Bienvenue! Monday, the AUCP welcomed its new group of students for our Spring semester. All come with a minimum of high-intermediate French from the some of the top universities in the United States, such as:
Claremont McKenna College
After a weekend spent meeting their host families (and getting over jetlag), students began their week of orientation, tout en français. Orientation is the foundation of the program, giving students the tools and information they need to succeed during their semester at the AUCP. Program director Lilli Engle and other AUCP staff address conduct a city tour, discuss subjects such as cultural differences, review practical French and share other important info from how to sign up for a bus pass to get a cell phone in France.
While it’s certainly a busy week, orientation is an essential step towards full cultural integration. It opens the door for students to allowing students to reach unprecedented levels of French fluency and intercultural competence over the course of their semester or year abroad, as well as a lasting connection with the people and places of in the South of France!
As Lilli Engle, Founding Director of the AUCP explains further,
What a special, enlightening semester this will be ! Imagine that, fresh off the plane from the US on Saturday, over half of the incoming AUCP students participated the next day in the largest nationwide demonstration in French history since the liberation after World War II. Nearly four million French of all origins and faiths joined together in a march for unity and peace following last week’s terrorist assaults, brandishing the slogan Je suis Charlie in honor of the deep-seated values of the French Republic — égalité, liberté, fraternité. Emotions run high – first of anguish, then of pride and now of deep questioning as to the long term results of this terrorist attack against the freedom of speech which, to many minds, the French take to an extreme. This will certainly be a very special semester of investigation and questioning and contrasts, highlighted and contextualized in the French Cultural Patterns classroom.
So what else is new this week?
APERO! Friday night, students will be meeting their French language partners. Language partners are young French people with whom AUCP students can practice their colloquial French and learn about French youth culture, and often, these interactions turn into real friendships. Weekly meetings with a French language partner is an integral part of the AUCP French practicum, giving students a window into student life in Aix and Marseille. The evening will begin with drinks and snacks, an apéritif or apéro, then the newly-formed Franco-American group will finish the evening out on the town.
CLASSES! Classes start next Monday! With classes such as Archaeology and Provence, Culture & Business of French Wine, Painting and Drawing, France and North Africa and the Feminine French Archetype in Literature, students from many different backgrounds are sure to find class subjects that suit them to a T.
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 quaint villages of the Lubéron.
We look forward to what the semester has in store for us!
For more info on AUCP in Aix or in Marseille, click here.