Spotlight on Community Service

Spotlight on Community Service

Semester and full-year AUCP students lend a hand in several different local non-profit organizations, schools and associations as part of their commitment to immerse themselves in their « adoptive » French community. Helping students struggling with English, stocking donations at the French Red Cross, working in a local school or community radio station, here is a spotlight on some of the available opportunities:

This semester, students can choose from four new community service opportunities, or elect to provide help to other AUCP-partner organizations.



5a7-radiogrenouille.com_Radio Grenouille (Marseille)

Radio Grenouille is a  Mediterranean community radio station in Marseille whose content and broadcasts focus on Mediterranean culture and traditions. AUCP students assist in the preparation of radio transmissions, including research and liaison with correspondents in Tunisia, Lebanon and Syria.

marin1Sea Scouts (Marseille)

Les Scouts Marins is the natutical branch of the traditional Boys/Girl Scouts association. Students assist children in the acquisition of nautical skills and encourage team work among scouts.

Café 3C (Aix)

Café 3C is a trendy community café that hosts events, debates, and workshops.  AUCP students help out by waiting tables, initiating conversations, and encouraging participation in the numerous free activities held at the café.

elderly and studentAix Alzheimer (Aix)

This non-profit association organizes art-therapy workshops (painting, drawing, music) for first stage Alzheimer patients. Students prepare, assist and animate the workshops.


Read on to see a small selection of other community service opportunities and what AUCP students have to say about them.

Union des Familles Musulmanes

The Union des Familles Musulmanes is a non-profit organization in Marseille that promotes healthy multicultural relationships and integration into French culture. The UFM also represents Muslim families, fighting for equal opportunities and treatment for Muslims. AUCP students help children with their English and other school subjects.

« I volunteered two days a week  helping grade school kids with math and English. From day one, I was accepted into their « family » and got to experience the associations’ culture – a mix of French an Arab traditions. Thanks to my community service, I experienced a very different side of France that not many people get to see, and came away with a more rounded experience. » – Elizabeth, Rice University

L’Atelier Mandarine

atelier mandarine
L’Atelier Mandarine is a socially responsible restaurant whose employees are part of a transitional work program. Offering temporary, subsidized employment in a supportive environment to individuals lacking work experience, education, or training, L’Atelier Mandarine restaurant helps employees gain in self-confidence and get back on their feet all while learning how to hold down a steady job. Employees participate in most aspects of operating a successful Mediterranean restaurant.

AUCP students work alongside other volunteers either in the kitchen or waiting tables, allowing them to interact both with the employees in transition and with the clients of the restaurant.

La Croix Rouge

The French Red Cross’ mission is to help those in need while maintaining their dignity and self-respect. With a grocery store, clothing store and furniture store, stocked with donations, La Croix Rouge is a place where those in need can obtain necessities at a nominal price.

AUCP students lend a hand in the warehouse, sorting and organizing donations and distributing them to the various Red Cross store outlets.

« At the Red Cross I was able to interact with the French – both volunteers and customers – on a regular basis. Each week, I left touched by a story and thankful for the opportunity to serve others in this town that became my home away from home. » – Rachel, Wofford College

Ecole Sainte Catherine


The Ecole Sainte-Catherine is a school for children ages two to eighteen. From pre-school to high school, this typical French school is a window into the French education system. AUCP students work with the youngest schoolchildren, ages two to five. They help la maitresse, or the schoolteacher, accompanying the children with their activities and overseeing recess in the schoolyard.

« While 8:45 on Monday mornings doesn’t sound ideal at first, I honestly can’t think of a better way to start my week than through my service at Ecole Sainte Catherine. I got to interact with French pre-schoolers and learn more about the French school system. When one child told me he loved me, I melted! » – Katie, Franklin & Marshall College

For more information on the community service program and the other opportunities for French integration and cultural learning provided by the AUCP, visit the Immersion section on the AUCP website.