Last week the AUCP welcomed two new groups of students for the Fall semester. All come with a minimum of high-intermediate French from America’s finest universities such as Barnard College, Tulane University, Linfield College, George Washington University, Colby College, Oberlin, Austin College, Claremont McKenna, University of Pennsylvania, Muhlenberg, Grinnell, Johns Hopkins University, Wofford College, Wesleyan, Wake Forest University, and Yale.
After a weekend spent meeting their host families, students in both Aix and Marseille spent last week in orientation, tout en français, where they acquired practical tools and information needed to face the upcoming semester at the AUCP. Cultural learning, colloquial French terms, tips on French etiquette, and other valuable info from where to get a bus pass to how to sign up for a cell phone plan. It was certainly a busy week! But, orientation (both pre-program and on-going) is the foundation of the program, allowing students to reach unprecedented levels of French fluency and intercultural competence over the course of their semester or year abroad. At program’s end, AUCP students will be taking home the invaluable gift of French fluency and a lasting connection with the people and places of Aix and Marseille!
As Lilli Engle, Founding Director of the AUCP explains further,
What an adventure to leave the confines of the classroom in the States to finally put learning into practice ! A new, motivated student group representing 16 of America’s finest universities has just begun the exciting exploration France and the French in Aix-en-Provence and Marseille. Fifteen years of outcomes assessment show that these students will make record progress in their French and in their intercultural skills. The simple key to that fabulous learning is PERTINENCE. Here at the AUCP, language is no longer studied in the abstract. Just off the plane, students fully engaged in a week of orientation activities all geared to help them build deep and lasting relationships with their host families and with their French language partners who meet them for a festive apéritif on their first Friday in town.
So what else is new ?
APERO! Friday night, students will be meeting their French language partners. Language partners are an integral part of the AUCP French practicum, giving students a window into student life in Marseille and Aix. The evening begins with drinks and snacks, an apéritif or apéro, before the students and their language partners finish the evening out in town.
And, FIELD TRIPS! The AUCP classroom regularly extends well beyond its four walls to include local places, people and events – museums, open markets, exhibits, and performances. Full-day and half-day excursions include the neighboring cities of Avignon, Arles and the Camargue. This coming Saturday, students embark on their first adventure to the charming villages of the Lubéron, made famous by Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence.
For more info on AUCP in Aix or in Marseille, click here.