Study Abroad in Grenoble, French Alps, France

Study Abroad in Grenoble, French Alps: Courses

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Courses at the CUEF
French Language and Culture Program

All students take a French language course. The appropriate level of French is determined by a placement test taken after arrival in Grenoble. Both the French language courses and electives taught in French are open to all students at the CUEF.

French Language Courses (Required)

For this program, the CUEF offers 3 levels of language in accordance with the Council of Europe definitions:

French 201Intermediate(B1)
French 301Advanced(B2 – C1)
French 401Superior(C1)

French Language Courses (Required)

French 201 (8) | Intermediate French Language (Travaux Pratiques: Intermédiaire)

For students with at least one year of recent college French. Vocabulary, grammar, composition, phonetics and techniques of written expression. Meets 10 hours per week.

French 301 (4) | Advanced French Language (Travaux Pratiques: Avancé )

This cours pratique supérieur meets 6 hours weekly. Emphasis is on perfecting techniques already learned and acquiring more sophisticated written and spoken style. Phonetics work included.

French 401 (15) | University Level/Advanced French Language (Travaux Pratiques: Universitaire)

For advanced French majors who have completed at least three years of college French language. The course includes phonetics, linguistics and advanced grammar.


In addition to language study, students are required to take a minimum of two CUEF electives (see CUEF elective options) and may request to take a class with French students offered through Université Grenoble Alpes (please check with AIFS Admissions officer for possible course options). Admission is contingent on a placement test taken on arrival in Grenoble.

Elective Courses Taught in French at the CUEF

Your choice of electives taught in French is determined by your level of French:

  • Students who place into French 201 (Intermediate) may only take 200 level courses taught in French as well as Economics 301-302 (Le Monde des Affaires), Fine Arts 303-304 (French Cinema), Fine Arts 311-312 (History of Art) and History 311-312 (French History).
  • Students who place into French 301 can only take 300 level electives taught in French.

Elective Courses Taught in French

French 203 (2) | Translation from English to French / Traduction d’Anglais en Français

Translation from English to French Traduction d’Anglais en Français

French 210 (2) | French Vocabulary Enrichment / Vocabulaire et Langue Française

This course is designed to expand and enrich students’ understanding of the French language through the study of vocabulary: origins of words, metaphors, synonyms and homonyms. Class meets 2 hours per week and complements French 201; offered at the same time as French 203.

French 303 (2) | Translation from English to French / Traduction d’Anglais en Français

An advanced translation course concentrating on translations from English to French from a variety of sources (press, novel extracts and visual documents). It meets 2 hours a week and is designed to complement French 301.

French 304 (2) | Written and Oral Expression / Techniques d’Expression Orale et Ecrite

Techniques of written expression teach the skills needed to write a comprehensive essay in French, while techniques of oral expression allow students to improve their presentation skills in French. Organization of work, vocabulary, style and mastery of tenses. Complements French 301. Prepares students for the DELF exams. Meets 2 hours a week. Separate grades are given for oral and written work on transcript.

French 310 (2) | French Vocabulary Enrichment / Vocabulaire et Langue Française

This course is designed to expand and enrich students’ understanding of the French language through the study of vocabulary: origins of words, metaphors, synonyms and homonyms. Class meets 2 hours per week and complements French 301 and 304. It is offered at the same time as French 303.

Econ 201-202/Pol Sci 201-202 (1.5) | Economic and Political Life in Modern France / Vie Politique et Economique de la France Contemporaine

After surveying the evolution of the French Republic, concentration is on issues pertinent to a sound understanding of contemporary French society. Subjects include institutions of the Fifth Republic, May 1968, the Socialist years and the economy (regional development, state aid and employment).

Econ 301-302/Pol Sci 301-302 (1.5) | French Economic and Business Environment / Le Monde des Affaires et Environnement Economique

The course draws on, and is supported by, current events, economic data, case studies and the press to show how French companies operate in an evolving global market. Subjects covered include political influence (local, national and international), working practices and conditions, legal requirements, the power of private enterprise etc.

Fine Arts 303-304 (1.5) | xxHistory of French Cinema / Histoire du Cinéma Françaisx

Introduction to French cinema by concentrating on a chosen theme, director, actor or actress. Students view films showing the range of work of a particular director, actor or actress.

Fine Arts 311-312 (1.5) | History of Art in France / Initiation à l’Art Français

Movements and individual artists tracing the development of painting, French architecture and sculpture during the 19th and 20th centuries.

French 205-206 (1.5) | French and Francophone Literature / Littérature Française et Francophone

For students in French 201. Students read and discuss two or more novels per semester, in addition to studying examples of French poetry, drama and short stories. Students are introduced, via extracts, to the work of writers in other Frenchspeaking countries.

French 215-216 (1.5) | French Culture and Society / Culture et Société

Educational experience, the media, culinary habits, beliefs and superstitions, immigration and its social ramifications, leisure, women’s issues, professional training and differences between Paris and the provinces are discussed.

French 305-306 (1.5) | Contemporary French Literature / Littérature Française Contemporaine

For students enrolled in French 301, this course covers major developments in contemporary French literature (two novels plus extracts from major writers are read per semester). Poetry and drama are also discussed.

History 311 (1.5) fall only | French History from 1789-1914 / Histoire de la France de 1789 à 1914

Major social, political and economic developments in France from the French Revolution to the outbreak of World War I. Intermediate students may ask permission to take the course.

History 312 (1.5) spring only | French History from 1914 to the Present / Histoire de la France de 1914 à nos jours

Major historical events from 1914 to the present. Analysis of political, economic, social forces and institutions and their development. Intermediate students may ask permission to take the course.

Courses Taught in English and Exclusive to AIFS Students

Business Administration 301 (3) spring only | European Business Environment

The impact of the single market on the economic, social, political and legal environment of European business. The role of the European economic community, multinational companies, banking and finance, foreign exchange regulations, European marketing and the European consumer.

History 305 (3) | Franco-American Relations

This course traces the history of the close intellectual and political relationship between France and the U.S. from American Independence to the present.

Political Science 325 (3) fall only | The European Union

The development of unity within western Europe from 1945 to the present. Topics are: the historical context of union, the organization and functioning of existing institutions, the policymaking process with reference to key areas of commercial and economic cooperation and implications of the 1991 Maastricht Treaty. Questions about the type of unity Europeans want and possibility for further enlargement.

Political Science 330 (3) spring only | International Institutions

Dynamics of leading international organizations—origins, politics, structures and impact—focusing on the United Nations, OPEC, the International Atomic Energy Agency, international human rights and the European communities. Critical analysis of principal problems of public international institutions, reform movements and future directions of international institutions.

Sociology 360 (3) | Multiculturalism and Modern France

This course concentrates on the multiculturalism of modern France, studying the historical background and contemporary reality of the various components of French society today. The example of Grenoble will be taken as an illustration of how different nationalities arrived in France at different times, and how a city has evolved with these changes.