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Dijon Study Group

Director Spring 2018: Professor John Naughton, Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures

The Dijon Study Group was established by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures in 1966 with the specific purpose of giving students the opportunity to develop proficiency in the French language and to acquire a thorough knowledge of French culture in the broadest sense of the term through extended residence and study in France. These departmental goals are in harmony with Colgate’s liberal arts philosophy and curriculum, which stress second language literacy and the need for knowledge of cultures other than one’s own.

This study group has not been designated to satisfy the Core Global Engagements requirement. Students will need to meet the Global Engagement requirement by enrolling in a designated course offered at Colgate University.

Required courses

Students will choose four courses from the following list. Course choices will be made in consultation with the director and will depend on the student’s level of preparation before leaving for Dijon.

FREN 200: Intermediate French: An introduction to France’s commercial and economic life with an emphasis on the acquisition of practical and business related vocabulary.

FREN 300: Advanced French: A review of basic grammar with an emphasis on developing writing and reading skills.

FREN 352: Introduction to French Literature II: Birth of the Modern This course studies short texts by major French authors of the 18th and 19th centuries.

FREN 440: Contemporary French Civilization:
The course focuses on recent French history; the political system; the place of France in the European community; the place of women and minorities in France; the system of social security; the family. This course does not count toward the French major. This course is pending GE approval.

FREN 401: Stylists: The course has three components: translation from French into English (thème); from English into French (version); problems of translation and aspects of contemporary French. Does not count toward the major, except for students doing the teaching internships. Teaching interns may count the course toward the major, but not toward a category requirement.

FREN 441: Readings in French Poetry I - Taught by the director
This course focuses on some of the major poets of the 19th century, by studying their work in the context of the greater political, social and historical events of the time. Readings concentrate on representative texts of the following poets: Victor Hugo, Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud, and Paul Verlaine. Counts toward the major (Category II).

FREN 469: Masterpieces of French Literature: taught by faculty from Dijon, in two modalities: a) an examination of the representation of Paris in French Literature from the 17th to the 20th Century; b) theater and theatrical presentations in contemporary France. Students will go to see performances of the plays studied in class; counts toward the major (Category I).

FREN 292: Teaching Internship: A teaching internship where students are teaching assistants in English at a lycée or collège (junior high school); the course does not count toward the major.

Courses at the University of Burgundy which are all Colgate equivalent courses. Elective courses will not count toward the major.

Special Features

Students outside palaceOne of the most important components of the program is an obligatory January period, devoted to orientation, acculturation, and intensive language practice. It is designed to prepare the student to function well within both the social and academic context. It is comprised of two parts: first, a two-day stay in the town of Troyes before arrival in Dijon, where the students get a chance to recover from their trip and get accustomed to life in a French town. Second, a week-long program in Dijon, organized by the director and staff at the University of Burgundy, and which includes, but is not limited to, an introduction to the French educational system and the Dijon campus, conversation practice, and visits to places of local interest.

The program includes three mandatory field trips and usually three day excursions in which students are required to participate. The mandatory field trips include a weekend in Paris, a trip to the Loire Valley to visit some of the most important châteaux of the Renaissance, and a trip to the South of France to visit the Roman ruins of Nîmes and Arles as well as the Pope’s palace in Avignon. The day trips may include Vézelay, the Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay, Cluny, as well as a tour of the city of Beaune with visits to the Hospices, the Wine Museum, and a local winery.

Living Arrangements

All students are housed with families, many of whom have been welcoming Colgate students for several years. This aspect of the program is at least as important as the academic program and perhaps more so in terms of linguistic progress and cultural awareness. Students may not live together in apartments. Families provide students with breakfast and at least two evening meals per week.

Prerequisites and Selection Criteria

All students who will have completed French courses up to and including French 201 by January 2018 may apply.  The program is open to sophomores and juniors, as well as to some seniors who wish to apply. We will accept all well-qualified students regardless of major.  Although the Department does not require a specific cumulative G.P.A. to be eligible to participate in the Group, it is reluctant to consider anyone whose G.P.A. is below 2.5.  Although no letters of recommendation are required, references that can attest to the student’s flexibility, adaptability, and emotional maturity must be listed in the application.


For details of student expenses on this study group, please see Student Cost Estimate Sheets.

Calendar and Deadlines

The deadline for applications to the Spring 2018 Dijon Study Group is Friday, November 4, 2016.   Applications are on Colgate University Off-Campus Study/International Programs study groups’ websites and are submitted online.  Student notification of selections will take place late December 2016. 

Departure from one of the New York City area airports will be during the third week of January.  There is a one-week break toward the end of February, and a two-week break at mid-term (in April). Students are, or course, free to travel during these breaks.  The program finishes at the end of May. The dates will vary according to the French academic calendar. The director will make travel arrangements on a group flight to and from France. Students wishing to make their own travel arrangements should consult with the director.

Passports and Visas

You must confirm that your passport is valid through December 2018.  All students participating on the Dijon Study Group will be required to obtain French long-stay student visas.  With participation on this study group comes the responsibility of understanding and complying with French government visa requirements.  If you will not be traveling on a U.S. passport it is imperative that you contact an adviser in Off-Campus Study/International Programs, 101 McGregory, and International Services, 103C Lathrop, to learn as much as you can about the regulations.  For some students there are significant visa requirements to be met that take time, advance planning, and incur extra costs.  

Program Dates

Dijon Study Group Program approximate dates: mid-January through the end of May 2018.

Informational Sessions

The Dijon Informational Meeting will be held Tuesday, Oct. 18th at 11:30 in Lawrence 205. Students from last year's group will be there to make a power point presentation and to answer questions.

More Information

General Information