Penn Summer COVID-19 Update
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Tours, France

Because of COVID-19, the expanded travel restrictions aimed at containing the virus, and the general uncertainty regarding timelines for the lifting of travel restrictions, the School of Arts and Sciences suspended all Penn Summer Abroad programs during the summer of 2020. A decision regarding 2021 abroad programs should be available in January 2021.
Summer Abroad - Tours, France

Enjoy all that France's exquisite Loire Valley has to offer as you immerse yourself in French language and culture during this six-week intensive program. Dive into France's rich history and modern society while being surrounded by some of Europe's most breathtaking locations. All courses are taught in French and offer University of Pennsylvania course credits. The program begins in Paris and includes group excursions to cultural sites. You live with a French family to enhance your linguistic skills and cultural understanding.

Early admission deadline

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Rolling admissions continue until the program reaches capacity

Final application deadline

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Join us for an information session to learn more about the program:

Wednesday, November 204-5 p.m.COLL 318
Thursday, December 55-6 p.m.WILL 319
Wednesday, May 20, 2020 Recommended arrival in Paris
Wednesday, May 20, 2020 Program housing first available in Paris
Thursday, May 21, 2020 Program housing first available in Tours
Friday, May 22, 2020 On-site orientation
Monday, May 25, 2020 Classes start
Friday, June 26, 2020 Classes end
Saturday, June 27, 2020 Program housing last checkout date

All students register for a total of two course units (c.u.)*. Course offerings are subject to change. Course registration is completed by the Penn Summer Abroad office for students who confirm their intent to enroll and submit the required pre-departure documents.

Intensive Intermediate French

FREN 134 (2 c.u.)

  • Taught by Pascal Rollet
  • Fulfills the language Requirement in French
  • Prerequisite: French 120, 121 or placement test

French 134 covers the equivalent of 130 and 140 at Penn. This course is also open to students who have completed third-semester French or its equivalent at Penn (French 130). Students who have completed French 130 receive credit for 140 and one free elective at the advanced level. The course stresses the development of functional proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing, combined with a systematic review of grammar. It includes a strong focus on French culture, in particular, contemporary France with a special emphasis on youth culture. The class meets five days a week from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Out-of-class activities are regularly integrated into classroom assignments. The course cannot be taken pass/fail.

Le cours à emporter (Take-away course)

FREN 216 (1 c.u.)

  • Taught by Mélanie Péron
  • Prerequisite: French 140+

The Take-Away Course is a third-year-level course designed to help students become autonomous learners of the language. Through the writing project entitled “Don’t Write on Walls,” you learn to decipher a new environment and become an active participant in the linguistic and cultural learning process. As part of the course, you have the opportunity to attend a day-long workshop with the writer François Bon. Class meets for a total of six hours per week.

Paysages politiques et culturels de la France aujourd’hui (Contemporary France through the Media)

FREN 224 / FREN 312 (1 c.u.)

  • Taught by Emmanuel Cohen
  • Prerequisite: French 140+
  • Fulfills General Education Requirement: Cross-cultural Analysis

This course offers a socio-cultural survey of contemporary France through its media. Get acquainted with the daily press, magazines and television—while tracing emerging cultural trends through music, cinema, video, advertising and comics. You also follow recent developments in French society and look into the current cultural forces at work today. This summer, particular attention will be given to current political life in France. Readings and documents introduce new vocabulary in context and provide a better grasp of the changes shaping daily life in France, in 2018. This course may also be taken for 300-level credit (additional work required). Class meets four days a week for a total of six hours per week.

La Fabrique de l’Histoire

FREN 226 (1 c.u.)

  • Taught by Mélanie Péron
  • Prerequisite: French 140+
  • Fulfills Sector Requirement II: History & Tradition

This course introduces students to key chapters of French history from the Gallo-Roman period to the Enlightenment. A lieux de mémoire, which witnessed and still bear the traces of a rich and eventful past, the streets and monuments of Tours—as well as the Loire Valley castles—guide our steps through this historical voyage. The class includes regular outings to historic sites. Class meets for a total of six hours per week.

Students live with French families in order to experience full linguistic and cultural immersion. Housing is prearranged through a local coordinator and all students are asked to complete a host family accommodation form to list any special dietary needs or allergies. Breakfast and dinner are provided by the family.

Tuition and fees are subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and may change without notice.

Please use 2019 costs listed below as general estimates only.

  • Tuition for summer 2019: $8,784
  • Program fee for summer 2019: $2,440
    • Penn Summer Abroad deposits ($500) will be credited to students’ accounts when final program costs are posted
    • Includes administrative costs, homestay accommodations with breakfast and dinner, transportation from Paris to Tours (arrival only), cultural activities and program excursions

Payment is due according to Penn’s Student Registration and Financial Services billing schedule.

Listen to 2018 students being interviewed in the local press after hosting a radio show on radio-campus.

Read about the 2017 program in the news:

Watch a video by the writer François Bon after his writing workshop with our 2018 students.

Watch Jessica Liu and Thomas Wiig talk about their experiences in Tours during the Penn Summer Abroad 2017 program.

Watch videos from students enrolled in French 216.

"6 semaines à Tours" by Angela Vertucci

"Cher Tours, ..." by Florence Boillat


Contact Information

For details about the program, courses, or location including academic advising, travel dates, housing and orientation:

Program Director
Kathryn K. McMahon
University of Pennsylvania
Tel: (215) 898-7440

Program Director
Mélanie Péron
University of Pennsylvania
Tel: (215) 898-7428

For assistance with the application, financial questions, pre-departure or other general information:

Penn Summer Abroad Office

Penn Summer Abroad Office
College of Liberal and Professional Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Fisher-Bennett Hall, Room 101
3340 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19104-3335
Tel: (215) 898-7326

*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.