This week AUCP welcomes its new group of students for our Fall semester. All come with a minimum of high-intermediate French from the some of the top universities in the United States such as Barnard College, Tulane University, Linfield College, Williams College and Yale University and more. After a weekend spent meeting their host families, students begin their week of orientation, tout en français, where they acquire the tools and information they need to succeed during their semester at the AUCP. Cultural learning, practical French terms and other important info from where to get a bus pass to how to sign up for a cell phone plan. It’s certainly a busy week! But, orientation 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 17 of America’s finest universities has just begun the exciting exploration France and the French in Aix –en-Provence, a town perfect for independent exploration. 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 are 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 are waiting impatiently to meet them for a festive apéritif on Friday.
So what else is new this week?
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. This semester in Aix, we’ve had an overwhelming number of French university students sign up, so each of our American students will have not one, but two language partners! 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 Saturday, students embark on their first adventure to the charming villages of the Lubéron, made famous by Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence. Photos and a blog post to come next week!
For more info on AUCP in Aix or in Marseille, click here.