Strasbourg is the formal seat of the European Parliament and sits near the German border, with culture and architecture blending German and French influences.


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.

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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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.