University of Technology Sydney

MAJ09435 France

France is known for its key role in the history and development of European culture and its rich traditions from literature and the arts through to cuisine, sport and style. Modern France, while preserving a strong link to the land, is at the forefront of many technological advances. A leading international player, its recent Republican history has enabled it to remain fiercely independent and at the same time central to the European Union. Geographically diverse, it is said France offers all the landscapes of Europe in microcosm. From the Mediterranean to the English Channel, each region has a strong identity, often retaining ties with older cultures and its many neighbours.

Students spend two consecutive semesters studying at one of the following universities or institutes:

  • Université Michel de Montaigne Bordeaux 3, Bordeaux
  • Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, Caen
  • Institut Mines-Télécom Business School, Évry
  • Université Lumière Lyon 2, Lyon
  • Université de Reims Champagne-Ardennes, Reims
  • Université Rennes 2 – Haute Bretagne, Rennes
  • Université de Strasbourg EMS, IEP and Faculty of Law, Strasbourg
  • Université de la Nouvelle Calédonie, Nouméa
  • Université d'Aix-Marseille, Aix en Provence

The location and content of each student's period of in-country study in France is determined by the level of their language competence in French. Generally speaking, students who have a sound working knowledge of French before their entrance to UTS (usually defined as HSC 3-unit or a good pass in 2-unit French) can study at any of the abovementioned universities. Such students study an appropriate two-semester program of host university subjects broadly relating to French and Francophone language, society and culture.

All other students spend a first semester engaged in the study of language and culture at the universities offering special language programs, going on to a second semester of subjects chosen more broadly from the university's curriculum. Special language provision is currently available at Bordeaux's Département d'Etudes de Français Langue Etrangère (DEFLE), Caen's Centre d'Enseignement du Français pour Etrangers (CEFE), Lyon's Centre International d'Etudes Françaises (CIEF), Poitiers's Centre de Français Langue Etrangere (CFLE), Rennes's Centre International Rennais d'Etudes de Français pour Etrangers (CIREFE) and the Centre International d'Etudes Françaises (CIEF) in Reims.

Students are assessed on each semester separately. Assessment is based on the subjects studied at the host university, as well as project work and other tests administered by UTS: International Studies.

Students in France are charged a non-refundable state medical insurance fee (sécurité sociale) for each semester of study. Details may change, but students should set aside a total of around A$800 for this cost, which UTS: International Studies is unable to meet on students' behalf.

Students should be aware that costs of living in France are generally slightly higher than in Australia, though the cost of student accommodation is very reasonable.



Aix-en-Provence is a city in southern France, situated about 30km north of Marseille. Famous for its historic architecture, fountains, golden stone buildings and outdoor markets, the population of Aix is approximately 143,404. The town's history goes back to Roman occupation in 123BC when the city (Aquae Sextiae) was constructed above thermal springs. The climate of Aix is Mediterranean. The sea is a one-hour trip away and Paris is a three-hour trip via the fast train (TGV).

Aix-Marseille Université was established in 2012, through a merger of the three universities of Aix Marseille. Historically, the original university, the University of Provence was founded in 1409 . The university is organised around five main campuses situated in Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, with humanities subjects offered at the Aix-en-Provence campus. The university has 74,000 students, making it one of the largest French-speaking universities in the world. The main program of studies in the humanities focuses on philosophy, art history, history, social sciences, French and ancient civilisation. The university has its own centre for the teaching of French as a foreign language.


Capital of Aquitaine, Bordeaux is a city known largely for its wine production and its port. Situated on the river Garonne, it is close to the Pyrenees in the south-west of France, and also within range of the Atlantic beaches. Its heritage is reflected in the 18th century architecture and impressive literary and artistic tradition.

The Université Michel de Montaigne has a strong emphasis on French art and culture, with teaching covering literature, philosophy, history, art history and archaeology, geography, and languages. The campus, nestled among vineyards, is a bus ride from the city centre. There is an excellent modern language centre, and accommodation options include privately rented flats in the city.


Caen is located in Normandy, near the north coast of France. The city is built of golden stone and is rich in historical associations, which range from abbeys and a chateau commenced by William the Conqueror, through to the D-Day beach landings of World War II.

Université de Caen Basse-Normandie is over five centuries old, but the original buildings, like much of the city, were destroyed during World War II. It is now housed in impressive structures built with international funding around 1950, and the university's emblem is the phoenix as a symbol of rebirth. It has 26,000 students, and faculties of Political Science, Law, Economics and Management, Psychology, History, Physical Science and Sport, as well as a number of teaching institutions. It has highly respected, well-developed language and cultural programs conducted through its associated language centre. Accommodation is available in studios or residences.


Situated just south of Paris, Évry is a new town which combines a number of existing villages with more modern buildings. It is home to the Cathédrale de la Résurrection, constructed in 1995, and is close to the much debated Disneyland-Paris.

Institut Mines-Télécom Business School, strictly speaking part of the prestigious grande école system rather than a university, offers a range of teaching, research and consultancy activities in the fields of management and engineering. Particular strengths include mobile communications, information systems, multimedia and marketing. Students from UTS typically follow a combination of language classes, human sciences options with relevance to French culture and society, and intercultural communications programs, with additional options in the professional subjects where appropriate. Accommodation is available in modern studios with internet access.


The Lyon region is a fast-growing area of the French economy. It is well integrated with European markets as well as being well-placed for physical contacts with Germany, Italy and Switzerland, all of which are relatively easy to access by road. Lyon itself is a large provincial city, with late medieval and 19th century precincts, including the picturesque silk manufacturing area of La Croix Rousse, as well as extensive modern development.

The original Université de Lyon was established last century, with the arts and humanities elements becoming the national Université Lumière, Lyon 2 in the early 1980s. The university has a campus in the centre of the city, situated on the banks of the Rhone, and another much larger at Bron, about 30 minutes from the city centre. Subjects cover a range of disciplines from communication and sociology to education, tourism and economics. Private accommodation is readily available.


Montpellier is a medium-sized city located in southern France about 8km from the Mediterranean coast. Montpellier is the eighth largest city of France, and third-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast after Marseille and Nice. It is a city with one of the oldest academic traditions in Europe (Montpellier University was founded in 1289) and has a large student population.

The Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3 offers subjects in Arts, Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences. The university has also designed specific classes for international students in language and culture, drama, gender studies, civilisation, economics and art history. Accommodation is available in student residences.

Nouméa, New Caledonia

New Caledonia offers a very different version of 'Frenchness'. Designated by the French government as a 'Pays d'Outre Mer' (overseas country), the group of Pacific islands retains administrative and cultural links with France, reflecting its 150-year colonial history. The current population of 200,000 comprises Kanaks, descendants of European settlers, other Pacific islanders, and people who trace their heritage back to other former French colonies. Many of the Kanak population maintain aspects of traditional cultures side-by-side with contemporary Western social and cultural infrastructures. As the capital, Nouméa serves as a relay point between the various communities on the islands, and between New Caledonia and the wider world.

Université de la Nouvelle Calédonie, founded in 1999, offers courses in law, economics, management, humanities, languages, social science and science. It has a campus on the peninsula of Nouville, and another at Magenta in the eastern suburbs of Nouméa. The Nouville campus is adjacent to a French language school, CREIPAC, with which the university has an agreement.


Reims is in the heart of the world-famous Champagne region. It is not a large city, but has a key role in French history, and consequently it attracts substantial numbers of tourists because of its cathedral and its associations with Joan of Arc, the King of France and the Holy Roman Emperor. Reims is about one-and-a-half hours from Paris by train and is close to Belgium.

The Université de Reims, Champagne-Ardenne is a comprehensive national university and has faculties of Science, Applied Science, Health Sciences and Engineering, Arts and Humanities, with special research interests in local and regional politics, literature and identity, and, of course, wine-making. The current university dates from the post-war era and at present has about 30,000 students who attend a number of different campuses spread throughout the city. Accommodation possibilities include private rentals.


Rennes is the capital of Brittany and the centre of Celtic culture and traditions in France. It has a population of about 330,000, of whom 60,000 are students. Rennes is a mixture of late medieval, timbered buildings and elegant 18th and 19th century urban planning. The Atlantic coast is less than an hour away, and Paris is a two-hour trip by TGV (high-speed train).

Université Rennes 2 was established in 1969 and is one of two universities in Rennes. It has 21,000 students enrolled in five faculties: Languages, Social Sciences, Arts/Letters/Communications, Human Sciences (including linguistics, psychology, education and sociology), as well as classes in Breton language and culture, physical education and sports. Students at Rennes often take classes in the French Language and Culture Centre. Accommodation is available in residences or privately.


Strasbourg calls itself 'the capital of Europe'. It is the location of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, and is a centre for economic development, which is rapidly expanding and progressing. Strasbourg has great pride in its local identity, but is also very cosmopolitan. The city has extensive late medieval sections, an imposing Gothic cathedral and impressive modern buildings created for the European institutions located in Strasbourg. With the recent merger of its three universities, Strasbourg has a student population of around 50,000.

Université de Strasbourg has a Faculty of Law, plus Institutes for Political Science (IEP), Business and Management Studies (EMS); UTS: International Studies has exchange agreements with each of them. As expected, fields of study offered include options with a focus on Europe and the European Union. The university does not have a single campus, but most of its buildings are close to the centre of the city, in an area of strong German architectural influence, built in the late 19th and 20th centuries. Accommodation options include private studios or shared apartments.

Completion requirements

976411  Contemporary France  8cp
977410  In-country Study and Fieldwork Project 1: France  24cp
978410  In-country Study and Fieldwork Project 2: France  24cp
CBK90483  French Language and Culture  32cp
Total  96cp