France: Dijon Program

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Academic Year or Spring Study Abroad Program

Study of French language and other liberal arts courses at the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon, France.

One of the liveliest provincial capitals of France, Dijon is a city with a rich heritage. With a long history anchored in the European traditions through ancient and medieval times, present-day Dijon retains an important place in the cultural life of France and is known for its historic monuments, its museums, its ecological awareness, and its university. From its mustard and pain d'épice to its world-famous vineyards, Dijon, capital of Burgundy, knows how to celebrate a rich gastronomical tradition. Students enroll directly in the Université de Bourgogne (University of Burgundy), where they will take courses alongside French and other international students, or at the CIEF (Centre International d’Etudes Françaises), which hosts students from around the world. Students may enroll for either the fall or spring semester or for a full academic year. Train transportation in and out of Dijon is excellent, and Paris is only 1.5 hours away by high-speed train (T.G.V.). The program includes the discovery of France's regional diversity with three to four excursions per semester in other French regions.

Summer Study Abroad Program

Study of French language at the CIEF (Centre International d'Etudes Françaises)

Students spend four or eight weeks earning 4 or 8 credits in beginner through advanced-level French language.

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Program dates

Various (see Academics below)

Information Session

Wednesday, February 16th, 4:30-5:15 PM by Zoom

Thursday, February 17th, 12:45-1:30 PM Murkland 204

Application Deadline

Summer 2022: March 15, 2022

Deposit deadline

March 31, 2022

How to apply Financial Aid/scholarships


Ileana Chirila
Assistant Professor of French
Dijon Program Director

Course pre-requisites:  Students majoring in French have to spend a fall or spring semester or an entire academic year in Dijon and must have completed FREN 631 and 632 as well as FREN 651 and 652 (or equivalent) with a B- or better.

The program is also open to students minoring in French, and they must have completed FREN 631 and 632 as well as either FREN 651 or 652 (or equivalent) with a B- or better. Students who do not major or minor in French need to consult with the program director to discuss exceptions to these requirements and determine their eligibility.

The summer programs are open to all students (except French majors, see below), including students with no background in French interested in an immersion situation. Students who have previously studied French are placed in courses beyond the level they have completed on campus. 

In the full academic year, fall semester, or spring semester programs, students enroll either directly in the Université de Bourgogne (University of Burgundy), where they take courses alongside French and other international students, or at the CIEF (Centre International d'Etudes Françaises), located on the campus of the University of Burgundy. All courses are taught in French by University of Burgundy faculty.

In the summer program, students take 4 or 8 weeks of intensive French language courses (and some culture courses, if they want) at the CIEF.

All credits earned through the UNH Dijon Program are transfer credit. Students must earn at least a “C” to earn credit for the course at UNH and, though the individual courses and grades earned are listed on the UNH transcript, the grades do not impact UNH GPA calculations.

Academic Year or Spring Semester Program

FREN 790

Open to students who have completed with a 2.5 GPA or better FREN 631-632 and FREN 651-652, or equivalent (for French majors). Students who are French minors must have completed FREN 631-632 and FREN 651 OR 652. Students should talk to the Program Faculty Director if they have questions about program language requirements.

Students enroll in FREN 790: Study Abroad in Dijon, a UNH course which holds space for the credits that will transfer back as part of the program. Program Faculty will consult with students during the pre-departure process to determine which track is most suitable: courses at the University of Burgundy or CIEF. 

CIEF is recommended to French minors and/or majors who desire to work on improving their oral and written skills. It offers French language and culture courses to international students. Beside the intense French language courses, students can choose from a selection of electives in the disciplines of History, Literature, Philosophy, Economics, Politics, Art, etc. A complete list is available at the beginning of each semester on the CIEF website. Students can earn 16 credits.

The University of Burgundy offers an option for students with an advanced level of French. They enroll in classes alongside native speakers and must be flexible, as course scheduling, registration, and administrative organization differ from what they are used to at US universities. The cours de 1ère année roughly correspond to junior-level courses here and presuppose an acquaintance with the subject matter and the tools of that discipline. Most courses are large lecture courses (cours magistraux, with large groups of students) with in addition discussion sessions of 20-30 students (travaux dirigés or TD).

In both options, the number of credits going toward the French major (or minor) is 8 per semester, the rest counting for either a minor or discovery courses.

Fall Semester - Approximate Dates

At University of Burgundy (exact dates TBD) At CIEF
Early September Latest arrival date                      Mid September Arrival in Dijon
Mid September UB classes begin Around September 20 CIEF classes begin, placement test
Late October Fall Break (Toussaint)  Late October Fall Break (Toussaint)
Mid December UB last day of classes Around January 20 CIEF classes end
Early to Mid January  UB Final Exams After exams  Earliest departure date
Mid January Earliest departure date    

Spring Semester - Approximate Dates

At University of Burgundy (exact dates TBD) At CIEF
Around January 18 Latest arrival date                      Late January, around the 25th Latest arrival date
Around January 21 UB classes begin Around January 27 CIEF classes begin, placement test
Second half of February
Second half of April
Winter Break
Easter Break
Second half of February
No Easter Break
Winter Break
First week of May UB last day of classes Around May 25 CIEF classes end and exams
Early May to around May 20 UB Final Exams After exams, around May 26  Earliest departure date
After exams, around May 22 Earliest departure date    

Summer Programs

Over the summer, students have multiple options depending on their French language background and the length of time they wish to spend abroad. It is possible to take one (4 credits, 4 weeks - FREN 683) or two (8 credits, 8 weeks- FREN 691) French language sessions.

Students will earn the equivalency for either one (4-credit option) or two (8-credit option) of the following French courses at UNH: FREN 503, 504, 631, or 632. There is also the possibility to take culture courses in addition to languages courses.

Note: In special cases, French majors unable to fulfill their semester-long study abroad requirement for documented academic reasons can be allowed to enroll in the 8-week session. They must take the most advanced courses offered at CIEF. By petition only. 

For students with no prior background in French, it is advised to stay 8 weeks in order to complete the equivalent of elementary French (FREN 401-402).

Sample dates for students who only wish to take ONE course:

Around June 2 until around June 29 -or-
Around June 30 until around July 27 -or-
Around July 28 until around August 24

Sample dates for students who wish to take TWO courses:

Around June 2 until around July 27 -or-
Around June 30 until around August 24

Consult the CIEF website for the specific dates.

Dijon lies in the heart of the Burgundy wine region. The city is an ancient provincial capital which famously served as the power center for the mighty Dukes of Burgundy during the middle ages and renaissance. Much of the city's renowned architecture, like the Palais des Ducs and Church of Notre Dame, date from this time. Dijon's charming historic center is one of the best preserved in France and is zigzagged by pedestrian-only streets and home to many attractive boutiques, restaurants, and bars. The wine-growing hills of Burgundy stretch out just beyond the edge of the city and one cannot walk the streets of Dijon without being reminded of the proud wine and food traditions tied to this region. The city is well connected by public transportation and very manageable for students (150,000 Pop.). Paris is a short train ride away and many other parts of France are easily reached through SNCF train network.

Helpful websites

Fall 2019-Spring 2020 Cost and Payment Information 

UNH tuition and the special course fee cover registration at the University of Burgundy, mandatory health insurance, CIEF courses, excursions and a private room in a host family. Students are responsible for the payment of the food (not provided by the family), and travel costs. Other routine expenses include books and supplies, and miscellaneous living costs. The cost of additional travel in Europe, souvenirs, etc. should be considered when planning one’s budget.

Housing and Meals

Housing is included in the program fees. Students are normally housed with local families to maximize exposure to the French language and culture. Exceptions to allow students to live in the international student dorm are only made on a case-by-case basis. Host families live throughout Dijon - some in the historic city center, some in more residential areas surrounding the immediate center - but all are within easy commuting distance from the campus. Students have a private room and typically a shared bathroom. Students enrolled at the University of Burgundy are housed with host families who provide a daily breakfast and a weekly dinner with access to the kitchen for personal meal preparation. Students enrolled at CIEF are housed with host families who provide daily breakfasts and dinners. Other meals are at the student’s expense in one of the university restaurants (restaurants universitaires) or any of the eateries around town.

Other Inclusions

Not Included

  • Airfare to and from France
  • Some meals
  • Local phone (required)
  • Visa (for semester-long stay only. approx. $180)
  • Personal travel and spending money

Payment Deadline and Refund Policy

For the semester program, students must submit a non-refundable  program deposit after acceptance ($200 for summer, and $400 for semester).

View study abroad payment deadlines, cancellation and refund policy

While we cannot guarantee complete security abroad (just like on campus in Durham) the University of New Hampshire and the College of Liberal Arts (COLA) make every effort to facilitate safe international student experiences. Please find below important information on health and safety-related resources, policies, and procedures. If you have additional questions, please contact the program faculty director or the COLA Center for Study Abroad.

Travel to France

UNH Global health and safety information