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 a 19-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, 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.