Penn-in-Tours, France

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Enjoy all that France’s exquisite Loire Valley has to offer as you immerse yourself in French language and culture during this six-week intensive program.

All courses are taught in French and offer University of Pennsylvania course credits. The program begins in Paris and includes group excursions to cultural sites. Students live with French families in order to enhance their linguistic skills and cultural understanding.

Program Calendar 2014

Depart the US for Paris Saturday, May 17, 2014
Arrive in Paris and meet up with the group Sunday, May 18, 2014
Travel as a group to Tours Monday, May 19, 2014
On-site Orientation Tuesday, May 20 and Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Classes Start Thursday, May 22, 2014
Classes End Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Depart Thursday, July 3, 2014

Course Information

All students register for a total of two course units (CUs). Course offerings are subject to change.

Course registration is completed by the Penn Summer Abroad office for students who confirm their intent to enroll and submit required pre-departure documents.

Note for Visiting Students: One CU is generally considered to be equivalent to three semester hours when Penn coursework is transferred to another institution.


Intensive Intermediate French
FRENCH 134 (2CUs)
Fulfills the language Requirement in French.
Prerequisite: French 120, 121 or equivalent (1 year of college French).

French 134 covers the equivalent of 130 and 140 at Penn. This course is also open to students who have completed third-semester French or its equivalent at Penn (French 130). Students who have completed French 130 receive credit for 140 and for one free elective at the advanced level. The course stresses the development of functional proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing, combined with a systematic review of grammar. It includes a strong focus on French culture, in particular contemporary France with a special emphasis on youth culture. It meets five days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Out-of-class activities are regularly integrated into classroom assignments. The course cannot be taken Pass/Fail.

Advanced French with a Cross-Cultural Focus
FRENCH 216 (1CU)
Prerequisite: French 140 (or its equivalent) or exemption from the language requirement in French.

This is a third-year-level French course designed to help students become autonomous learners of the language. It will also give them the tools to continue to learn the language independently in the future. Through the writing of a travelogue, potentially turned into an ebook, and a close partnership with the local independent movie theater, the students will gain the maximum benefit from their time in France. While the course touches on some grammar review, its main emphasis is on colloquial French. Class meets four days a week for a total of six hours a week.

Tours de France: French History Seen through the Prism of Tours
FRENCH 226 (1CU)
Fulfills Sector Requirement II: History & Tradition

This course will introduce students to key chapters of French history from the Gallo-Roman period to WWII. As "lieux de mémoire" which witnessed and still bear the traces of a rich and eventful past, the streets and monuments of Tours will guide our steps through this historical voyage. The major chapters of the historical narrative will focus on the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and World War II, periods that are clearly visible in the cityscape of Tours and its surroundings. Class will include regular outings to historical sites. This course may also be taken for 300-level credit (additional work required). Class meets four days a week for a total of six hours a week.

Contemporary France through the Media
FRENCH 233 / FRENCH 312 (1CU)
Fulfills General Education Requirement: Cross-cultural Analysis

This course offers a socio-cultural survey of contemporary France through its media. It acquaints students with the daily press, magazines, and television, while tracing emerging cultural trends through music, cinema, video, advertising and comics. Students follow recent developments in French society, and look into the current cultural forces at work today. This summer, particular attention will be given to current political life in France.  Readings and documents introduce new vocabulary in context, and provide a better grasp of the changes shaping daily life in France in 2014. This course may also be taken for 300-level credit (additional work required). Class meets four days a week for a total of six hours a week.


Students live with French families in order to experience full linguistic and cultural immersion. Housing is prearranged through a local coordinator and all students will be asked to complete a host family accommodation form to list any special dietary needs or allergies. Breakfast and dinner are provided by the family.

Information Sessions

Information sessions for Penn Summer Abroad 2015 will be scheduled shortly. Please contact the Penn Summer Abroad office with any program-related questions at

Tuition & Fees

Tuition and fees are subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and may change without notice.

  • Tuition for Summer 2014: $7,228 ($3,614 per CU)
  • Program Fee for Tours 2014: $2,765
    Includes accommodations with breakfast and dinner, transportation from Paris to Tours (on arrival only), cultural activities, program excursions, and administrative costs.
  • Click here to view the Penn-in-Tours 2014 Estimated Cost Sheet


The application for Penn Summer Abroad 2015 will be opening later this year.


Click here to read testimonials from past participants about their experiences and the impact of the Penn-in-Tours program.


Click here to see videos from students enrolled in French 216 during Penn-in-Tours 2013.

Contact Information

Program Directors
for details about the program, courses, or location including academic advising, travel dates, housing and orientation

Dr. Kathryn K. McMahon 
Department of Romance Languages
University of Pennsylvania
Tel: 215-898-7440

Mélanie Péron
Associate Director
Tel: 215.898-7428

Penn Summer Abroad Office
for assistance with application, financial questions, pre-departure, or other general information

Penn Summer Abroad
College of Liberal & Professional Studies (LPS)
University of Pennsylvania
3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335
Tel: 215-746-7075
Fax: 215-573-2053