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Blog: Fall 2020 in Aix-en-Provence

Welcome to the blog site for IAU-ACM's Fall 2020 cohort in Aix-en-Provence, France. Read below to find out what this courageous class has been up to during their semester in Aix. Want to see more from IAU? Follow us on Instagram, Facebook. Twitter, and YouTube


Closing Ceremony in Aix-en-Provence to End the Semester

Date: December 16, 2020

IAU and ACM students gathered in the Main Hall of the Centre d'Etudes Françaises to bid each other farewell and close out the semester. Below, Dr. Muriel Cros poses with students from the Master of Arts in French Studies (MAFS) program and the French Honors Program (FHP), all sporting new Provençale masks given to them by Dr. Cros. A bientôt to all of our Fall 2020 students!

Professor Philip Breeden Takes Students to Marseille for Field Study Trip

Date: December 7, 2020

Professor Philip Breeden took a group of international relations students (IAU and ACM) to Marseille on Monday, December 7th for a history/diplomacy tour of the port city. Depicted in the photos are the following:

  1. Top of the stairs at the train station with La Bonne Mere (Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde) on the hill behind us
  2. At Vieux Port being silly with the mirror parasol
  3. The original Greek port
  4. At city hall in the sun
  5. The Panier behind us with the old hospital, now a five-star hotel
  6. A socially-distanced meeting with the U.S. Consul at the Consulate General in Marseille


Fall Students Visit Les Milles Memorial 

Date: October 23, 2020

IAU's Fall 2020 cohort in Aix-en-Provence has been participating in field studies this semester to various places in the Provence region. On October 23, Professors Philip Breeden and Michel Lantelme led their students to the Les Milles Memorial, a commemorative site near Aix-en-Provence used as a detention and transit camp during WWII, which teaches students about how the French Vichy government helped the Nazis pursue the Holocaust by deporting French Jews and others to the death camps.

From Professor Breeden: "We began the visit with a moment of silence at the railcar used to deport men, women and children to their death. Inside, the students reviewed the history of WWII, and examined how detainees lived in the camp. Many of those detained at Les Milles were artists, who continued to create, write, and compose while in the camp. It was a sobering but uplifting moment as students saw how the human spirit rises to adversity, and continues to create beauty in the midst of squalor and death."


Fall 2020 Students Participate in Field Study to Arles and Saint-Remy

Date: October 16, 2020

Dr Guillaume Durand, archéologue et guide conférencier spécialiste de l’Antiquité et de l’Epoque Romaine et Dr. Muriel Cros, Linguistique, spécialiste de Littérature et Poète ont organisé une sortie d’études pour 3 classes : Le séminaire sur l’espace (FRE LIT ART 411) du French Honors Program, le cours (FRE HIS 328 : Histoire de la Provence à travers ses monuments) et le groupe des étudiant.e.s en Master en Etudes Françaises (promotion 2020-2021).

Il s’agit d’un parcours pluridisciplinaire alternant présentation historique des parties de la ville et lecture des textes écrits par Van Gogh sur son expérience arlésienne et son regard sur la ville.

Dr. Guillaume Durand, archaeologist and lecturer specializing in Antiquity and the Roman Period, and Dr. Muriel Cros, specialist in Literature & Linguistics and a poet, organized a study trip for three of their fall semester classes: The French Honors Seminar (FRE/LIT/ART 411), FRE/HIS 328: History of Provence through its Monuments, and the group of students in ACM's Master of Arts in French Studies program.

The field study was a multidisciplinary journey alternating between a historical presentation of certain areas of the city and readings of texts written by Van Gogh on his experience in Arles and his outlook on the city.

To view photos and read more about this field study, please follow this link.


Students in the French Honors Program Share About Their Experience in Aix

Date: October 13, 2020

This Fall 2020 semester we have three students in the French Honors Program: Sophie Roth from the University of Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adrienne Lakey from Wheaton College, and Ana-Maria Poole from Carnegie Mellon University. Follow along on the French Honors Program Facebook page as these three students navigate their new home and immersion into the French language in Aix-en-Provence.

Follow along throughout the semester at this link to see student and professor posts about the French Honors Program: 

The first of the posts, from Dr. Muriel Cros, Dean of the French Honors Program, is below:


Nous voilà sur les marches du palais de Justice d'Aix-en-Provence où il y a le "grand" marché tous les mardis, jeudis et samedis... C'est la vie des aixois et des aixoises... !!
BIenvenues aux étudiantes de ce semestre et un IMMENSE salut convivial à tous les anciens étudiant.e.s... !! Prenez bien soin de vous et revenez nous voir !!! Dr. Muriel Cros"


Photos from Fall 2020 Student Madison McAllister

Date: October 7, 2020

Each term, a group of IAU students elect to share photos, videos, and experiences with the IAU community. We will be featuring photos and stories from a group of IAU students throughout the fall 2020 semester. First up, Madison McAllister, a student from Western Michigan University participating in IAU's School of Art. Thanks for sharing your photos, Madison!


President's Update - Fall 2020

Date: September 29, 2020

Dear IAU Community,

Since 1957 IAU has never missed a fall orientation. Although we had to send students home in the spring of 1968 during the protests and this last spring during the first months of the pandemic, we have never had to fully cancel a program.  This year was no different and we were not going to allow a pandemic to stifle our dedication to international education.  As you might see from the pictures, we had an unconventional but successful orientation with students wearing masks and most of the faculty and staff presenting themselves via Zoom on the big screen.

Life has certainly changed over the last few months and we are all learning how to adapt to our new reality. The students understand their role in all of this and we congratulated each and every one of them for their courage and fortitude in making the trip to France to continue their studies.

We are happy to have a total of 45 students on IAU programs this fall semester. 29 of those students are with us in-person for the Fall semester 2020 in Aix. 12 of those are IAU study abroad students and 17 are ACM degree-seeking students. Additionally, we have 16 students from various partner institutions in Virtual Courses, Consultancies, or Internships.

We have maintained extensive COVID protocols for students arriving in-person in Aix. Students could not board planes without negative test results. The entire staff and faculty were required to have negative test results before the arrival of students on September 23rd. Host families had all been tested as per our requirements and reported their negative results before the arrival of the students. The entire student body will again be tested in ten days.  As the local and national authorities have prescribed, everyone is wearing masks in the streets and in all IAU buildings.

I cannot say enough about how professional and gracious the faculty and staff have been both in Aix and in the US.  They remind me each day why I chose this profession and they are a true testament to the excellent work we do as educators to change the world one student at a time. I am always so edified by their strength of character, their resolve, and their creativity to see beyond this current crisis and plan for our future as an institution of higher learning.  They have truly risen to the occasion in every way and I am so very proud of the energy they bring to the table each day with new and fresh ideas to keep our institution moving forward with new innovative programs.  This has not been an easy year for any of us and they have faced many challenges, yet they continue to be positive and optimistic about our future. 

Please rest assured that IAU and ACM are holding strong and we are looking ahead to the spring semester and beyond for better days to come. Wishing you and your families good health and strength to get through these next few months. 

Carl Jubran, PhD
President, IAU & ACM

Fall 2020 Orientation Kicks Off

Date: September 28, 2020

On Monday, September 28th, IAU and ACM students gathered in the Main Hall of the Centre d'Etudes Françaises for a socially-distanced student orientation. Joined by President Carl Jubran and Vice President Philip Breeden in person and from the rest of the staff and faculty via Zoom, students learned about IAU's programs and policies, including housing, the wellness program, opportunities to get involved, student activities, the fall calendar, and more. All students got a city tour of Aix and were oriented to IAU-ACM's buildings and campus resources. Bienvenue a Aix, tout le monde!


IAU-ACM Hosts the Early Start Program in Aix-en-Provence

Date: September 26, 2020

IAU and ACM were proud to welcome many students in the Fall 2020 cohort to Aix-en-Provence several days early to participate in the Early Start Program. Students got the opportunity to explore Aix-en-Provence, climb Mont Sainte-Victoire, visit the Mediterranean Sea, and experience a local winery. See below for photos of the Fall 2020 cohort becoming acclimated to their new environment.