France: French Language and Culture Semester with CIDEF

L’Université Catholique de L’Ouest (UCO) is located in Angers, France, the gateway to the Loire Valley. Established over 135 years ago, UCO is home to more than 12,000 students and is one of the oldest universities in Western France. UCO is a multidisciplinary university with faculties in Education, Humanities, Sciences, Human and Social Sciences, Law, Business, Eeconomics, Theology and Religious Sciences. Although UCO is a private Catholic school, students of all backgrounds and faiths are welcome. This program is designed for students who are studying French language or who are already proficient in French. Students can either apply to take regular UCO courses with French students or take courses in French language and culture through the Centre International d'Etudes Francaises (CIDEF). The information in this section is focused on students interested in attending the CIDEF language institute.

Program Brochure

Image 1 of 4 France: Université Catholique de l'Ouest (UCO)
2.5 GPA Required
French Language Requirement
Issue Friendly

Program Dates and Application Deadline

Academic Year 2022 (Fall 2022-Winter 2023)

Program Dates: September 10, 2022 - June 30, 2023
Application Deadline: February 1, 2022 (Closed)

Fall 2022

Estimated Program Dates: September 2022 - December 2022
Application Deadline: February 1, 2022 (Closed)

Spring/Summer 2022

Estimated Program Dates: July 2022 - July 2022
Application Deadline: February 1, 2022 (Closed)

Winter 2023

Program Dates: February 10, 2023 - June 1, 2023
Application Deadline: September 1, 2022


Fall Semester is late September to early February *Students who need to return to GVSU for Winter semester can return in December by applying for the Fall term (trimester) instead of the Fall semester.

Students who want to be abroad for a full semester during the fall can consider adding the September intensive French language month. 




The CIDEF Language and Culture Program offers French language courses for undergraduate students.

For a list of ALL available courses visit: 

Course Options 

Course descriptions and syllabi can be found in the UCO catalog

Pre-approved Courses: Other GVSU students have studied abroad at this partner institution. The button below will take you to a list of GVSU equivalencies they have received. PLEASE  NOTE: This list indicates courses that have been previously approved. This is NOT a list of all available courses on this program.

Pre-Approved Courses 

Students registering for courses that have NOT been pre-approved will need to follow the course approval instructions: Course Approval Process 

For information on fulfilling general education courses abroad, visit: General Education 


Students can choose to participate in a homestay or live in a student residence (also known as a foyer).

Homestays are arranged by CIDEF staff through a well-developed network of homestay families that they have cultivated over the years. Homestays can range anywhere from 5 minutes to 25 minute tram ride to UCO. The homestays arranged through CIDEF have been highly recommended by past participants. Students will be expected to pay a 300 Euro damage deposit once they arrive to their homestay.

Student Residences serve students from multiple universities in Angers. Most student residences offer both single and double units with common living and eating areas.

Housing Options

Cost and Scholarships

"Other Expenses" listed in the cost breakdown are general cost estimates. Due to COVID-19, costs may increase for basic goods and housing. These estimates are provided as a guide to help students in their planning, but they are subject to change.


Health insurance CHUBB ($160) is mandatory and its estimated based on 120 days ($1.33 / day). Actual cost may vary and will be based on your exact travel dates. Policy details

Cost Breakdown SEMESTER

How will I pay for this?

Financial Aid FAQ's

Students applying to study at CIDEF are not eligible for the Universite Catholique dd l'Ouest Partnership Grant. This grant is only available to students who participate in the UCO exchange with regular UCO courses.

The cost of any study abroad program depends to a large extent on the participant's personal spending habits and lifestyle.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Since students are not paying GVSU tuition, this program may not be eligible for the 1098T Education Tax Credit since tuition is being paid to a foreign institution. Your GVSU 1098T will show the amount of your tuition in Box 1 and an equal amount in the Scholarship/Grants in Box 5.  They will offset each other.  You will need to contact the IRS to find out if tuition paid to a foreign institution may qualify for the Education Tax Credit. For more information on the Education Tax Credit go to 


Open to all majors. Some college-level French recommended, however beginner French learners are welcome at CIDEF. 2.5 GPA required. Also, students must have completed at least one semester at GVSU prior to participation.

Proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 may be required for participation in this program.

Additional Information

Host University Website


CIDEF offers a variety of excursions and activities for students.

Campus Info / Campus Life

CIDEF has created a presentation to highlight of the many different activities.

Google Map

Already Applied

Visa Requirements

Students studying in France for more than 90 days are required to obtain a student visa. The process for securing a student visa is lengthy and requires students to first obtain approval through Campus France. Students should begin the Campus France application a minimum of 8 weeks prior to departure, however earlier application is highly recommended. Students must have acceptance from the host university before finalizing their Campus France application. Students will be required to travel to the VFS French Visa Processing Center for a visa appointment. The nearest processing center is in Chicago but students are welcome to schedule appointments at any of the VFS processing centers throughout the United States. Please review our student visa guide for France for important details regarding the application process.

Arrival Information

Students typically fly into Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and take the TGV high-speed train to Angers (St. Laud) train station. The high-speed train leaves from the Airport terminal 2.  Angers is on the Paris-Nantes TGV lines. It takes about 1 ½ hours from Paris to Angers. Students can research timetables and ticket prices online at  Students who select a homestay will usually be met at the train station in Angers by the host family. Students who choose to stay in the student residences (foyers) or other private accommodation will make their own way to their housing. Alternatively, students can also fly into Nante which is just a short train ride from Angers.

CDC Report

CDC Report

US State Department Information

US State Department Country Information (France)

Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC)

US Embassy in France - Location

US Department of State - Students Abroad



Application Timeline

CIDEF Program Brochure

CIDEF Academic Calendar



Resources for Emergency Situations

Health and Safety Resources

Reporting an Incident

PIC Emergency Procedures

Contact Information

Padnos International Center
130 Lake Ontario Hall
[email protected]

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