Summer in Tours: Program Summary

Site and Accommodation

With its 15th and 16th century buildings (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Tours is the perfect city in which to discover French culture and improve one’s language skills. In fact, many a French person will tell you that Tours is home to the “purest” variety of French!

With the exception of the first two nights—during which time everyone stays together in a hotel—each student will live with a local host family. These hosts provide lodging, two meals a day (breakfast and dinner), and laundry facilities. The Program Director and OGE do their very best to accommodate student’s lifestyle or health-related requests such as nonsmoking environments or special dietary needs.

Field Trips and Co-curricular Activities

The program includes a number of co-curricular activities (included in the program fee):

  • Trips to several historical sites in/near Tours and in the Loire Valley region (Amboise, Chambord, Chenonceau, just to name a few)
  • A guided visit of Tours’ historical district
  • A wine and cheese tasting session
  • A visit to a wine cooperative in Vouvray, and to a goat farm that produces Appelation contrôlée cheese
  • A meeting with French students preparing for the Grandes Écoles
  • A group visit to Les Halles, a traditional French food and produce market in Tours

During the summer there are also many festivals and cultural events that take place in Tours and its vicinity, some of them free of charge, such as the Fête de la Musique (music) and Rayon Frais (performance). Participants may also take advantage of the field trips organized by the Institut de Touraine to Paris, Mont Saint-Michel, Chartres and other sites. Additionally, the Institut has a weekly movie night and sponsors various sports activities.


The program has two distinct components, each bearing 3 academic credits:

  • First, all students attend a two-week “French Cultural Integration Workshop” (FREN-119-62) surveying current socio-cultural and linguistic realities in France. This workshop is taught by the program director, Professor Aaron Emmitte, and additional Georgetown instructors; it includes classroom instruction three-and-a-half hours a day (Monday-Friday), field trips, guest lectures and assignments.
  • Each student is then placed on the basis of a test in one of several levels of a four-week, multi-level intensive language session at the Institut de Touraine, a renowned institution specializing in French-language programs for foreigners. The session at the Institut includes approximately 22 hours of classes and workshops weekly, taught by its own native instructors.

The grade for FREN-119-62: French Cultural Integration Workshop is based on homework and participation in class and in program activities.

The grade for the four-week session, given by Institut faculty, reflects performance in oral and written expression as well as listening and reading comprehension; it is translated into a GU letter grade according to a standard conversion scale, for either FREN-222-62: Lang/Cult Immersion 1: Tours, FREN-223-62: Lang/Cult Immersion 2: Tours, FREN-224-62: Lang/ Cult Immersion 3: Tours, or FREN-282-62: Lang/Cult Elective: Tours – based on the highest French course completed prior to enrolling in the program.

SFS students who have already completed Advanced French II (dispensations can be granted to students at a lower level under specific conditions) have the option to take the oral proficiency exam at the end of the program, with excellent chances of success.

Students also have the option of taking the DELF B2, an internationally recognized language certificate.