Students begin the year with a three-week orientation program that prepares them for academic and cultural life in France through an intensive language review and mini-courses in French literature, contemporary history, and civilization. Students acquire first-hand experience in the language and the culture by living with host families. The orientation includes an excursion to a region outside of Paris, such as Normandy, the Loire Valley, Burgundy or the Côte d'Azur.
Four courses each semester, selected from the following:
- Advanced French language or literature at the Smith Center
- Smith-Hamilton-Middlebury Consortium courses
- University courses (University registration occurs after arrival in France, in consultation with the faculty director)
Please note: Courses in musical performance, dance and studio art may be available to majors or minors in those fields. Laboratory science courses are not usually available.
Special tutorials, arranged by the faculty director, are offered at the Smith Center to supplement regular university coursework and to provide in-depth study in areas of students' concentration and interest.
Students pledge to speak French at the Smith Center in Reid Hall, during excursions and among themselves.
Students enroll in 34 Smith College credits: 16 per semester, plus 2 credits for orientation.