Romance and Classical Studies
Graduate French Studies: Tours
Located in the heart of the Loire Valley château country, Tours offers the advantages of life in a provincial city but is only about an hour from Paris by high speed train. Tours is a young city with a population of 125,000 (and 225,000 including surroundings) that boasts 30,000 university students, making it an ideal setting for getting to know the locals. Regional trains and buses make it easy to take day trips to visit charming villages, royal châteaux, and delightful gardens in the area. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy biking on paths that run out of town along the Loire or Cher rivers.
There are three housing options in Tours:
- A private room in a suite at the Résidence Universitaire du Technopôle (arranged by BGSU).
- A host family (arranged by BGSU).
- A room or apartment in town (arranged by the student).
The Résidence Universitaire du Technopôle is located on the banks of the Cher River next to a large park, a lake and the Centre Aquatique, about 15 minutes by bus from the center of town. The 4-bedroom suites are furnished. Please note: Students aged 29 and older cannot live in the Technopôle; this restriction is imposed by the French university. Click here to view a movie by Cullen Colapietro, French MA alumni, about the Technopôle.
Students who opt for a room or apartment in town should arrive in Tours no later than September 1 in order to find suitable housing.
BGSU’s program combines (a) a core of required courses taught by French faculty solely for our graduate students and (b) regular university classes taken with French students at the Université François Rabelais. Students normally take 9 credit hours in the fall and 8 credit hours in the Spring (in addition to one on-line course).
The required core courses are:
- Introduction à l’analyse textuelle (3 credits)
- Grammaire et style I (3 credits)
Students choose additional courses at the Faculté des Lettres. At least one course should focus on French history and/or civilization, while others may be from any department provided that the course meets the following criterion: it must deal primarily (at least 50% of the content) with some aspect of culture in France or the French-speaking world. This could include literature, cinema, history, political science, philosophy, etc. All course choices must be approved by the on-site director.
Examples of elective courses taken at the Faculté des Lettres in recent years: Histoire du roman, Histoire de la langue, La linguistique, Art et Poésie, Littérature pour la jeunesse, L’Enseignement du français, Pratiques de la lecture, Lyrisme dans le roman, Tragi-Comédie baroque, Education sentimentale, Esthéthique théâtrale.
Motivated students are invited to apply for an internship in Tours. As an "expérience pré-professionnelle" a stage can be an excellent résumé builder. Internships typically last 4 to 6 weeks after the end of the second semester, but some have been arranged during the academic year as well. The student is largely responsible for organizing the details of the internship and must provide a CV and a lettre de motivation. Students accepted for an internship receive a housing grant based on the Technopôle rates.
In recent years, our graduate students have obtained positions at The Wall Street Institute (an English language school), the Institut de Dégustation, the Collège Saint Martin, the Secours Populaire, La Nouvelle République (a newspaper), Arbona (luxury home products), the Mairie de Tours (in the cultural affairs office) and the Agence de Développement de touraine.
In exchange for the stipend provided by BGSU during the year abroad, MA candidates in Tours are required to work with the on-site director, M. Kevin Kane, on projects relating to the undergraduate students abroad (e.g., tutoring; supervising undergrad internship experiences, among other possibilities).