France: Université Catholique de l'Ouest

A GVSU Partnership Program

  • France: Université Catholique de l'Ouest Photo
  • France: Université Catholique de l'Ouest Photo
  • France: Université Catholique de l'Ouest Photo

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Tell me about this program

Open to: All majors

Although l’Universite Catholique de l’Ouest (UCO) is a private Catholic school, students of all backgrounds and faiths are welcome. The University is located in the city centre and is just minutes away from shopping, local parks and historical monuments.

The UCO exchange offers two different tracks for students to choose from. Students can either take courses through the French language program Centre International d’Etudes Françaises (CIDEF), or they can take regular university courses with French students commonly referred to as the "integrated" option. Past participants have also made arrangements to combine these two study options with the majority of courses taken through CIDEF and one or two integrated courses.

Students interested in the French language program through the Centre International d’Etudes Françaises (CIDEF) take courses during the fall, winter (spring) or summer intensive language sessions (June, July, August).

Alternatively, you can apply to study in regular university courses ("integrated" courses) with French students during the fall or winter (spring) semesters. Students interested in the integrated courses are encouraged to attend a one-month intensive French course in August prior to starting integrated classes in the fall semester. If you are proficient in the French language you are encouraged to consider the latter option. 

Note: UCO's Spring semester is GVSU's Winter semester.

Link to UCO Integrated Program Information:

Link to CIDEF program Information:

Why choose UCO?

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Partnership Information

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When can I go?

There are several options for studying at UCO:

OPTION 1: Attend CIDEF, the language center, for the Intensive French Language month-long programs offered. Students can select one or more months.


OPTION 2: Attend the mainstream Université Catholique de l’Ouest (integrated courses) for a semester or full academic year. This program is for upper-level French language students who are able to take integrated courses taught in French.

Fall 2018: September – January*

Winter 2019: January – May

OPTION 3: Attend CIDEF for the Fall semester (October – January) and UCO for Integrated Courses for the Winter semester (February –June ).*

OPTION 4: Attend CIDEF ONLY for a semester (October – January) or for the full Academic Year (October – June).*

Where will I live?

The staff of UCO’s International Relations Office (Office des Relations Internationales) will arrange a homestay for you. Homestays cost an average of 300 EUR ($430 USD) per month without meals. Most host families are accessible from campus via COTRA, Anger’s excellent public bus system. Due to the significant demand on homestay requests, not all students will be placed close to campus or close to the city centre. Students are asked to remain flexible about the homestay placement with the understanding that the primary goal is to learn about French culture from a local family's perspective.

Students who apply to study at UCO for the academic year can apply for housing a student residence that serves students from UCO, ESSCA and the University of Angers.  The student residence is located next to a tram line and offer both single and double units with common living and eating areas and costs approximately $2000 per semester. There is limited space available in the student residence halls. Students must submit a housing application with their UCO application. 

Students studying at CIDEF for the month intensive courses can expect to pay around 1150 euros per month for the homestay which includes breakfast and dinner.

Who is eligible to participate?

2.5 GPA required. Students with beginning or intermediate-level skills in French should enroll in the CIDEF program. Students at a more advanced level in French may apply to take regular UCO courses. Please consult the French section of GVSU’s Modern Languages & Literature for academic advising.

How do I apply?

To apply for this program, log on to to begin your online application.


Winter 2018:                           September 10, 2017

Summer 2018:                        February 1, 2018

Fall 2018:                                February 1, 2018

Academic year 2018-19:        February 1, 2018

What credits will I receive?

There are two types of programs at UCO: an intensive French language program (CIDEF) or integrated courses with French students. Students proficient in French may take courses in many areas of study including anthropology, art, art history, biology, business, communications, economics, environmental sciences, history, mathematics and psychology.

Students participating in a partnership program will either register for courses that have been pre-approved or will go through a Course Approval Process.

UCO Courses:

CIDEF Courses:

Program Details can be found here

How much does the program cost?

Total Projected Cost: $14,729 - $16,679 (per semester)

Additional Program Cost Information

Detailed estimated budget SEMESTER

Detailed estimated budget SUMMER

NOTE: The estimated budget for this program will vary based on your program selection. Students who combine an intensive language month with the semester exchange program will have to adjust their budget accordingly.


Financial Aid

Students typically pay for study abroad through a combination of financial aid, personal funds, scholarships/grants and alternative loans. Early application for financial aid is strongly recommended.

To contact the Financial Aid office, email with “Study Abroad” in the Subject line. Include your G Number and Total Projected Cost of the program in the e-mail. 

Financial Aid


STUDY ABROAD SEMESTER GRANT: The average study abroad semester grant award is $500 per semester. Students who complete an online study abroad application by the designated priority deadline, have a 2.5 GPA and a FAFSA on file, may be eligible for a study abroad grant ranging from $500-$1,750/semester.  Due to limited funding, not all eligible students will receive a grant.

PARTNERSHIP GRANT:  The Padnos International Center will be providing (2) $500 Partnership grants for students spending a semester or year at this partner.  If more than two applicants apply for this program, decisions on awards will be made based on the strength of a student’s application and financial need.  Students may be eligible for more than $500, but two applicants will receive a minimum of $500 in grant assistance.  Decisions on awards will be made following the deadline for applications.

Visit for additional information on grants and scholarships.

Who can tell me more?

Padnos International Center 
130 Lake Ontario Hall

Monday - Friday: 8am - 4pm
Hours extended on Wednesday until 7pm during Fall and Winter Semesters

UCO website:

All program information including courses, duration of program, dates, and other logistics are subject to change. Programs may be cancelled due to extenuating circumstances.