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Angers, France

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Angers lies in the heart of the Loire Valley, an hour and half from Paris by high-speed rail and an hour’s drive from LeMans, the founding site of the Holy Cross Congregation. With the sixteenth largest population of France, Angers is the capital of Anjou, a famous wine producing region. The university town offers a great diversity of cultural activities: a 13th century castle, numerous museums, film festivals, theatres and music. Students are enrolled in courses at the Université Catholique de l’Ouest for the fall, spring or full year.

Program of Study

Students enroll in courses at the Université Catholique de l’Ouest (UCO) for the fall, spring, full academic year, or the four week summer session.

Students who have previously taken French and want to immerse themselves in the French language take courses at UCO's Institute of French as a Foreign Language, CIDEF. Students enroll in language courses and, depending on level, one or two content courses toward their SMC degree. The fall semester and the full year program start with a language intensive period to immerse oneself in the language. Students with advanced language skills may take courses in the regular curriculum at UCO. Language classes will normally apply toward a French major or minor.


Students are housed with local families in a homestay. All homestays are located an easy transportation distance from the college. There is a public tram and bicycles are provided to city residents.

Transportation, Cost, and Financial Aid

Students provide their own round-trip transportation to France, as well as within Europe. An international student ID card (ICIS) will make you eligible for discount rates on French trains. Eurail passes, for periods of unlimited train travel in a number of European countries, may be purchased in the U.S. prior to departure. Financial aid from Saint Mary's will be applied to your semester or year in France, but not the summer session. The current semester cost of the Angers program, payable to Saint Mary's, is the equivalent to current Saint Mary's tuition, room, and board. These figures include tuition, housing, meals and three day trips provided by the Université Catholique de l’Ouest to various locations in the Loire Valley.

Eligibility and Requirements

Saint Mary's students wishing to spend a year or a semester in Anger must have a minimum 2.5 GPA as well as at least a B average in French at the time of their application. Admission to the program is finalized through UCO. The student will need a letter of recommendation from her French professor to assess language level. It is expected that the student will be in good disciplinary standing at the College and exhibit the emotional maturity and openness to new experiences that make her a suitable representative of Saint Mary's College while abroad.

For more information, contact:

Jill Vihtelic
Chair, Department of Global Studies
Professor of Business Administration
Faculty Coordinator of Study Abroad Programs
(574) 284-4173
vihtelic [at] saintmarys [dot] edu

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