Ideally everyone should have an opportunity to live and study abroad. For a student of French & Francophone Studies, living in a French-speaking country is a transformative experience.
The Reves Center coordinates all of W&M's study abroad programs and can help with some of the logistics of studying overseas. If you have questions or need advice about study abroad in a Francophone country, you should contact the Program Director.
William & Mary offers three study abroad programs in France:
- a semester-long program in Montpellier
- a month-long summer abroad program in Montpellier
- a semester-long program in Lille
We also send students to a semester in Paris, Strasbourg or Bruxelles with the I.F.E. This program gives students the opportunity to do research in Francophone Europe while completing an internship. Given the rigor of this program, students must have already taken FREN 314 or FREN 315 as well as two more advanced FREN classes before applying.
W&M may award credit for studies undertaken through other study abroad programs, provided you get approval before you go. If you decide to go with a non-W&M program, look for a program with an on-site director to help with cultural adjustment, selection of courses, and any other issues. We strongly recommend immersion programs in which American students take courses alongside their French-speaking counterparts.
Please review the Study Abroad Transfer Credit Procedures at this link.
To obtain French & Francophone Studies credit at William & Mary for study abroad, you must choose a program affiliated with a French or Francophone university. Non-university language programs such as the Alliance Francaise are not acceptable.
William & Mary students will receive a maximum of 12 FREN credits for a semester abroad. These 12 credits will count for a major or minor in French & Francophone Studies. Any credits on top of this limit will be counted as generic MDLL elective credits.
French credit will be awarded only for courses taught in French. You may request credit from other W&M departments for English-language courses. If you are beyond the level of French 210 or 212, you should limit the amount of language instruction taken abroad. Instead, choose the majority of your courses in content subjects such as French literature, culture, society, and politics. Normally a maximum of six credit hours per semester of advanced French language courses will be accepted for William & Mary credit.
You are responsible for obtaining pre-approval and post-approval in order to have your study abroad credits transfer. Completed forms and supporting documentation must be turned in to the Modern Languages & Literatures office. Pre-approval allows you to begin to plan your study-abroad experience, but it is not binding.
While you are abroad, be sure to collect the following materials to prepare the transfer process:
- Syllabus and all course handouts
- Coursework, notebooks, and assignments
- Official documentation indicating the number of contact hours
- Documentation demonstrating that your program was associated with an American and/or a French/Francophone university
You will also be required to present a copy of your most recent degree evaluation and a copy of the transcript from the American and/or French/Francophone university
The Reves Center helps with general information about the process of obtaining a visa to study abroad (e.g. info on deadlines, informational websites, etc.). It also provides students with a letter that verifies enrollment.
The student can easily take care of the rest of the process on his/her own. Most of the work is completed on-line at campusfrance.org. Once an application has been approved, the student can schedule an interview with the French Consulate (usually in D.C. if s/he has a William & Mary address).
American citizens planning on spending 90 days or less in France do not require a special visa.