Study Abroad in Grenoble: Academics

French Language and Culture Program

This program is based at one of the leading universities in France and is for students with at least one recent year of college French. Courses are taught at the Centre Universitaire d’Etudes Françaises (CUEF) at the University of Grenoble School of Languages and Letters.

The program concentrates on French language and culture and offers courses, taught in both English and French, in art history, business administration, economics, history, literature and political science, plus French language.


This program is open to students with a 2.5 or higher GPA who have had one (recent) year of French at the college level. To ensure students derive maximum benefit from their stay in Grenoble, the University of Grenoble stipulates that students must enroll in a French language course. Under no circumstances may a student withdraw from this course.

The level of the French language course is established by placement test taken on arrival in Grenoble. Once the semester has begun, a student has one week to change levels if the French professor and Resident Director deem this appropriate.

At the CUEF, AIFS and other foreign students are not in class with French nationals.


Attendance is required. In accordance with University of Grenoble regulations, students absent from classes without prior authorization may not be eligible to take exams or may be awarded lower or failing grades. Total hours attended in language classes are recorded on the University transcript in addition to the average of continual assessment grades awarded during the semester. Students should be prepared to adapt to different teaching methods, library facilities and academic environment from that which they have previously experienced.


Classes meet 14 weeks each semester with a final exam week. Class sessions are 60 minutes.


No AIFS participant is permitted to take a course without receiving a letter grade. Pass/Fail grade options are not available.

The system used at all levels of education in France is based on a scale of 20. Exceptional students usually earn between 14 and 16, while grades of 17 and above are rare. A grade of 12 or 13 is good; an average of 10 represents work that merits promotion or the conferral of a diploma. Grading is usually more competitive than in the U.S. At the University, the interpretation of the French 0-20 scale in terms of U.S. grading standards, is as follows:

  French U.S.
  16-20 A
  15 A-
  14 B+
  13 B
  12 B-
  11 C+
  10 C
  9 C-
  8 F

No “D” grade is recorded on the University of Grenoble transcript.

Student advising

The Resident Director provides advice on academic, cultural and local life. She also serves as a liaison between the University, host families and local administrations.


Transcripts are issued by the University of Grenoble (including English translation) for all courses taken. It details courses, class hours and grades, but does not indicate the recommended units of credit published in this catalog. The home institution must approve the amount of credit to transfer.

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