Language and Culture

This four-week trip offers French language students the opportunity to immerse themselves in French culture through travel and a three-week homestay. The trip will begin with an 18-day host-family stay in Arles, a small provincial city, where students will hone their language skills while exploring the history and culture of Southern France. We will then move to France’s second largest city, Marseille, where we will explore the infamous Chateau d’If and the Cote d’Azur for three days before finishing in the city of lights for the remainder of the trip. A central question in each location will be an interrogation of where these various cities are looking: one to France’s Roman history, one to France’s ties to North Africa, and another to the future and the Americas.

In Arles, students will hone their language skills through daily classes with Arles à la carte, our partner in Arles, and through afternoon cultural activities and site visits in the town that Vincent Van Gogh called home. Students will also travel on daytrips and afternoon excursions, such as a visit to the magnificent Palais des Papes in Avignon, learn about Muslim traditions, explore the Camargue region (and maybe catch a French cowboy), visit an ancient roman arena, and much more. They will also have an entire weekend with their homestay family, where travel away from Arles may be possible (with advance permission from the faculty leaders). Students will return to Deerfield with increased command of the French language and a deepened understanding of culture, grounded in connections made to a family in France and to central questions that have focused their attention.

Program Notes

  • Please note: This trip conflicts with the June 3 SAT and the June 10 ACT test dates.
  • Students must commit to using French as their primary language of communication for the duration of the trip.
  • Please be aware that several segments of the trip will be unplugged, as we bond as a group and with our homestay families. Limited electronic devices, such as a “dumb phone,” will be provided and permitted but access to other electronic devices and internet will be limited.
  • Students will stay in hotels while traveling, and in the home of a host family. During the homestay, the majority of meals will be prepared by and shared with the homestay family.
  • Students and faculty leaders will update families and friends at home through our Notes From The Field blog. 
  • Families are responsible for transporting their students from U.S.-based airport to their home destination for the summer.

Program Dates

May 29 – June 26, 2023

Program Eligibility

This trip is open to current 9th, 10th and 11th grade students who are currently enrolled in French II or above and who plan to continue to study French at Deerfield after our return. All interested students are encouraged to apply by November 6. Financial Aid is available to all qualifying students.

Faculty Trip Leaders

  • Brian Hunt; Justin Romick

Approx. trip cost: $8,000 (*includes estimated roundtrip airfare from a NE/NY based airport)

Deerfield Academy’s Center for Service and Global Citizenship strives to make all of our travel programs affordable and accessible for all students while ensuring a high quality global education experience. While the costs of travel around the world have been rising steadily over the past several years, all of our trips are subsidized, and thanks to the generosity of many we are able to provide robust financial aid for qualifying students.


Helpful links

2023 Preliminary Itinerary

*This itinerary is subject to change

May 29-30: Travel from NE/NY based airport to Marseille 

May 31: Transfer from Marseille to Arles

  • Meet host families
  • Program orientation, walking tour of Arles, ice breaker activities
  • Dinner with host families

***This portion of the trip will be unplugged***

June 1 – June 18: Arles Homestay 

  • 18 Day homestay in Arles
  • Morning language classes with Arles a la carte Language School
  • Afternoon explorations of Arles and surrounding sites such as Palais des Papes in Avignon and the Camargue region

June 18 – 20: Marseille

  • Chateau d’If Exploration
  • Cote d’Azur

June 21 – 26: Paris

  • Musée D’Orsay
  • Le Louvre
  • Eiffel Tower
  • A boat ride down the Seine at night
  • Dining, shopping, and ample time to study the beauty and architecture of the “City of Light”

June 26: Travel from Paris to NE/NY based airport **

** Families are responsible for transportation from a U.S. based airport to the student’s destination for the remainder of  the summer.