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Accès Semester in France

Offered Fall and Spring Semesters

Ideal for French minors and Global Studies majors with concentration in French language. Classes are taught in French.


Accès Study Abroad is based at the University of Strasbourg, midway between Paris and Munich. Home to the European parliament, the European Court of Human Rights and the largest university in France. Strasbourg is a bustling city with a small-town feel. Students are encouraged to participate in at least one regular immersion activity throughout the semester, such as volunteering to tutor children at a centre socio-cultural, participating in the Model UN, joining a sports team, singing in a choir, etc.


  • Religion in Contemporary France (2 required credits) fulfills COR 375. Students will take COR 374 the semester prior to departure with an SAU professor.
  • French language courses (6-13 credits) (required). French language classes are provided by the Institut International d’Études Françaises (IIEF) with the University of Strasbourg. Students are placed in one of six levels based on a French language test taken upon arrival. Within each level, students may take a French language intensive language block (6 credits) and a variety of culture classes (one credit each) such as French literature, French politics, applied language, art history, phonetics, etc. Students with sufficient French can take courses for credit at the main Faculté des Lettres et Sciences Humaines with French students.
  • Service learning (2 elective credits). Working with local NGO’s, students have the opportunity to help with refugees in the Strasbourg area.
  • Internships – students with advanced French language skills may apply in advance of the semester to have part-time internships and/or practicums at associations, NGO’s, and government agencies.


The Accès program provides a library and Internet access to students. All Accès students live with local host families within walking distance of the University of Strasbourg. A local cell phone will be provided (pre-loaded with minutes at student expense) for use during the semester. Wi-Fi is available in all host homes.  Strasbourg is the most bike-friendly city in France, and bicycles and helmets will be available to all students. Strasbourg also has a good tram system.

The Accès Directors, Dr. Alex and Andrea Neff, are American Christians who have lived in France for many years. Dr. Alex has been recognized and honored for many of his publications. As a small program, the directors are personally involved with each student and the group of Accès students becomes a close-knit community each semester.

Strasbourg, France is everything you could dream France to be. With little cobblestone roads, bakeries on every corner, and the most beautiful architecture, it is impossible to walk through the city without falling in love. Strasbourg will teach you French, how to be slow, and how to breathe and enjoy. My French has improved so much, and my character has softened from wandering the streets eating croissants. This semester abroad is worth every penny, meeting, and nerves. Take the leap and do it!

Hannah Gilliam

Living and studying in Strasbourg, France has been an incredibly formative experience. Home to cobblestone streets, colorful Alsatian buildings, and quaint bridges, Strasbourg is a city with a small town feel, a place where culture is right outside your window. Living with my hospitable, young-spirited host mom has been one of the parts I cherish most about being in France. Our daily conversation and laughter continues to grow in me an appreciation for the cultural emphasis on conversation and spending time together, sometimes over a 4 hour meal! Both living with a host family and taking classes taught all in French have challenged me in patience and humility as I slowly improve in speaking and experience differences in the culture. In my time here, I have been able to take a couple cooking classes, learn the accordion, hike in the nearby Vosges mountains, see other parts of France such as Normandy and Paris, venture to nearby Germany and Switzerland, and try strange foods like pig’s foot and mussels. One of the coolest aspects of living in another country is tangibly witnessing that the same God who we worship at Spring Arbor moves in the lives of people on a different continent. I was blessed to have found a church and Bible study in Strasbourg where I worshiped with other Christians in a different language, and that in and of itself gave me a profound awe for how big a God we serve.

Sarah Dean
Valley view of the Abbey of Murbach, a Benedictine monastery in southern Alsace, France

Travel Information

Health & Safety

This experience, like all CCS experiences, is subject to political and safety realities at the time of departure. CCS options can be physically and emotionally intense and stretching. Before enrolling, all participants should consult the disclosures on Physical Hardships of CCS.

Covid shots are not required by France for entry as of December 2022. For more details on required immunizations consult the immunizations chart.

Trip Costs

SAU institutional aid (such as academic scholarships) does not apply to the Accès France Semester. SAU students can apply for the SOCSOF grant or use their university discount (if eligible). The Gilman Scholarship may also help fund the experience for students who are US citizens and Pell grant recipients. Please see the CCS office for program cost details.

NOTE: Students who are Pell Grant recipients and U.S. citizens may apply for the Gilman Scholarship (up to $5,000). Attend a Gilman workshop with the CCS Director to learn how to apply for the scholarship.

To learn your next steps toward participating in this program, attend an International Semester workshop to get an application for important details in your planning.

Passport and immunizations required (both at additional cost); visa required.

CCS program costs do not include: tuition, passport, immunizations, or the $150 study away fee.

Accès program costs do not include: international airfare, personal travel, books, cell phone use, French visa and social security charges (approx $325), and/or laundry expenses.

CCS trips are not guaranteed and are subject to change.