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Colby in Dijon offers incoming first-year Colby students an in-depth, language-intensive experience of cross-cultural study in the heart of France. Through a structured, demanding program of classes and cultural interaction, Colby in Dijon seeks to provide students with an understanding of the differences between the American and French ways of life, and to enable students to better understand the complexities of French culture. The program is open to students with various levels of French, from two years in high school to advanced placement. Upper class Colby students are also part of the Dijon group.
In general, the first-year programs abroad have a fixed curriculum, which means that your course options are more limited than they will be during January and the spring semester at Colby. Based on the language placement test upon arrival, you will be placed in the section appropriate to your language level. In addition to the language courses, all Colby in Dijon first-year students take other courses specifically arranged for them and taught by the resident director and French professors hired by Colby. Students normally take three of these courses, including a required course on French history and the architecture and art of Dijon (both of which include field trips) and a seminar on contemporary France.
On the Colby in Dijon program, your courses will include:
A wellness lecture, in French, will be held during the semester in Dijon. Although not obligatory for first-year students, it is strongly suggested, since attendance will reduce the number of wellness lectures required when students arrive on campus in January.
The homestay, in which students are placed with selected families in and around Dijon, is as important an aspect of the program as the academic courses. The homestay is more than a place to sleep and eat; it is here that students will develop their spoken French and learn the most about France. It is a portal to French civilization and culture. It serves as a resource for class assignments in the first-year student seminar.
Not all the host families are traditional. Some of them consist of young, professional women, with or without children. The resident director will try to place each student with the family that best seems to fit his or her profile in the housing form included with the registration packet, but there can be no guarantees of a perfect match. We can, however, assure students that only the families that are given excellent reviews by former Colby in Dijon participants are chosen as homestays.
There is time for personal travel, but students are expected to attend all their classes and may lose credit or have their grades lowered if they miss classes for travel. Parents who wish to visit their sons or daughters should not expect that students would be able to miss classes. More details on travel will be given students in the program handbook and on site by the resident director.
Animateurs: Each year Colby arranges to have a number of French college-age people, including university students, to work with the group in September. These animateurs et animatrices have specific responsibilities toward the group during the first two weeks of the program. Their role is to spend time showing students around Dijon and organizing some social events for the group. They are expected to communicate in French at every opportunity.
Fitness: There are a number of gyms in town that offer aerobic classes and weight training at reasonable rates. Colby will pay for half of each student's membership (up to a reasonable limit) in one of these private clubs for students who wish to join.
Community Service: Students may volunteer to give a few hours each week to the Secours Populaire de France, a non-religious charity that helps poor people and women in difficult situations. Activities include helping distribute food and other items, and helping raise money for the organization.
Program FeeThe fees for Colby programs abroad are equivalent to the comprehensive fees for Colby College. The fee covers: tuition, room, board or a board allowance, excursions, and roundtrip airfare and transfers to program sites. Books, meals during vacation periods, insurance, laundry expenses, and personal travel are not included.
Health and Safety AbroadStudents are responsible for their own health insurance, and proof of health insurance must be submitted before students may leave for France. If a student needs health care while in Dijon, he or she must pay for services (credit cards are accepted) and submit the bill to his or her family's insurance company for reimbursement.
The resident director briefs students on the issue of safety, during the orientation period. Students are also responsible for each other. Dijon is considered a relatively safe city, but the standard precautions of living in an urban area are required.
Student ExperienceView a scanned copy of the student-produced Colby in Dijon FSA Student Guidebook which is sent to incoming FSA students prior to departure.