From its pre-historic sites to its globally competitive high-tech industries, the Southwest of France offers an ideal setting to explore a regional culture that is strongly rooted in history and tradition, but also dynamically involved in modern life, and a major economic center in the European Union.

After a short stay in Paris, students will discover the city of Toulouse, regional capital of the Southwest and fourth biggest city in France, and experience the cultural and economic vibrancy of French provincial cities while staying with a French family.  While visiting the National Natural Reserves in the Pyrénées mountains, students will examine the environmental issues this region faces and will also participate in the festivities surrounding pastoral events. By exploring this exceptionally diverse region, students will enhance both their linguistic and cultural proficiency.

Pre-Departure Course

You may select any course given in French, level 30 and above. In addition, biweekly meetings with the instructors of this seminar introduce you to the theme of our seminar as well as allow you to begin formulating your research project. We also discover through assigned texts how the South West is affected by globalization and highlight the contrast between the traditional and the modern in this region.

On-Site Seminar

Two days in Paris followed by coursework in Toulouse. Courses enhanced by: the cultural life of Toulouse (cinema, opera, dance); a three-day excursion in Ariège-Pyrénées; a visit of  a National Natural Reserve in Ariège, (comprising many of the endangered animals of the region); excursions and cultural events around Toulouse such as plays, museums, etc; and meetings with speakers on the region followed by a two-day excursion to the Collioure and Figueres.  Journals detailing your interaction with French citizens as well as time spent with your host family allow you to improve your French comprehension and conversational skills.

Re-Entry Activities

Upon return to Drew, we meet in small groups during the Fall semester to discuss our experiences and complete our research and study of the French Southwest.