Students remain officially enrolled at Bucknell and at the same time register as students of the Université François Rabelais. Courses are taught in French, integrated into the Bucknell curriculum, and they receive Bucknell grades and credit. Courses approved by the student's adviser count toward the major or minor. Course offerings vary slightly from semester to semester, and usually include three of the following subjects: language, literature, history, art history, economics, management, and political science.
Students spend their first month in Tours in intensive language study at the renowned Institut de Touraine. Students then continue at one of three levels: Novice (Fall Semester), Intermediate (Fall and Spring Semesters), or Advanced (Spring Semester).
Intensive French Language and Civilization in the Fall Semester (Novice Level)
Students who do not meet the minimum requirements for participation in the regular Bucknell en France program can enroll in the novice option: a semester of intensive French at the Institut de Touraine, where they earn credit for the equivalent of three Bucknell French courses. A fourth course (sometimes in English) is offered by the Bucknell professor-in-residence. Novice students participate in all the program activities, and pay the same fees as for a regular Bucknell en France semester. Upon successfully completing the novice semester, they may profit from a full academic year by enrolling in the regular Bucknell en France program during the following spring semester.
The Intermediate Level
Bucknell en France offers a semester or academic-year abroad for Bucknell students who have completed FREN 150. At this level you will study French language and culture, take courses in a variety of disciplines taught in French by French-speaking professors, and participate in the cultural activities offered by the program. Thanks to the agreement between Bucknell and Tours' Université François Rabelais, our students have access to the University's academic and social programs. In many cases, Bucknell en France students attend courses with French students at the University and then meet separately with the same professor for discussion sessions.
It is an opportunity to bring your linguistic and cultural competence to a point where you can function well in French-speaking countries.
We encourage you to choose to start your study in Tours in the fall semester, leaving open the option to stay in France or go to another French-speaking country for the remainder of the academic year. The longer experience will solidify your competence in French, deepen your knowledge of the culture, and increase your opportunity to travel wisely.
You will enroll in a minimum of four-and-a-half courses. FREN 215 (1 credit), FREN 216 (1 credit) and FREN 276 (.5 credit) are required of all BEF students in their first semester in Tours . You will select two other courses from among the other three courses offered by the program each semester. Some of these courses are taught jointly with courses in the Université François Rabelais (indicated by a star). This means that BEF students attend lectures with French students then have a tutorial session with the professor.
Advanced Alternatives in the Spring Semester
Students are strongly encouraged to study in France for a full academic year. While a semester's stay in Tours is highly beneficial, students who remain for the year have significantly more time to increase their language proficiency, integrate more fully in the French culture, travel in Europe , and consolidate the benefits of their experience abroad. Single semester students often wish they had planned to stay the year. Students who have completed a regular fall semester program in Tours can take advantage of their improved language and cultural skills to participate in more advanced or specialized options. Remaining in Tours , they may take one or more courses at the Université François Rabelais, Institut Universitaire Technologique. They also have the opportunity to enroll in a specialized program in France or in another French-speaking country.