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The South of's that beautiful and amazing.  

Immerse yourself in French culture in Montpellier, a 1,000 year-old city located in the Languedoc region of temperate and friendly southern France that has long been a crossroads for European, Mediterranean and North African culture and civilizations. You will spend a semester studying French language, culture, civilization, and social issues at the Institut Méditerranéen de Langues/Services (IMLS).  Courses in French language are taught at five different levels, from beginning  to advanced. Beginning Arabic Language and Culture with a Euro-Mediterranean Focus is also offered along with fun elective workshops on French wine and Cuisine and the IPSL service learning courses.

In addition to your studies, you live with a French family, serve 15 hours per week in a local agency, and explore the region through excursions. Your volunteer service immerses you in the culture and deepens your understanding of French society in a way that goes beyond that experienced in traditional study abroad programs. It also facilitates your mastery of French.

Bustling with French and international students, the young and dynamic university city of Montpellier has a historic inner medieval center, modern businesses and shopping, and a typical central plaza with theatres and sidewalk cafés where much of the life of the city takes place. In the area nearby are Neolithic sites, Roman settlements, walled medieval towns, the beaches of the Mediterranean, the Pyrenees and the ecological and wildlife treasure known as the Camargue. Montpellier is a short trip to Barcelona and the gateway to Spain. Because of its proximity to North Africa, Montpellier is home to many peoples of Arabic origin. Part of the IPSL program is to understand the diverse populations and cultures of this region. 

Program Highlights

Language of Instruction: French and English

Affiliated Institution:  Institut Méditerranéen de Langues/Services (IMLS)

Courses and Credits - Semester
  • French Language (Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced) | Credits: 3

  • Beginning Arabic Language and Culture  | Credits: 3

  • Institutions in French Society (plus tutorial and service) | Credits: 3

  • IPSL Service-Learning Reflections and Practicum (On-Line) | Credits: 3

  • Euro - Mediterranean Studies Seminar | Credits: 3

  • ELECTIVE: Discovery of French Culture: French Cuisine | Credits: 1

  • ELECTIVE: Discovery of Mediterranean Studies: Wine| Credits: 1

Courses and Credits - Summer (sessions I - IV)
  • French Language (Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced) | Credits: 3

  • Institutions in French Society (plus tutorial and service) | Credits: 3


Courses and Credits - Summer (session V))
  • French Language (Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced) | Credits: 15

  • Institutions in French Society (plus tutorial and service) | Credits: 3

Service Opportunities
  • serve as an aid or tutor for disabled persons

  • assist in education or recreation at a rehabilitation center for children

  • tutor high school students in English

  • work at Pharmacie Humanitaire Internationale

  • assist in a center providing social services for the underprivileged

  • stock, sort, and redistribute food at a food bank

  • work with specialists in psychiatry and social care in a social rehabilitation center

  • work with an occupational therapist at a retirement home And More...


Students will live in a homestay with a French family who lives in Montpellier. Bedrooms can be either single or double-occupancy and shared with another same-sex family member or other student.  Partial board is included. An integral part of the program, the homestay offers you the opportunity to make life-long friends, gain higher proficiency in the language, and experience the culture from "the inside." All IPSL host families are carefully selected and experienced with hosting students.  Living with local residents is part of the immersion experience. Instead of being a tourist, an IPSL student gets to know what it's like to be part of a different culture.


  • We're really nice and support you in your journey!

  • We're the most experienced group in the field of International Service-Learning

  • You can make a real difference to people in need

  • You can FINALLY learn that language

  • You can dive deep into another culture!

  • To support our service organizations in a SUSTAINABLE way

  • GROW - expand your horizons and challenge your assumptions!

Program Director:  Ms. Veronique Martin


The program welcomes students of any nation who have a high school diploma or equivalent credential. TOEFL equivalent 550. Applicants should have a minimum of 2 years of high school French or one year of college French.

What's Included

Tuition and academic fees; academic transcript; on-site and on-line orientation and pre-departure materials; homestay housing and two meals per day (breakfast and dinner); service placement and supervision; pick-up at airport or train station upon arrival; partial local transportation stipend; health insurance; some academic excursions.

What's NOT Included

Passport; visa (if you wish to stay beyond the program end date);  international airfare; books; drop off at airport or train station upon departure;  additional local transportation; some meals; local cell phone; independent travel; optional excursions and one credit electives; and personal spending money.

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