation concerning North Africa, and generates analytic notes. Her research topic will be tied to current events in Francophone Africa, most likely focused on The Republic of the Congo.
Paul Naanou – Paris - École des Loisirs - Children’s book publisher
Paul is conducting his internship as a staff assistant to the communication service of a prestigious publishing house for children, one of the oldest in France. Combining his interest in publishing with his studies in mathematics and computer science, Paul has been assigned to work with the firm’s webmaster on a complete redo website. At the same time, Paul is learning about all the firm’s departments and services and, more generally, about the publishing business. In March, Paul had the opportunity to assist with staffing the firm’s various stands at the Annual Paris Book Fair, including being responsible by himself for a stand featuring audio books. Paul has chosen to conduct his research on one of the firm’s authors, Geneviève Patte, author of “Laissez-les lire !” and a major figure in the democratization of reading among all children in France. His research theme will be cultural democratization without loss of pedagogical quality.
Jason Nagel – Paris – CERI - Principal French research institute for international affairs
Working as an assistant researcher in this renowned IR research center, Jason has been assigned both communication tasks and research tasks. For the Center’s administration, Jason has been very usefully translating or correcting scientific articles and website objects, including an interview with the authors of a work on contemporary Algeria or the transcription of an interview with a US State Department official during a seminar organized by CERI. In addition, with his supervisor who is CERI’s Director Alain Diekoff, Jason has been conducting bibliographic research on questions of culturalist theories in international relations. He also participates actively in the programs and events of the Center. His research topic will be related to the French intervention in Mali.
Nairuti Shastry – Brussels - Belgian public health agency for birth and early childhood (ONE)
Nairuti has been warmly welcomed as an intern and is serving as an assistant to the director of communications of this important social agency. She was trained to conduct observations and other activities in the field, particularly pre-natal and infant consultations, which has allowed Nairuti to make contact with other organizations. In the Communications Department she is contributing with translations, press reviews and the preparations for a conference in conjunction with the network Eurochild. She will assist with the updating of the website and in developing new communication instruments. Lastly, Nairuti will lead a seminar on healthcare in India. Her research topic touches on health care access for immigrants who do not speak French and how much language proficiency influences the access.
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."
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