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USAC Studies in Pau

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Summer


Pau, France




- Good academic and disciplinary standing

- Minimum 2.5 GPA

Application Due:

9/24 for spring
3/1 for fall
3/4 for summer
Late applicants are accepted on a space-available basis.

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

Study in Pau, France

students looking at a French dictionary

Studying French


This group program offers students the opportunity to concentrate on language development through intensive study at the Institute of French Studies of the University of Pau. Students complete 15-18 credit hours in a semester, 12 of which are intensive language study. The other elective course(s) are designed specifically for the USAC group and taught in English or French, under the topics of civilization, art history, business/economics, and literature. For students with advanced proficiency, Institute classes with other international students are available. Several group excursions and an optional one-week tour in Paris provide enrichment but earn no additional academic credit.

For intensive language studies, students can start at any level and continue progressing through the levels throughout the semester. So if they have, for example, completed or are currently in First Year 1, they would sign up for First Year 2, Second Year 1, and Second Year 2 (and conversation + at least 1 elective).


This program offers French language study at four different levels—including beginner—and is supplemented by field trips and attendance at local festivals, as well as an optional one-week tour to Paris. Maximum benefit is derived by participating in the nine-week double session designed to cover the material of one year of college French in one summer.

The program is administered by the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) of which the University of Iowa is a member and enrolls approximately 50 students from many U.S. colleges and universities.

Academic Program

student in a cafe

UI students earn resident credit for this program. Please review course options for future terms with an academic advisor to determine applicability to your degree program.


Students enroll in a sequence of three or four language classes at their particular level, allowing them to complete three or more semesters of college French in one semester. A supplementary conversation class is required. In addition, students take one or two electives, taught in French or English, in economics, art history, literature, or cinema. All courses are taught exclusively for program participants by local faculty, with the exception of one or two courses offered each semester by a visiting U.S. faculty member from one of the USAC consortium institutions.

Courses may be offered to fulfill the following General Education Requirements:

  • World Languages
  • Historical Perspectives
  • Literary/Visual/Performing Arts

With department approval, courses can be applied towards requirements for the French major or minor, the International Business Certificate, or other majors as appropriate.

Spring semester internships

Qualified students may apply for internships in the Spring semester. Internships are designed to complement the academic program. The schedule and number of work hours will be determined by the schedule of USAC courses. Students will be working in an authentic local environment with exposure to the French language. Interns receive up to three credits but no financial compensation.

If interested, you will apply after you have been accepted into the program; consult the Internship Opportunities and Application document on Student Gateway for more information. A refundable fee of $100 is charged and returned upon successful completion of the internship. Requirements are:

  • enrollment in the Pau program
  • minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • advanced level of oral and written French
  • junior standing at time of program attendance

More information can be found here: Pau internships.


Language courses are intensive, with students following prescribed classes in language or language and conversation depending on the level in which they place by examination upon arrival. Students can supplement their core language study with 1 s.h. classes touching upon history, art, culture, civilization, and cinema. Students with one year of college French can satisfy the Gen-Ed Requirement in Foreign Language by participating in the full two session program. Advanced level credit is applicable to French major or minor requirements depending on prior department approval.

Cultural Activities

USAC students enjoy the privileges accorded to French students. You are encouraged to participate in local university activities, student clubs, and organizations as a natural way for you to meet French university students. These may include badminton, dance, golf, Basque pelota, tennis, swimming, yoga, handball, basketball, volleyball, rugby, gymnastics, weight lifting, hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, surfing, and spelunking.

Several community organizations in Pau offer courses in drawing, painting, cooking, music, and dance. Information concerning enrollment in these activities is available from the Resident Director on-site. The modest fees for these activities are the responsibility of the student. Other activities listed below.

  • Intern in French companies or organizations (Spring semester only)
  • Volunteer in French schools
  • Participate with local students in many different sports activities offered at the university
  • Ski or hike in the Pyrenees Mountains with local students
  • Interact with French locals in homestays or residence halls
  • Practice French with conversation partners
  • With advanced proficiency, take courses with local students
  • Program Dates

    city center on a winter night

    City center, Pau, France


    Dates closely follow the U.S. academic calendar year — September through December and early January through the end of April


    Note: This program is not available for the Summer 2021 session.

    The program includes a five-week session (May-June) and a four-week session (June-July). Students can earn 4 s.h. - 11 s.h. depending on the session(s).

    For more information

    Steps to Studying Abroad

    1. Before initiating an application with USAC, students must complete a Discover Study Abroad session at the University of Iowa. 
    2. After completing the Discover Abroad session, students must call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 to be assigned to the appropriate study abroad advisor.
    3. Once assigned, students must meet with their study abroad advisor to receive program application instructions.

    Study Abroad
    1111 University Capitol Centre
    Iowa City, IA 52242

    Phone: 319-335-0353

    University of Pau

    University of Pau

    The University of Pau is located in the northern part of the city and enrolls over 10,000 students. USAC participants have student privileges on campus, including access to numerous sports activities including yoga, judo, modern dance, tennis, mountain climbing, canoeing, and much more. It is a spacious campus with sports facilities, two large dining halls, and several residence halls. Three bus lines connect it to the city.


    Pyrenees mountains

    Pau, located in the southwest of France, is a town small enough that you can pretty much walk or bike everywhere and large enough to entertain exploring students and tourists with outdoor cafés, shopping, theaters, and its historic castle. The picturesque Old Quarter from medieval and Renaissance times reminds us that this was the birthplace of Henri IV. On campus, you can see the spectacular Pyrenees Mountains.

    Pau is an ideal place for cultural immersion. It is a bustling provincial capital with little tourist presence, easy access throughout the city, and a multitude of attractions that go along with city living. Located at the foot of the Pyrenees, wilderness scenery and hiking are within easy reach. It also has access to the Atlantic coast; Spain is two hours away.


    For as long as the United States has existed, France has been considered a center of culture within the world and has had a significant impact from contributions to food, art, fashion, and sciences. The largest country in the European Union is also one of the greenest, with stunning natural views and iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Lourve and the Palace of Versailles. The French people are passionate about their country and their way of life. Explore a rich history by visiting classic churches, dive into French cuisine, and enjoy a glass of wine or latte at any of the wonderful French cafes.

    US Department of State Country Information

    The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

    Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

    Living Arrangements

    statue in Pau


    Housing options include boarding with French host families in the city or living in university residence halls next to campus. Once accepted to the program, students will receive more specific housing information.


    Students have the option to live in a homestay or at the university residence halls.

    Homestay families will provide an individual room, daily breakfast, and two dinners a week.

    Residence halls are located next to the campus. Students can eat at the dining commons on campus or make their meals in their studio.

    Both types of housing are included in program fees. All meals are a supplementary cost for students opting for the residence halls. The homestay fee includes daily (continental) breakfast and two dinners per week.


    US Citizens

    If you do not have a passport, it is important that you apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you receive it before the program begins. US citizens can find more information about how to apply for a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

    Important notice for students without a valid passport or whose passport will expire within the next 12 months:

    US citizens can find more information about how to renew a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

    Students without a valid passport should apply for a new passport or a passport renewal as early as possible.

    Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. If your passport is not valid for at least 6 months after your anticipated date of return to the US, you must renew your passport before applying for the visa you will need to enter your host country.

    Expedited processing service is available for US passports (although this still takes several weeks and is at an additional cost). UI Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.

    Non-US Citizens

    Students who are not US citizens should contact Ryan Ourada ( for information on how to ensure that their passport is valid for the duration of their time abroad.


    Students will work with their program provider to make travel arrangements to their program site. The cost of travel is not included in the course fee. UI Study Abroad will not arrange a group flight to your study abroad destination.

    Do not purchase plane tickets until you have received instructions on how to do so from your program provider.

    Local Transportation

    Within your host city and around the country, students will utilize public transportation such as buses and trains. Excursions and general travel require a lot of walking, so bring some comfortable shoes!


    This program is open to University of Iowa students who fulfill the following requirements:

    • Clear interest and commitment- Students must demonstrate a clear academic or personal interest in the program’s subject matter, and a commitment to engage responsibly in coursework abroad.
    • Demonstrated preparedness and maturity- Students must demonstrate preparedness to take on the heightened responsibilities associated with international study and travel. Students must demonstrate a commitment to behave responsibly abroad while respecting cultural differences. Students are expected to obey both local laws and program directives conveyed to participants before and during the program. The University of Iowa Code of Student Life applies to all program participants while abroad.
    • Minimum 2.5 GPA- Students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA to participate in this program. Applications from students who have a GPA below 2.5 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
    • Good academic and disciplinary standing- Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa. Students placed on either academic or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad on a University of Iowa program. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program. Students who are not in good standing at any point overlapping with the program dates will have their acceptance revoked and will be responsible for the associated late withdrawal fees.
    • Sophomore, junior, or senior standing- Applicants must have sophomore, junior, or senior standing by the time the program begins to participate in this program.
    • Approval by USAC and UI Study Abroad- Applications will be reviewed by UI Study Abroad and by USAC Abroad. Students will be accepted based on their review of their application materials.
    • Attendance at mandatory orientation programming- Students must attend all in-person and online pre-departure orientation programming presented by UI Study Abroad and USAC Abroad.
    • 18 years of age- Participants must be at least 18 years of age.


    The cost sheets outline the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. They include fees charged on students’ U-Bill as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

    Costs for future sessions are usually similar to the current session, however students can expect a modest increase in overall costs each session. Final cost sheets for future sessions are typically available early in the semester before the session begins.

    Cost Sheets

    The following cost sheets apply to the Summer 2019 session.

    PDFCost Sheet- USAC - Pau - Summer 2019 Sessions 1 & 2

    PDFCost Sheet- USAC - Pau - Summer 2019 Sessions 1

    PDFCost Sheet- USAC - Pau - Summer 2019 Session 2

    The following cost sheet applies to the Fall 2021 session.

    PDFCost Sheet- USAC - Pau - Fall 2021

    Calculating Fees

    The cost sheets are based on the fees described below:

    Cost sheets do not include the following optional costs:

    Additional Optional Costs Paid to USAC Abroad

    • Single room housing upgrade
    • Optional USAC Field Trips

    Optional fees vary by session, and will be available shortly before the upcoming session.

    Personal Travel Costs

    Costs for personal travel are not included in the cost estimates provided on the cost sheet. If you plan to travel outside of your host city or country during or after your study abroad program, you will need to budget for additional funds to cover the cost of your personal travel.

    Costs charged to the U-Bill

    • Application Fee (charged at the time of application, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Course Fees- Includes program tuition, housing, some meals, USAC health insurance (charged shortly before departure)
    • Study Abroad Fee (charged shortly before departure)
    • CISI Health Insurance (charged shortly before departure)

    Out-of-pocket costs (not charged to U-Bill)

    • Round trip airfare from Cedar Rapids (paid by student directly to travel agent or airline- approx. 6-8 weeks prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Visa and Residence Permit Fee (paid by student prior to departure.
    • Textbooks (paid upon arrival to France)
    • Food, if not living in home stay (paid by student at their discretion while abroad)
    • Cell phone- does not include usage fees (paid as needed while abroad)
    • Local transportation (paid at student’s discretion while abroad)
    • Personal expenses and personal travel (paid by student at their discretion while abroad)
    • Passport (paid by student prior to departure)
    • Medical exam/immunizations (paid by student as needed prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Single room housing upgrade (paid by student as needed to USAC Abroad)
    • Optional USAC Abroad field trips (paid by student as needed to USAC Abroad)

    How to Apply

    • Meet with the appropriate study abroad advisor to discuss your study abroad plans well ahead of the application deadline. Your application will not be approved until you've completed this step. You can set up an appointment by calling UI Study Abroad at 319-335-0353.
    • Meet with your academic advisor to review your program and ensure that it is a good match for your academic and personal goals.
    • If you and your academic advisor agree that the program is a good match for you, complete the UI Study Abroad application.PLEASE NOTE that for Winter 20-21, Spring 2021, Summer 2021, and Fall 2021 study abroad programs, students will not be charged the $50 application fee until travel takes place. If a student chooses to withdraw prior to departure due to COVID-19 concerns, the application fee will not be charged.
    • Create an account in the USAC Portal and complete the online application for your desired program.
    • Complete all of the online sections of the application. Note: The USAC online application takes 1-2 business days to activate. Submit your application 1-2 days before the USAC application deadline to ensure it is received in time to be considered.
    • Your study abroad advisor at Iowa will submit a transcript for you as part of your confirmation process.
    • Upload any additional documents required for your USAC application.
    • Your Study Abroad advisor will complete the Home School Authorization once you have completed the UI application and the USAC application.
    • USAC Abroad will contact you by email to inform you of your acceptance decision within several weeks.



    If you are accepted to your USAC program, you will be asked to commit to participating in your program by submitting the University of Iowa Confirmation of Participation form and the USAC Abroad Intent to Enroll document.

    After you have formally confirmed your plans to participate, you will work with both UI Study Abroad and with USAC Abroad. Follow instructions from both. Later in the semester, your UI Study Abroad advisor will contact you regarding orientation sessions, registration, and other required UI procedures and documentation.

    Application Deadline

    Applications for the Fall and Academic Year are due on March 15.

    Applications for the Spring session are due on September 24.

    Acceptance and Confirmation Materials

    Coming soon.

    Health & Safety Planning

    In addition to submitting their Confirmation of Participation form, students should review the following:

    Study Abroad Resources

    Passports and Visas

    Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

    Students are also encouraged to complete the PDFHealth Preparation Guide for International Travel form with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.

    Scholarships & Financial Aid

    For more information about receiving financial aid while studying abroad, please review the following:UI Financial Aid Information

    You can find more information about options for funding your study abroad experience including scholarships on Undergraduate Scholarships for Study Abroad.

    In addition, take a look at USAC Scholarship website for information about scholarships offered directly through your program provider.


    U.S. passport holders should follow the Visa batch process instructions provided by USAC. Make sure to submit all required documents by the submission deadline. Otherwise you will have to apply for your student visa independently.

    The closest Consulate available to UI students is the Chicago consulate.

    U.S. Citizens will need a student visa if they are going abroad for a semester, or academic year. Typically, they will not need a visa for the summer sessions.

    Non-US Citizens- should refer to the Campus France Visa website for more information on French visa requirements.

    UI Study Abroad will hold advising appointments and/or information sessions to provide details on the visa application process. UI Study Abroad staff can provide some assistance on the French visa application process, but ultimately the individual traveler (the student) is the person who is responsible for providing correct information on the visa application and securing the visa and all other required documentation prior to travel.

    Prior to starting the visa application process check in with USAC for more information; they have a preferred timeline that students need to follow.


    In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.

    Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

    You are required to complete the International Programs ICON course "Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation" prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals, and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions, you can email

    Program-Specific Orientation

    This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.

    Predeparture Resources

    USAC will provide you with a variety of pre-departure resources to prepare you for your study abroad experience. These will include a packing list, cultural information, housing instructions, etc. Ensure that you thoroughly review any information provided to you by USAC and refer back to it if you have any questions.

    These materials may be periodically updated to reflect new program information prior to departure. Be sure to check your USAC Account often.

    There are no photos available for this program yet. Do you have any photos to share with us? If you do, please contact us at:

    1111 University Capitol Centre
    The University of Iowa
    Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802

    Phone: (319) 335-0353
    Fax: (319) 335-0343