Colby’s French Department has an exchange with the École Normale Supérieure in Lyon, permitting Colby seniors to work and live in France by holding a post at the university. Opportunities exist for employment as a “pensionnaire scientifique étranger” or as a “lecteur/lectrice”; there is also a possibility of research work for Colby graduates with one year of graduate work completed. For more complete information, please read the information sheet. Previous Colby graduates who have participated in the ENS program are listed below, with contact information, for current Colby students wishing to learn more about their experiences.

(École Normale Supérieure-Lettres et sciences)

There are three main possibilities for students from the US coming to the ENS.  Not all of these are suitable for current college seniors, but here are details of all three so that students and colleagues at Colby have a complete picture of possible offerings.

M1 Program – For current Colby seniors

The most straightforward way for a Colby senior to come to the ENS in the year following graduation is to apply to be a “pensionnaire scientifique étranger” and to enroll in an M1 program.  Tuition fee waivers are applied to students from our partner institutions, such as Colby.  The ENS does not offer any funding at M1 level, but it will apply for regional funding on behalf of selected foreign students.  These grants are known as Bourses MIRA (Mobilité Internationale Rhône-Alpes), and at Masters level they are worth 500 euros per month for up to nine months.  There is a Commission at the École that chooses the most promising dossiers to forward to the Region; the Region then awards the grants.  The deadline for applications is extremely imminent: the Region needs our list of students by March 15.  Eric Guillot, the International Relations manager at the ENS, has agreed to accept applications as late as Tuesday March 13 (within French office hours, not US ones!).  He woud just need names and CVs at this stage.The ENS can consider up to two Colby students this year, though, given that the final decisions are the Region’s and not the ENS’s, no guarantee of success can be given.  For all further information and for applications, students should contact Eric Guillot on; faculty members can contact M.Guillot. Details of the M1 programmes can be found on the ENS website.

M2 Program – For Colby graduates with one year of graduate work completed

The same principles apply at M2 level, once the Colby student has a year of graduate work under his/her belt, but with an extra funding possibility.  A graduate student with an exceptional  research project at M2 or PhD level which is compatible with the specialities  of a faculty member or research team here can apply for  one of the ten Bourses internationales that the ENS LSH offers each  year.  This option comes with full funding: tuition fee waiver + living allowance of 1000 euros per month, paid over 9 months.  The selection is made by a Commission which examines all applications together. Details are available on our website

Lecteur / lectrice – PhD students preferred, current Colby seniors considered

A student who is a native speaker of English can apply for a lecteur / lectrice position at the ENS LSH.  Working either in the Section d’anglais or the CEREL, lecteurs work for 250 hours over the year and are paid around 1100 euros per month for twelve months.  They can be housed at the École, for around 290 euros per month.  These posts are not ideally suited for current college seniors: the legal requirement is that lecteurs should have qualifications equivalent to the French M1, and we tend to hire PhD students if possible.  However, there has been a slight decrease in the number of US applicants in recent years, and if Colby has a student they would particularly recommend in this capacity, then a faculty member could contact me to discuss what might be possible.  The application process will open later this week, when forms will be posted on our website(, then  ‘L’École’, then ‘Recrutement’), and the deadline is normally April  15.

General lodging and living information (for all programs)

Accommodation is provided on campus for students and lecteurs at the ENS LSH, including for “pensionnaires scientifiques étrangers”; it is not free, but it is subsidized to below market rates, being charged at around 290 euros per month for a comfortable room within a shared apartment. Free high-speed Internet connection is included, however you will need to bring an internet cable since the rooms on campus do not have wi-fi. There is also a subsidized campus restaurant, and, of course, access to all sporting, cultural, IT and other resources at the École.  In addition, foreign students are eligible to apply for APL (Aide personnalisé au logement) which, depending on the student’s income, can cover up to around 100 euros of the monthly rent.

Previous ENS Participants

Questions can be directed to Adrianna Paliyenko (

Updated September 2012