Nice, France

Program Description

This six-credit, six-week academic program is open to all undergraduate students (from JMU or other universities) who wish to experience France in a full immersion context, taking daily beginner or intermediate level French classes as well as cultural and artistic classes. Based in the beautiful city of Nice, hub of the French Riviera, the program offers intensive courses and on site-classes complemented by homestay with native host families.

The 6-week intensive language and cultural session takes place at the Alliance Française, a world-renowned institution specializing in French-language programs for foreigners, which enjoys a top, 3-star rating on the "French as Foreign Language Quality" certification scale. The Alliance offers a safe and comfortable learning environment in a private, new facility with air-conditioned smart classrooms. The language session includes up to 20 hours of classes weekly (Monday through Friday), taught by native instructors and JMU professor. Classes use a communicative approach, so that students are able to immediately put into practice what they learn in their language classes, as well as survey current socio-cultural and linguistic realities in France, providing participants the necessary tools to make sense of what they see, hear and do on a daily basis while abroad. JMU students will have the opportunity to take classes with learners of French from all over the world as well as sharing their interests when meeting with local French students from the prestigious "classe prépa" at lycée Masséna.

In addition, students interested in completing their GenEd credits may take a HUM 251 class, taught in English and especially crafted around the rich cultural and artistic heritage of the region (Provence-Côte d'Azur), where in the 20th-Century many artists found inspiration. This sociocultural seminar focuses on the major art movements that came to define Modernism through the study of works by international painters (Cézanne, Cocteau, Chagall, Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Miro), writers (Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Breton), filmmakers (Bunuel, Dali) as well as American jazz performers and dancers (Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan).

On-sites classes and pedagogical activities include day trips:

-in the picturesque medieval village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence with a visit to the Fondation Maeght- a leading modern art museum - as well as wine tasting, cooking class, and participating in the traditional game of pétanque.

-discovering the city of Grasse, home of the French perfume industry, with a visit to the Fragonnard perfumery, and to a local confectionary/chocolate factory.

-in the mountains enjoying the world famous city of Monaco with a visit to the Oceanographic museum

-exploring the Picasso museum in Antibes and learning about the Belle-Epoque at the Villa Rotschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat with its nine different themed gardens (Japanese, Spanish…) and decorated with olive trees, roses, waterfalls, ponds and musical fountains.

While in the city of Nice, students also will be participating in a food tasting in the Old Town, enjoying the many free museums of the city (including the Chagall and Matisse museums), discovering the outside food and flower markets and many more cultural activities such as the popular Cannes Film Festival, Fête de la Musique or Grand Prix de Monaco!

Check out the program video here!

Follow us on social media: Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | YouTube

Location Description

Ideally located on the idyllic "Bay of Angels," Nice is a magnet for visitors from the whole world who come for the sunny skies, Mediterranean climate and vegetation, beautiful beaches, quaint historic Old Town, marina, botanical gardens, luxurious villas, hotels and casinos, its Carnival and various farmers and flowers markets.

The city—among the country's largest regional metropolises with 350K inhabitants—is also at the heart of France's equivalent to Silicon Valley, site of several major educational institutions: the Université Nice-Sophia-Antipolis, the EDHEC Business School.

Students will revel in the city’s glorious Belle Epoque architecture, its bayside boulevard (Promenade des Anglais), its many historical buildings and pedestrian areas such as Masséna Square. Nice and its vicinity host a myriad of summer festivals and cultural events (open-air concerts, operas and other performances); over a dozen museums reflect the influence of artists who lived and worked there, including Picasso, Chagall, and Matisse.

Sports and outdoors enthusiasts will appreciate the area's legendary beaches, and the Mediterranean waterfront with paths on which to walk, run or ride a bike by the sea. Other possible activities include hiking in the Alps (a short train ride away), horse riding, snorkling, canyoning, hand-gliding or rafting. The Alliance Française, where classes are held, is only 10 minutes away from either the train station or the Promenade des Anglais.

While in Nice and during their free time, students will also have the opportunity to travel to the glamorous city of Cannes (the world famous movie festival is held in May), as well as Saint Tropez, Menton, or France’s second largest city, Marseille, only 2 hours away by train. The city offers great transportation services such as buses, tramways, city bikes and Uber service.


Dorothée Polanz | polanzdx@jmu.edu | Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures


Students stay with host families in furnished apartments and houses with internet access and laundry facilities. Each student is placed individually in a family and will have his/her private room (unless requests are made to be placed with another student from the program in the same room). Homestays allow students to immerse more fully in French life and culture. All host families are carefully selected by the Alliance française de Nice, and reside in the vicinity of the school, right at the center of the town. We do our very best to accommodate student's lifestyle or health-related requests such as nonsmoking environments or special dietary needs. Students will fill out a questionnaire to ensure that they are matched with the best family for them.

Students will be given breakfast and dinner in their host family accommodations. Students are invited to a lunch group in a local restaurant with the program's director once a week and should plan to spend their own money the rest of the week to cover the cost of lunch.

Additional Items to Consider

Students should plan to arrive on Friday the 7th (May) in the afternoon, at the hotel Monsigny, 5 minutes away from the train station. We will all stay at the hotel until Sunday the 9th, when host families will come to pick up students. Program ends on Friday the 18th (June) and students may leave the next day.

Only 4 miles away from the town center, Nice’s international airport provides direct flights from/to the US and numerous major airports worldwide and is the second largest airport in France, with direct flights to many European cities. Traveling overseas is best prepared well ahead of time. On the following websites, you will find useful information about coming to Nice:
- Nice area visitors bureau: http://en.nicetourisme.com
- French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: www.diplomatie.gouv.fr
- Campus France Agency for foreign students: www.campusfrance.org


COVID-19 Location Information:

Each country has different requirements upon entry with regard to COVID-19. Please check this website for the most up-to-date information on what is required for the country (or countries) that are part of this program. Please note that this changes often, so we encourage you to check back frequently.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

High-school French is highly recommended. No previous JMU French class required.

All undergraduate levels welcomed

Open to all majors

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($40 fee)
  • Short Essay 
  • Interview with Program Director may be required
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


FR 101: Elementary French I (3 credits)

FR 102: Elementary French II (3 credits)

FR 212: Intensive French II (6 credits)

FR 231: Intermediate French I (3 credits)

FR 232: Intermediate French II (3 credits)

FR 300: Grammar and Communication (3 credits)

HUM 251: Birth of the Modern in France (1880-1936): Innovation, Resistance, and Paradox (3 credits) taught in English

THEA 303: Comedy Performance and Writing (3 credits) taught in English

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


Back to Top