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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
2/24 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 language classes at their particular level, allowing them to complete three semesters of college French in one semester. A supplementary conversation class is required. In addition, students take one elective, 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.

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


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

city of Pau

More information and instructions are available in the Study Abroad Resource Room, 1111 Capitol Centre. After students have explored their study abroad options, they are encouraged to schedule an appointment with a study abroad advisor by calling 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.

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.

Travel Arrangements

Once accepted into the program, the central USAC office will provide information for the travel agency organizing program group flights.

Local Transportation

Pau’s active train station permits easy access to the Atlantic coast, Spain, and other cities well worth a visit such as Lourdes, Bordeaux, Biarritz, and Toulouse.


students in a cafe

Minimum eligibility requirements include a 2.5 GPA and good academic and disciplinary standing.



The Course Fee is charged on your U-Bill and covers tuition and fees including registration and testing fees at the University of Pau, orientation, field trips, and cultural activities. Students are also charged a study abroad administrative fee.

The Fall 2019 course fees and estimated cost of attendance can be found at the following link: Fall 2019 DRAFT Cost SheetPDF

The course fee for Spring 2020 has not yet been determined.

Items not covered by the course fee include housing and meals, optional tour/courses, airfare, visa fees, and personal expenses. For estimated costs on these, consult the USAC website.

The Iowa Regents mandatory International health insurance will also be collected on the U-Bill.

Pau at night


The course fee is billed on the summer U-Bill and includes tuition and fees, housing, some meals for homestay students, orientation, field trips, and cultural activities. Students are also charged a study abroad administrative fee.

The following cost sheets apply to the Summer 2019 session. These are DRAFT cost sheets, final cost sheets will be posted mid-spring 2019

  • PDF Cost Sheet- USAC- Pau- Summer 19 (Session 1)- DRAFT
  • PDF Cost Sheet- USAC- Pau- Summer 19 (Session 2)- DRAFT
  • PDF Cost Sheet- USAC- Pau- Summer 19 (Sessions 1 and 2)- DRAFT
  • Items not covered by the course fee include housing and meals, optional tour/courses, airfare, visa fees, and personal expenses. For estimated costs on these, consult the USAC website.

    The Iowa Regents mandatory International health insurance will also be collected on the U-Bill.

    How to Apply

    Before starting an online application for this program, students should meet with their study abroad advisor to discuss their program selection and receive information about supplemental materials that are required for an application. Appointments can be set up in person at 1111 UCC or over the phone at 319-335-0353.

    After meeting with your advisor, click here to apply.

    Application Deadline

    Spring: September 24

    Fall/Academic Year: February 24

    Summer: March 4

    Acceptance Packet

    To read and retain for your own records:

    Withdrawal Policy

    After applying for a Study Abroad Program, notice of withdrawal must be made in writing to your USAC Program Advisor and the University of Iowa Study Abroad. The date on which the letter or e-mail message is received is the date by which your costs will be calculated. If for any reason you withdraw after the confirmation deadline and before or during the course of the program, the amount/percentage shown in the following chart represents what you will be required to pay.

    Date of Withdrawal Student Financial Responsibility
    After Application Administrative fee: $0
    Course Fee: $100
    After Cancellation Deposit Deadline (varies by program) Administrative fee: $400
    Course fee: As determined by the program contract with USAC
    After Program Start Date Administrative fee: 100%
    Course fee: As determined by the program contract with USAC

    Consult with your Study Abroad advisor for any clarification about fees and billing. Note that when you withdraw from a program, any money already paid directly to a program provider and/or a host university will potentially be forfeited. The USAC policy regarding withdrawals and refunds can be found here: USAC Money Matters. Additional penalties for cancellation of airline tickets may also apply. Check with your airline for further details.

    Acceptance and Confirmation Materials

    After you have received an email from UI Study Abroad indicating that you have been formally accepted to the program, have reviewed the estimated costs, and you are ready to commit to participating in this program, you will need to complete the following steps:

    Summer 2019 Students

    First, read, download, and complete the Confirmation of Participation and Withdrawal Policy document. Sign this document, and submit it to the UI Study Abroad office by the deadline outlined in the document.

    • PDFConfirmation of Participation and Withdrawal Policy-Pau-Summer 2019: Session
      • PDFConfirmation of Participation and Withdrawal Policy-Pau-Fall 2019: Session
      • Note that if the Confirmation of Participation document is not submitted by the confirmation deadline, your application will be automatically withdrawn and your acceptance rescinded.

        All Students

        Thoroughly review the following sections of text:

        • Financial Aid & Scholarships
        • Immigration/Visa
        • Orientation
        • Passport
        • Predeparture Resources

        Financial Aid & Scholarships

        You can find information about options for funding your study abroad experience, including financial aid, scholarships, grants, etc, on UI Study Abroad’s Funding Website.

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


        All Students

        All program participants are required to complete immigration requirements to enter and study in France. UI Study Abroad and your program provider will provide you with immigration instructions prior to departure.

        Permission to enter France is provided entirely by the French government based on that country's immigration requirements. Currently, France’s immigration requirements include considerations related to specific national origin, national heritage, criminal background status, and similar issues that can make it impossible to acquire a visa prior to the start of the program in some cases. Contact Monica Ernberger at for more information.

        It is essential that you thoroughly review all of your immigration materials before you leave for your host country to ensure that they are absolutely complete and accurate. It is entirely your responsibility to ensure that all of your immigration documents are in order and fully accurate before you leave for your host country. If any of your immigration documents contain inaccurate information of any kind, contact Monica Ernberger at immediately to discuss your options.

        Do not apply for your visa or begin work your immigration requirements until you receive more information from your program provider and UI Study Abroad.

        Semester and Academic Year

        US Citizens- You will need a visa to study in France. USAC will provide you with visa application instructions prior to your departure. You should follow their instructions to acquire the visa you will need.

        You will need to apply for your visa through the French consulate in Chicago, regardless of where you are from in the US

        Non-US Citizens- French immigration requirements vary for non-US citizens, depending on their country of origin. Non-US citizens should refer to the Campus France Webpage for more information on the French visa requirements.

        UI Study Abroad will hold advising appointments to provide details on the visa application process. You will receive more information about the visa application process at those sessions.

        Do not apply for your visa until you receive more information from USAC.


        US Citizens- US citizens participating in a summer-length program in France, where their total time in the EU, (including travel dates,) will be less than 90 day, will not need to get a visa prior to departure to France. However, you will need to complete immigration requirements upon arrival. USAC will contact you will details about the French immigration requirements prior to departure.

        Do not prepare any immigration materials until you receive more information from USAC.

        Non-US Citizens- French immigration requirements vary for non-US citizens, depending on their country of origin. It is entirely your responsibility to determine if you need a visa to study in France for less than 90 days. Check with your home country consulate or embassy, as well as the French Consulate regarding student visa requirements. Non-US citizens should refer to the Campus France Webpage for more information on the French visa requirements.

        USAC will contact you to provide support for your visa application.

        Do not prepare any immigration materials until you receive more information from UI Study Abroad.


        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.


        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 Monica Ernberger( for information on how to ensure that their passport is valid for the duration of their time abroad.

        Predeparture Resources

        USAC will provide you with a variety of predeparture 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, share it with your loved ones, and refer back to it if you have any questions.

        In addition, UI Study Abroad offers a variety of general predeparture resources. Review the following materials, and feel free to pass them along to your family or other loved ones to help them understand more about your upcoming program.

        These materials may be periodically updated to reflect new program information prior to departure- contact your study abroad advisor for more information.

        Please note that your program provider and host institution may provide you with additional predeparture materials specific to your study abroad program. Also review those materials, share them with your family, and refer back to them if you have any questions.

        fall scene in Pau

        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