** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
AT A GLANCE Participants take classes at the Touraine Institute in Tours, an exciting, cosmopolitan city in the heart of France's Loire country. Tours is located approximately two hours southwest of Paris by train. The Institute organizes day and weekend trips to nearby attractions such as castles and wineries along the Loire Valley, Chartres, Mont Saint Michel, and Paris. During the summer Tours is also host to many cultural activities: plays, concerts, jazz and movie festivals.
"Using my French skills and learning about the culture first-hand was the greatest benefit. Staying with a family is also one of the best ways to experience
the culture." - Theresa M. Burns, 1999 Summer in Tours
The Institut de Touraine program has the following framework: (6 levels) A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2
A1 is the beginner level and C2 is the most advanced degree of profiency.
Institute students are assigned to courses matching their skills level. They take a placement test to assess their level before courses start. Students may progress to the next level during their studies on their teacher's recommendation if their progress so warrants. The average number of students per class is 15. Several lessons (listening and speaking skills) are organized in smaller groups of 7 or 8 students to encourage discussion and speaking in public.
Students enroll in three-month long courses.
The credit earned in Tours will be recorded on the Old Dominion transcript as transfer credit provided that a passing grade at the host university is earned. Advance planning with academic advisors and completion of a transfer credit evaluation prior to the start of your program ensures that these credits are applied toward graduation and degree requirements. Students will work with faculty advisors at Old Dominion to select courses.
Students receive 12-18 credits for the three-month semester program.
Originally founded by the Romans in the first century as the city of Caesarodnum, Tours (pop. 300,000) has done a lot of growing in its early 2000 years of existence. Established on a 200-acre plot of land, the city was wiped off the map by a barbarian invasion on the 3rd century. The few remains of the original city withstood the attack and can now be found in the Cathedrale St-Gattien. The city picked itself up and came back to life as three separate towns, only to be reunified by the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453) as the city of Tours. In its early days, Tours served as the heart and capital of the French Kingdom. Today the city stands as the urban centerpiece of the Loire region. The former home of Balzac now looks firmly toward the future, thanks in large part to industry and the 30,000 students who call Tours home. At night Tours hops wildly with the cafes and bars of the pl. Plumereau (pl. Plum') the city's social backbone. Tours' fabulous nightlife, diverse population, and great food will free your castle-besieged soul.
Tours is not a premier culinary hotspot of France, but tourangelle cuisine still entices gourmets with rillons (morsels of hot or cold smoked pork), andouilletes (sausages), fromage de chevre (goat cheese), melt-in-your-mouth macaroons, and anything aux pruneaux (with prunes). Connoisseurs and poets alike esteem such Touraine wines as the light, fruity whites of Vouvray and Montluis.
In late June, Tours hosts the Fetes Musicales en Touraine, a 10-day celebration of voices and instruments playing selections from Saint-Saens to Gershwin. Tours also has active theater year-round in the Theatre Louis Jouvet. The large student population demands a swinging and varied nightlife, even if summers do quiet down considerably. Pl. Plum' is a peach of a place to find cheerful students sipping drinks and chattering at countless cafes and bars.
Dozens of beautiful and historic chateaux lie within 60km of Tours. Biking along the Loire between chateaux is enchanting, even though bus tours are more efficient.
Living with a French host family is strongly encouraged as the ideal method for working on language skills both in and out of the classroom and for learning about French culture. Students in a homestay will eat breakfast and dinner with the family and lunch in a student cafeteria near the Institute. Students who do not wish to live with a host family may choose from a variety of other accommodation options, ranging from residences with single or double rooms to renting a room with kitchen privileges in a private home. More details on accomodations can be found on the Institute website.
Students have the option of living in student dorms or with host families.
The three-month semester long program typically runs from mid-October to mid-December.
Old Dominion students may use financial aid for a semester abroad. You will work with your study abroad and financial aid advisors to develop a budget for this experience.
A semester at the Institut de Touraine is estimated to cost$9,135. The following table shows an estimate of the costs:
Study Abroad Fee
*$3,500 is based on the current exchange rate and is subject to change.
**Housing fee is based on the cost of a homestay with a single room and shared bathroom. Other housing options are available.