Tours, France

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Tours, France

This program is closed and no longer accepting applications.

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. Dive into France's rich history and modern society while being surrounded by some of Europe's most breathtaking locations.

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. You live with a French family to enhance your linguistic skills and cultural understanding.



Watch videos from students enrolled in French 216 during past Penn-in-Tours trips.

"6 semaines à Tours" by Angela Vertucci

"Cher Tours, ..." by Florence Boillat

"De quoi te souviendras-tu?" by Melissa Beswick

Program Calendar 2017

Saturday, May 20, 2017Recommended arrival in Paris
Saturday, May 20, 2017Program housing first available
Monday, May 22, 2017On-site orientation
Tuesday, May 23, 2017Classes start
Thursday, June 29, 2017Classes end
Friday, June 30, 2017Program housing last checkout date

"An idyllic location in a quaint French city in the heart of the country, the most interesting courses, wonderful host families and a great group of people- the program has all the ingredients to make it a top-priority on your bucket list."

– Saanya (Huntsman '16)


All students register for a total of two course units (c.u.)*. 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 the required pre-departure documents.

Intensive Intermediate French
FREN 134 (2 c.u.)
  • Taught by Pascal Rollet
  • Fulfills the language Requirement in French
  • Prerequisite: French 120, 121 or equivalent (one 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 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. The class meets five days a week from 9 a.m. to 1 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
FREN 216 (1 c.u.)
  • Taught by Mélanie Péron

The Take-Away Course is a writing course designed to help students become autonomous learners of the language while becoming locals of Tours. Through the project entitled Don’t write on walls, the students learn to decipher their new environment and become active participants in their linguistic and cultural learning process.  Class meets three times a week for a total of six hours. Meeting places have included a local café, a medieval scriptorium, Balzac's writing retreat, a tram car.  As part of the course, students have the opportunity to attend a day-long workshop with the writer François Bon. An exhibit of their work is organized in the Public Library of Tours.

Tours de France: French History Seen through the Prism of Tours
FREN 226 (1 c.u.)
  • Taught by Mélanie Péron
  • Fulfills Sector Requirement II: History & Tradition

This course introduces students to key chapters of French history from the Gallo-Roman period to World War II. As "lieux de mémoire" which witnessed and still bear the traces of a rich and eventful past, the streets and monuments of Tours guide our steps through this historical voyage. The major chapters of the historical narrative focus on the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and World War II—periods that are clearly visible in the cityscape of Tours and its surroundings. The class will include regular outings to historic 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
FREN 224 / FREN 312 (1 c.u.)
  • Taught by Emmanuel Cohen
  • 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 20165. 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 are asked to complete a host family accommodation form to list any special dietary needs or allergies. Breakfast and dinner are provided by the family.

"Participating in Penn-in-Tours was absolutely the right decision. I immersed myself in the French language and culture with a welcoming family, fellow students who would become some of my great friends, and faculty unmatched in professionalism, competency, and amiability."

– Andrew (College '14)

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 2017: $8,144
  • Program Fee for Summer 2017: $2,365
    Includes home stay with breakfast and dinner, transportation from Paris to Tours (arrival only), cultural activities, program excursions, and administrative costs.
  • 2017 Estimated Cost Sheet (PDF)


The Alliance Française of Philadelphia is offering the Pierre C. Fraley Scholarship for study abroad - application deadline February 15th, 2017. Please find more information here.


  • Early admission deadline: Friday, January 13, 2017
  • Rolling admissions continue until the program reaches capacity

This program is closed and no longer accepting applications.

Contact Information

For details about the program, courses, or location including academic advising, travel dates, housing and orientation:

Program Directors

Kathryn K. McMahon
University of Pennsylvania
Tel: (215) 898-7440

Mélanie Péron
University of Pennsylvania
Tel: (215) 898-7428

For assistance with application, financial questions, pre-departure or other general information:

Penn Summer Abroad Office
College of Liberal & Professional Studies
University of Pennsylvania
3440 Market Street
Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA

Tel: (215) 898-7326
Fax: (215) 573-2053

*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.

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