SLCC launches study abroad program

South Louisiana Community College will launch its first study abroad program this summer in Paris and a French diplomat’s visit to the college Thursday opens the door for future learning opportunities in France for students.

“These programs are important cultural and life changing experiences for students,” said Olivier Châtelain de Pronville, SLCC languages and study abroad director.

De Pronville has been working over the past few months to develop a four-week French immersion course for students and others interested in studying in Paris. As part of the program, students will take a four-hour French course each morning and spend the afternoon visiting cultural sites in Paris practicing their French, de Pronville said. As part of the immersion program, participants sign a pledge not to speak English during the four weeks in the program, he said.

“It’s a very accelerated program, and it works for students who stick to the prerogative of not using English,” he said.

De Pronville said the immersion program is modeled on the immersion course available at Université Sainte-Anne in Church Point, Nova Scotia, a program attended by many in the Acadiana area.

Opportunities for students to study in France will likely expand in the future. On Thursday, Jean-Claude Brunet, counsel general of France in New Orleans, plans to visit the college’s Lafayette campus to meet with chancellor Natalie Harder to discuss future partnerships to create exchange programs for students and faculty members.

De Pronville said because the college’s scope includes workforce training, the goal is to provide students technical training and internship experiences abroad as well.

The immersion program in Paris begins on June 28 and ends July 26. The cost is $2,900 and includes lodging, the four-credit course, afternoon and some weekend excursions. De Pronville said 20 spots are available in the program. The deadline to apply is April 23.

For more information or to apply, contact de Pronville at olivier.chatelain@solacc.edu or at (337) 521-9064.