Centre In France
Internationalizing College Faculty Through Study Abroad
Milton Reigelman, Director of International Programs
In the last decade, virtually every college and university in the country has added “global citizenship” or “cross-cultural learning” or “international focus” to its mission and strategic plan. To support this new emphasis, faculties and administrators across the country have worked furiously to “internationalize” their curricula in various ways: by setting up programs in Islamic studies or world ecology, by sponsoring faculty travel seminars to foreign places, by requiring students to achieve “competence” in a foreign language and select one course from a list of courses that might include “Japanese film,” “The European Union Today,” “The Latin American Novel,” etc.
Study In France
Centre-in-Strasbourg is located just across the Rhine River from Germany, two-and-a-half hours by high-speed TGV from Paris and about an hour north of Switzerland. Known as the “crossroads of Europe” because of its central location, Strasbourg boasts an ancient Gothic cathedral and hosts the European Parliament, Council of Europe, and Court of Human Rights.
Fall students will fly out of the States on Monday, Sept. 10, arriving in Strasbourg on the 11th, when the program officially begins. Students will fly home on Saturday, Dec. 8. Spring students will fly out of the States on Monday, Feb. 4, arriving in Strasbourg on Feb. 5. They will fly home on Saturday, May 4. The Strasbourg program purposely lasts fewer than 90 days so that most students will not have to obtain a visa. If you plan to arrive in Europe before the program begins, stay in the Schengen zone after the program ends, and/or participate during the same academic year in a CentreTerm abroad course in a Schengen country, you must acquire a long-term French study visa, a process that requires a fee and an in-person visit to a French consulate.
Special Notes about Program Dates and Travel.
Because classes often end at 5:00 p.m. on Thursdays, students can sometimes leave for weekend travel on Thursday evenings. Increasingly, Strasbourg students are opting to spend some of their travel periods in their Strasbourg apartments, taking day-trips to Germany and around Alsace. When students are away from Strasbourg for the night, they must let the director know where they’ll be and travel with at least one other Centre student, unless their parents email the director permission for them to travel alone.
90-day maximum stay: The Strasbourg program purposely lasts fewer than 90 days so that students do not have to obtain a visa for stays of longer than 90 days. If you plan to arrive in Europe early or stay once the program ends, you must acquire a long-term French study visa, a time-consuming process that requires a fee and an in-person visit to a French consulate. You cannot obtain a visa once you are in Europe.
The comprehensive fee (for tuition & fees, room, and board) is the same as for study in Danville, except that (1) there is a $375 non-refundable deposit/surcharge due by March 9 that helps to cover some of the additional costs of housing in France, (2) students pay for their own airfare to and from the Strasbourg airport, and (3) a $100 book charge (also due March 15) covers all books you will need in Strasbourg, where students sometimes share copies of books and articles. All financial aid arrangements in Danville continue in Strasbourg. The non-refundable $375 deposit/surcharge includes a $15 carbon mitigation fee, but does not include the $20 fee for the travel medicine presentation, which all students studying abroad must attend.
Students studying abroad are charged for the regular Centre board plan. They are then given food money at regular intervals while abroad and learn to shop in the markets and prepare their meals as a group, in their apartment kitchens. In the past, students have become experts at finding inexpensive, fresh ingredients and preparing simple, healthy, and delicious fare. Centre will pay for occasional group meals, for a two-night/three-day excursion, and for an art and architecture trip in the region that all students take.
Eurail Tickets. Information on Eurail tickets is available at http://www.euro-rail.org. Participants in this program are not allowed to purchase and use an unlimited “Global” Eurail pass; our experience has shown that this is disruptive to the program’s schedule and goals. Recent Strasbourg students have felt that a 10-day or 8-day train pass is sufficient and gives them flexibility to travel to further-away destinations via inexpensive air travel. Some Strasbourg students choose not to purchase a Eurail pass.
Homestays with French or German-speaking families are an option for students with advanced language skills who want to improve their fluency rapidly. Students in homestays typically have dinner two or three times a week with their homestay families.
Centre also rents three apartments, all conveniently located in the downtown area within a fifteen-minute walk of the Centre office and classroom. These apartments are fully furnished and include linens, a TV, a kitchen with cooking utensils and dishes, a washing machine, and a telephone. Because these apartments are in regular apartment buildings among French families and not in a college dormitory, Strasbourg students must be very responsible about noise: no loud music or even loud talking in the evenings. The same commonsense fire-safety rules about no candles or smoking or Halogen lamps that apply on campus apply in these apartments. During the apartment orientation session with the coordinator and director, all students must sign a statement about keeping the apartment neat and clean and about maintaining appropriate apartment behavior. Any student breaking this signed agreement will be dismissed from the apartment and will be personally responsible for finding and paying for his/her housing.
Apartment Contract and Upkeep. You are required to sign an apartment contract during the Coordinator’s and Director’s apartment orientation and to keep your apartment clean and in good order throughout the entire term. The Director and Coordinator have the right to inspect your apartment at any time, and the right to dismiss you from the apartment if you do not live up to the signed agreement. The day after the mid-term break, the Director will make a mid-course apartment inspection to determine things that need to be repaired or purchased. On the last evening of your stay, she will conduct a penultimate inspection and assess all apartment members equally the money needed to replace broken items and/or pay for professional cleaning. The last inspection occurs the day after you leave; this is to make certain you’ve stripped the linens from your beds, totally cleaned out your refrigerator, not left wet towels to mildew, taken out all of the trash, etc. Students will not be allowed to move into the apartments until the day the program officially begins; if you plan to arrive early, you must reserve a room in a hostel or hotel.
No Overnight Guests in Apartments. Because of liability issues, no overnight guests may stay in the Centre apartments, even for a single night. No exceptions can be granted to this rule. Infraction of this rule will result in your immediate dismissal from the program with none of your semester’s tuition returned. The director will be happy to provide you with a list of Strasbourg hostels and hotels of all price ranges for any guests who may visit.
The 2018-2019 program will be directed by Professor Núria Sabaté, associate professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies. Prof. Sabaté is a native of Catalonia and undertook her undergraduate studies in Spain, France, and Italy. Following graduation, she worked in Germany and France before beginning graduate school in the United States. Prof. Sabaté has directed the Centre-in-the-Yucatan semester program and has led a CentreTerm class to Argentina. She speaks Catalan, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, and a bit of German. She will be accompanied by her husband, John, a lawyer with experience in international affairs, along with their preschool-aged son.
All students will take a French course at the appropriate level, as well as the following course:
Cooking Up France: Land, Food and Nationhood
“How can anyone govern a nation that has 246 different kinds of cheese?” This famous President de Gaulle quotation encapsulates the connection between national discourse and food in a country where gastronomy is considered a discipline of national pride. But when did food become part of the French political agenda? What is the connection between farming, food, and nation-building? Is French cuisine really French? This course will explore the origin and development of French cuisine in a theoretical, literary and practical manner. Taught by Prof. Sabaté.
Students will also choose two of the following courses:
A. People Watching: Understanding European Cities
The city has been one of the central topics and concerns of literature. In this course, students will study the development of several European cities to understand the historical influences that have shaped them. Students will explore questions such as: How have historical and political events influenced the foundation and expansion of these cities? Why are they organized they way they are? What are the effects of industrialization, colonialism and migrations in urban transformation? Is space a social construct? How do protests, riots, or terrorist attacks redefine urban meaning? What and who is a flâneur? Some of the studied cities include Paris, Barcelona, Lisbon, Rome and, of course, Strasbourg. Taught by Prof. Sabaté.
B. The Construction of Europe (POL 461)
Capitalizing on Strasbourg’s location at the geographical center of Europe and as the home of three of the most important European institutions, students study the Council of Europe, whose main assignment is to defend Human Rights in Europe. How does the Council work, and how does its European Court of Human Rights ensure the respect of fundamental rights in Europe? Students also study the ways in which some European States have deepened their interconnectedness through economic, political, and monetary cooperation. In conjunction with a trip to the European Parliament, students consider how the European Union was born, how it works, and what makes it unique. All of these issues are approached comparatively, with an eye toward the United States, and in their impact on students living on European soil. No prerequisites; taught by Prof. Pierre Nuss.
C. A third course, currently being developed and to be announced as soon as possible
Classroom Facilities in Strasbourg
The Centre classroom area is located at the very center of town, just off the main square, Place Kleber. It includes a classroom that looks out on the Strasbourg cathedral, a study and lunch room, a computer room with a small library, the coordinator’s office, and a storeroom. The noiseless, eco-friendly electric tram stops directly in front of the building.
Deadlines & Requirements
• Any rising sophomore, junior, or senior who has not yet participated in a residential, long-term study abroad program may apply. Centre accepts 24 students each term who qualify on the basis of academic seriousness, social maturity, and faculty recommendation. The committee’s list is vetted by the Dean of Student Life and the Associate Dean before students are notified.
• While this is not a language immersion program, the selection committee typically gives preference to students who have studied French or German. Students selected for the fall term who have never studied French will take beginning French while in Strasbourg; those without any French who are selected for the spring term are strongly advised—but not required—to take French 110 for a grade during the preceding fall term.
• The application process will be discussed during the three campus-wide informational meetings on November 13, November 28, and January 9.
• Applications due no later than noon on February 6, 2018.
• Apply online at https://aegis.centre.edu/fmi/webd/#StudyAbroadApp.
• Selected students must pay the non-refundable deposit of $375 by March 9; the $100 Strasbourg book fee is also due on March 9.
Centre-in-Strasbourg Adjunct Faculty & Staff
Heidi Cahen grew up in the U.S. with her French mother and American father. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles and transferred to the University of California, San Diego, from where she received a B.A. in linguistics, with minors in French and political science. Cahen was an Ambassadorial Rotary Scholar at the Université de Nancy in France, where she earned her M.A. degree in linguistics. Before joining the Centre-in-Strasbourg program in 2006, her work experience included positions as a teacher of French and English as a second language, medical translator for research institutions at the University Hospital in Strasbourg, assistant to the organizer of two major medical conventions in Strasbourg, communications officer at the Strasbourg Convention Center, and student service advisor of the Syracuse University program in Strasbourg. Heidi and her French husband Philippe have two children, Michèle and Daniel.
Astrid Hullar-Klis has been a valued and integral part of the Centre-in-Strasbourg program since 1992. For many years, she not only served as its coordinator but also taught all of the French classes. She has been an exchange student in England, directed the French House at Goucher College in Baltimore, taught French Culture in the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program in Danville, and traveled with her husband and three sons to different parts of the U.S. and Kentucky. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in both English and French from the University of Nancy. Additionally, she has taught English and French at the elementary and secondary levels in various Strasbourg schools, and has been an accountant assistant.
Pierre Nuss was born in Strasbourg and has studied law at the Strasbourg law school. After receiving his mastership in commercial law, a diploma of advanced studies, and a Ph.D. in international law/human rights, he taught constitutional law, international law, political science, and European law. He has also worked in law firms and served as the legal adviser of a company. Since the spring term of 2004, Nuss has been an adjunct professor in Strasbourg where he teaches a course on the European construction. He currently teaches at a business school in Strasbourg as well. Nuss also taught government courses in Danville during 2007 and 2013, and is proud to have been commissioned a Kentucky colonel in 2005. He speaks French, English, German, and Alsatian. Nuss has written four mystery novels and is a former kendo practitioner. His hobbies include soccer, sports cars, astronomy, music, and all things involving John Wayne. Pierre is married and is the father of three children.
Spend a semester in one of nine countries: