Interested in pursuing an American degree in France? Learn about options through IAU's degree-granting institution - The American College of the Mediterranean.

Bachelor's and Master's Programs

Study Abroad - Early Start Program

Students are invited to join IAU for an optional week-long, early-start program before their fall or spring semester abroad. Students studying in France or Spain are encouraged to participate. Please review the weekly schedule for the Early Start Program in Aix-en-Provence as an example to learn more!

Students can expect to:

  • Earn one course credit
  • Jump-start the French or Spanish immersion process and ease into the new and exciting culture
  • Gain confidence in their language skills and feel comfortable in everyday communication with locals
  • Participate in a hands-on environment with small classes and personal attention
  • Learn to navigate the city of Aix-en-Provence or Barcelona through local excursions in a fun and relaxed setting
  • Attend lectures on local culture to get the most out of their abroad experience
  • Begin their French or Spanish accommodation a week early
  • Learn important intercultural differences such as body language, etiquette, do’s and don’ts, French or Spanish culture and housing expectations, stereotypes and misunderstandings
  • Meet local and foreign students through IAU
  • Learn where to buy the best croissant or paella in town
  • Become a French or Spanish insider!

Student Reviews

Learn more about the Early Start Program by reading our students' blogs!

"The Early Start Program was an amazing introduction to life in France. In the morning classes we focused on French language and culture, and in the afternoons we went on a variety of excursions that were incredible. The wine tour and hiking were both personal favorites!"
- Julia Watterson

"This program was extremely useful and a perfect way to start the semester. Having a week to adjust to the time change before classes began was great too!"
- Courtney Carroll

"My French language skills improved during the Early Start Program, and I became more confident using my French to navigate this new city. I feel lucky to be here and am ready to start my semester."
- Klevisa Kovaci

Dates and Fees

The Early Start Program fee provides week-long housing, local excursions, language instruction and one course credit. Also, if the homestay accommodation option is selected six dinners and daily breakfast are included.

Students participating in the Early Start Program will be housed with their assigned host for both the Early Start Program and the following semester. Students in Barcelona, Spain may opt to live in an apartment for the Early Start Program and would remain in apartment housing after the Early Start Program. Travel details can be found on the Travel Logistics website. All dates and fees subject to change. 

*Students who attend both the J-Term and Spring semester can attend the Early Start Program for a reduced fee.*

You can enroll in the Early Start Program during the online application process or by emailing the Office of Admissions. Please note that the program does have a maximum capacity and we accept registrations on a rolling basis. You can expect to hear from IAU with confirmation of your enrollment in the Early Start Program upon acceptance into the full semester program. Your registration is not complete until you have received this notice from IAU.

Early Start Program Students visiting Mont Sainte Victoire