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The Abbey Program
Set in the heart of France's beautiful Loire Valley, The Abbey's ancient campus will welcome you and change your life. A resident campus with its own chapel and historic gardens, The Abbey is a new school of thought in global learning.
Prior knowledge of French is not necessary. All courses are taught in English (with the exception of French language classes). It is highly recommended to take a French language course while at the Abbey.
Courses at the Abbey are taught by instructors from a variety of US universities. All courses other than French language courses are taught in English.
Students must enroll in a full academic load between 12 and 18 hours. Field studies, regular essays, lectures, films, discussions, independent research and travel are all critical components of the curriculum.The Location
Pontlevoy is located less than two hours from Paris by train! Students on this program have easy access to Paris including all of the cultural and historical grandeur the city has to offer. The Abbey Program is set in the Loire Valley, a region boasting beautiful vineywards and spectacular chateaux. The region long served as a refuge for the French aristocracy and its royal families. More recently, the Loire Valley has become France's most popular summer travel destination. The Abbey is located in the very heart of the region, less than 30 kilometers from the three great chateaux of the valley.
Housing and Meals
All students are housed at The Abbey, the beautiful campus in Pontlevoy. Students share triple rooms.The cost of the program includes tuition, fees, housing, a week of living and learning in Paris, a week-end visiting the Normandy beaches, lunch at the Abbey Monday - Friday, academic travel, and required museum visits. The cost of the program does not include international airfare, any student visa fees, additional meals, personal expense and personal travel (two-week mid-term travel break and week-ends). For all additional meals students may prepare meals in the fully-equipped kitchens on the program site or purchase meals off campus.
The Community Service Learning Program gives students multiple opportunities to embrace the dynamics of service learning as they adjust to being in a new culture and learn to see their own citizenship in increasingly global and sophisticated terms. The Abbey's Service Learning challenges may include the following: landscape and gardening projects at The Abbey, sports and language instruction given to elementary school children, and English language tutoring, among other options. The Community Service Learning Program creates a gateway to the community of Pontlevoy. Through this program, you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in village life.
The Ambassador Series and its weekly events will bring students in contact with cultural events, artistic trends and social movements active in the European Union. Held on The Abbey campus and in neighboring towns, the series will build bridges between The Abbey community and its European neighbors. Topics and themes will change each semester based on recommendations and programming choices made by Abbey students, staff and faculty.
In addition to ample time and opportunity for independent weekend and Spring Break travel, Abbey students will also have the chance to join the program's faculty and staff for supplemental travel in conjunction with The Abbey Tour de France. Excursions are organized most weekends, on either Friday or Saturday, so that students who choose to remain at The Abbey for weekends can still get out and explore their French neighborhood. The daytrips offered most weekends will visit castles close to The Abbey, as well as some of the more enchanting towns and cities of the Loire Valley. Past destinations have included Blois, Tours, Loche, Angers and Orleans. Tour de France daytrips typically cost students no more than 20 euros each trip and include transportation, museum entries and faculty-led visits.
The Abbey will also offer students the following full-weekend trips at a supplemental price of 200 euros per weekend:
1) Chamonix and the French Alps: Come the second weekend of The Abbey Program to where the Winter Olympics have been held on three occasions. Stay in the heart of the French Alps - where Mont Blanc towers over the village of Chamonix as Europe's tallest mountain - and try snowboarding or alpine skiing in a setting that draws mountain enthusiasts from all around the world. Your trip will include roundtrip transportation, hostel housing for three nights, ski or board equipment, ski or board lessons, a traditional fondu dinner and a lift ticket for one day.
2) London Calling! Come for two days following Paris Week and Normandy to the city that has historically been called the financial and theater capital of the world. Travel across the English Channel on a ferry and then prepare for two incredible days and nights as only London can allow. Your trip will include transportation, housing, a welcome party at a traditional English pub, theatre tickets to one of four shows, dinner in a historic cellar that was a hiding place during the Nazi blitz of the city in 1941, and faculty-led museum visits to the greatest art, natural history and history repositories in the world.
3) Provence and the French Riviera: Avignon and Nice: Come the last weekend of the program before finals to the lavender fields of southern France to Provence, where you will experience the stunning natural beauty of a place that was ancient Rome's outpost in France almost 200 years ago. You will also see where the Pope came to live many centuries ago, when the papacy left Rome. And of course you will see and enjoy the greatest beachfront in the world in Nice, where the rich and leisured have come to vacation for centuries. Your trip will include transportation, housing, faculty-led visits in Avignon and Nice, and a dinner Nicoise style.
For more information on The Abbey program, and to view The Abbey photos and videos, visit http://theabbeyprogram.org.
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