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Besancon, France
Program Terms: Spring
Budget Sheets Spring
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2017 10/09/2016** Rolling Admission 01/01/2017 05/20/2017
Spring 2018 10/08/2017** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
 Program Type:
 Language of Instruction:
 Housing Options:
Host Family
 Class Standing:
Undergraduate Freshman, Undergraduate Sophomore, Undergraduate Junior, Undergraduate Senior
 Number of Credits:
 Program Specialist:
Ann Ganz
 Language experience required:
 Areas of Study:
 Program Length:
Program Description:
Jump To: Photos Overview Location Academics Cost Housing Itinerary Resources

Photo Gallery


Program Overview

This program, directed by a WMU professor, is specially designed for WMU students at the intermediate level and above in French: students at the optimal level for increasing their language skills. Participants study at the Centre de Linguistique Appliquée (CLA), an internationally recognized language and education institute that is part of the Université de Franche-Comté. In addition, students with the necessary degree of proficiency may participate in a regular university course along with native French students. The WMU faculty director spends the first week in Besançon with the students and returns later in the semester to evaluate the program. Our on-site assistant advisor meets regularly with the students, is available for help, and organizes cultural activities.

Students applying for this program may be eligible for the President's Grant for Study Abroad.

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Besancon is a beautiful provincial city located in eastern France with a population of about 120,000.  The center of Besancon is surrounded by the river Doubs and is characterized by impressive 15th- to 18th-century architecture.  The Université Franche-Comté has an enrollment of approximately 17,000 students.  The CLA, where students will be attending all or most of their classes, is housed in a striking modern building on the Doubs River, a ten-minute walk from the city center. All areas of the town are well served by Besançon's efficient bus system.

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Academic Eligibility
Completion of FREN 3160 recommended (exception may be granted for highly motivated students having completed FREN 2010 or 2000); 3.0 GPA in French classes and good academic standing.

Academic Program
Students take an intensive French language course in January at the CLA. After completing the course, they are placed at level one, two, three or four of the cours semestriel, a program in which students may choose classes in French language, French and Francophone culture and literature, European society, economics, business, and theater. Classes in the cours semestriel last from early February to the middle of  May. WMU students are in classes with other international students and French is the common language. Students who place in the second, third and fourth levels of the cours semestriel have the opportunity to participate in a 4-credit internship in government, business or education in Besançon.

Academic Credit
Students earn 12 - 16 U.S. semester credit hours in this program.  WMU credit will be awarded for courses successfully completed on this program with prior approval of the student's academic advisor, academic advisors in departments outside of the student's major department (if the student plans to take classes outside of his/her major), and the Haenicke Institute for Global Education. This approval is obtained by completing a course approval form available from WMU Study Abroad. Students are urged to work closely with academic advisors to plan a course of study allowing for steady progress toward their degree. 

Note:  Non-WMU students must work with their home university academic advisor(s) and Education Abroad Office to complete all requirements for transfer of credits.   Non-WMU students will be admitted as guest students at WMU and upon completion of the program they are responsible for obtaining a WMU transcript for coursework completed to provide to their home university, if required.  

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Cost & Financial Aid


To access the complete program budget published at the top of this page, click here. Students should bring a copy of the program budget when they meet with their financial aid advisor to discuss funding for study abroad.

Students applying for this program may be eligible for the President's Grant for Study Abroad.

Financial Aid
Students eligible for federal or state financial aid may use their awards for studying abroad.  After a student has been accepted to the program, they must complete required paperwork with WMU Financial Aid to apply financial aid to the program costs.  It is the student's responsibility to complete the paperwork prior to departure and to maintain compliance with financial aid regulations while studying abroad (i.e., remain enrolled full-time).  Non-WMU students must apply for financial aid through their home university.

Please note: Disbursement of financial aid may not coincide with the start date of the program abroad, so plan ahead!  Some out-of-pocket costs may occur prior to receiving financial aid disbursement for the semester, such as the program commitment fee, passport, airfare, immunizations, visa or residence permit fees (if applicable).  These costs vary by program and WMU Study Abroad Specialists are available to answer questions about the program budget.

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Students live in a private room with families in Besançon the first two months of the program, which is included in the program fee. The home-stay portion of the program includes daily breakfast and evening meal and laundry. Home stays are arranged by the CLA, which has decades of experience in matching students with hosts. For the remaining meals, students may eat inexpensively by buying tickets for the restaurant universitaire (student cafeteria). During the last three months, students live independently. Housing choices for the final three months include rented rooms in an apartment or home with kitchen privileges, a university dormitory or an apartment alone or shared with other students.  Students pay directly for housing the last three months, which typically costs 350-450 euros per month.

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Spring 2017

Sunday, January 1: Depart for France
Monday, January 2: Arrive in Besançon for overnight stay in Hôtel du Nord
Tuesday, January 3: Discover Besançon and meet host families
Wednesday, January 4: Placement test at CLA /academic program begins
February 27-March 3: Winter vacation
April 18 - 28: Spring vacation
Friday, May 19: Program concludes
Saturday, May 20: Return to U.S. (or personal travel)

Tentative itinerary subject to change.

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Visa Information

U.S. Department of State Student Visa Information
Consulate General of France in Chicago

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Additional Resources

Dr. Vivan Steemers, faculty director
Department of World Languages and Literatures
517 Sprau Tower
Telephone: (269) 387-3019

Ann Ganz, study abroad specialist, sr.
WMU Study Abroad
2425 Ellsworth Hall
Telephone: 269-387-5890

Host Institution Information:
Centre de Linguistique Appliquee (CLA)
Videos by WMU students who studied in Besancon
Besancon Tourist Service

Country Information:
Country Information
Department of State Information
Country Specific Information - France
Culturegram - France

Video Testimonial:
WMU Study Abroad Experiences: Daniel S.