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Arles Summer

Arles Summer website  (map)

Sponsor: IES Abroad

Location: Arles, France


The Arles Summer program is a 6-week, 2 credit program providing immersive French language study while experiencing local life in the south of France. Famous for its Roman theatre and arena as well as its association with Vincent van Gogh, Arles is host to many dance, music, photography, theater, and folklore festivals throughout the summer, making it a lively, unique location for summer study in France. Homestays are generally the highlight of the program and weekly language-intensive lunches allow students to practice their French with IES Abroad staff and professors while sampling the local cuisine.

The program begins with a two-day orientation in the Camargue region just outside of Arles, with students staying at a local hotel and includes an afternoon field trip to the Alpilles—a small mountain range in southern France. After orientation, students move into their homestay for the remainder of the program. IES Abroad classes take place Monday through Thursday, and most Fridays are reserved for course-related excursions organized by IES Abroad to Avignon, le Pont du Gard, and les Baux de Provence.

Vincent van Gogh arrived in Arles in 1888 and, two years later, had produced almost 200 paintings, many becoming his most famous works. This Chicago Tribune article highlights van Gogh's work during this period, allowing you to "walk the path of van Gogh's brush" in Arles. Though most of van Gogh's works are now in Amsterdam, Arles' Fondation Vincent Van Gogh houses an array of his sketches and displays one painting a year (on loan from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam).

Program Type: Affiliated


  • Summer

Term Notes: June 18 - July 28, 2018


Course Info:

  • All courses and coursework are conducted in French.
  • Students enroll in their choice of 2 French-taught courses and earn 2 credits at Northwestern. Available disciplines include: History of Theatre, Sociology, History of Photography and French language.
  • For course listings and syllabi, visit IES Abroad's website and choose the "Academics" tab.

Admission Info:

To apply, Northwestern students must:

  1. Complete a Northwestern Summer Study Abroad Application by March 1st.
  2. Complete an IES Abroad application by April 15th.

Languages: French

Language Requirements: 

  • 2 years or the equivalent of college-level French
  • Enrolled in a French course within the year prior to the program start date


  • Homestay with local French families.

Meals:  Host families provide breakfast daily and dinner three times a week. Additionally, each week IES Abroad provides three lunches as part of language-intensive lunches with program staff and faculty. 

Program Costs: 

Summer 2017

Charges billed by Northwestern: $6,845

Charges billed by IES Abroad: $1,815

  • Housing & partial board: $1,680
  • Health insurance: $135

Students should plan to budget an additional $2,500-$3,100 for round-trip airfare, roundtrip rail-fare to/from Arles, GeoBlue health insurance, meals not included in program fee, rental/purchase of required cell phone, and personal expenses. See the IES Abroad Arles website for details regarding additional costs.


  • Northwestern students receiving financial aid during the academic year may be eligible for summer aid for this program. If awarded, summer assistance may count as one of your 12 quarters of aid eligibility. Visit the Summer Scholarships page for additional information.
  • Students are encouraged to apply for outside scholarships to help with the cost of summer study abroad.

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