Students of French have opportunity to dive into language, culture in Bordeaux, France

Room is still available for the intensive, total immersion French language summer program offered through Fort Hays State University's Dr. Jean-Marie Salien, professor of modern languages.

The group leaves from Kansas City International Airport on June 30 and returns July 31, said Salien.

"Our plan is to go to Paris and from there travel by TGV -- the French high-speed train -- to Bordeaux," he said. "Five of the students will be living with French families and the others will stay in the residence halls of the University of Bordeaux."

The students will be enrolled in six hours of French language and culture and they will be in class for 4 1/2 hours a day for 20 days. They will receive certificates and transferable credits at the end of the program.

"The Bordeaux area is a very attractive part of France and there is a lot to do and visit in the region," said Salien. "Several students have already made plans with their families to join them over there for a vacation."

The cost of $1,850 includes transportation to the University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France, lodging, excursions and program fees at the University of Bordeaux. It does not include food.

Salien said visits to several prehistoric sites and the famous vineyards of Bordeaux make the area very popular for tourism.

He said there are no pre-requisites, although elementary French I, II and III will help place participants higher than beginning French.

The purpose, said Salien, is to offer an intensive summer program in French for students who cannot take French during the regular semesters, and to provide this opportunity in France so that participants can immerse themselves in the language and culture.

The trip will also, he said, acquaint FHSU students with the French university system. At the end of the program, Salien said, students should not only have achieved higher proficiency in French but will be reasonably conversant with French culture and be able to pursue studies on their own in the French university system if they wish.

Participants actually enroll in two intensive courses at the University of Bordeaux. These courses are equivalents of FHSU offerings. Students will be given a placement test to determine their level and which classes they are qualified to take.

Evenings are for homework and readings under the supervision of Salien, who will be the resident director. Wednesdays are free, but cultural activities to include excursions to the wineries of Bordeaux, visits to the museums and wine cellars and guided tours of the city are scheduled on Wednesdays and Sundays. These involve an additional 12 hours of lecturing.

Access to a language lab, to a computer lab, and to the Internet will be arranged upon enrollment in the program.

For application information and a payment schedule, contact Salien by e-mail at or by phone at (785) 628-4244.

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