Learn French abroad – Université Grenoble Alpes

January 8, 2019
study abroad students at night by isere river grenoble france

So you want to learn a new language like Spanish or French? It can seem like an overwhelming task. It’s especially frustrating trying to learn with no one around to help you practice! That’s why more and more students are taking advantage of opportunities to learn a new language through short-term or intensive month study abroad programs. The reason these work is because it allows students to fully immerse themselves in the language. Today we’re diving in to one of these API programs. It’s a fantastic option for students who want to learn French abroad!

study abroad students at night by isere river grenoble france

Night kayaking down the Isere River in Grenoble (with torches!)

Intensive Language Sessions in Grenoble

Université Grenoble Alpes and API offer the perfect program for anyone who wants to learn French abroad. Although the intensive language sessions are taught entirely in French, it’s very much meant to serve as a resource for students at all levels in their French speaking.

Here’s how it works: Accepted students take a French placement test upon their arrival to determine their proficiency level. Students then enroll in a comprehensive French language course (with no more than 16 to a classroom). This immersive class focuses on writing, oral expression pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary. Students spend three hours in a classroom setting and one hour in the “language lab”. The coursework amounts to 20 hours a week, with students receiving a maximum of 5.33 credit hours per intensive month session.

Why learn French abroad? There are a few great reasons!

1. Studying a new language from a textbook is far different than studying it through the world around you.

When you go abroad, there’s literally no way to avoid using the language. If that sounds daunting, consider this: The 2013 Erasmus Impact Study found 90% of study abroad alumni reported a major improvement in their foreign language proficiency. Feeling uncomfortable at first is expected, especially if you’re not as familiar with the French language. But before you know it, you’ll be a pro at asking where the bus stop is or reading a menu and asking for strawberries on your crepes!

API Group eating at La Mère Folle (The Crazy Mother) in Dijon, France (February 2011)

2. Learning French abroad brings big career opportunities.

The 2014 Erasmus study found 64% of employers think international experience is important when it comes to hiring. In addition, going abroad and travel in general provide the opportunity to meet new people and make new connections. Who knows where those connections may take you? Many of our alumni have gone on to work in the field of international education themselves; a few have even joined us at API! Needless to say, living in another country and saying you had the chance to learn French abroad looks fantastic on a resume and can put you in touch with an opportunity you might otherwise miss.

3. You can also intern abroad or create a more custom program for your needs

By far one of the biggest benefits of our intensive programs is the flexibility it can provide for students who want to “create their own abroad experience”. Many of our participants choose to also enroll in an API internship program. The internship placements usually take place either before or after their session in Grenoble. Because API works to provide personalized placements for everyone who interns abroad with us, this is a fantastic option for someone looking to build up their resume.

If learning French abroad is your main goal, you can also join the Intensive Language Program, which is a semester program consisting of 3 or 4 intensive month sessions. Students can also choose to live with a host family (instead of in a student residence), which provides an added level of “immersion” in the French language!

4. Finally, the most important reason to learn French abroad: why not!?

You’ll discover new foods, learn useful phrases, make new friends, and visit new places. Studying abroad in Grenoble with API provides a great opportunity for travel outside of your host city, too! Our resident directors, Marie and Anna, take students on several excursions. Depending on when you’re abroad with us, you may visit Paris, the Loire Valley, Lyon, Geneva and more! Of course, each and every location you visit provides endless opportunities to brush up and continue learning French abroad.

Chelsea and Anna, Grenoble resident director

Want to get started? Applications for our next Spring intensive program (March 31-April 27) are due February 1st!

Download your application and give us a call if you have any questions: 800-844-4124. You can also use our program finder to browse for dates that work best for your schedule. We hope to see you in Grenoble in 2019!





You May Also Like…