French Language, Culture, and Volunteer Service in Montpellier

  • Montpellier, France

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You can learn French language and culture, perform volunteer work and live with a host family!

The Winter Service-Learning program at the IMLS (Institut Méditerranéen de Langues et Services/ Mediterranean Language and Service Institute) is based in Montpellier, a city located in the South of France, on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea.

Maximize your study abroad program in a multi-cultural environment, through a French language course, community service, cultural excursions, and a home-stay experience!

Application Deadline


Program Start


Program End


Partner University



  • Montpellier

Program Term

  • Winter

Language of Instruction


Internship Opportunity

  • Yes!

Program Details

Academic Program

You will earn 5 credits on the IMLS’ winter program. 3 credits of French Language is earned through 3 hours of class every weekday morning, for a total of 45 hours.  Students will learn and progress at their appropriate level of French proficiency and they should improve quickly in a short time.

In addition to your on-site participation as a community service volunteer, you will earn another 2 credits through a course on French institutions and society and a service learning placement (for a total of 30 hours).  You will submit a report on your community service and write an essay on a specific aspect of your experience in France.  The course is taught in English and your written work may be submitted in English or in French.  You will learn about the major issues at stake in French society and the ways that they are met by institutions and associations.  This approach complements students’ volunteer activities, linking classroom and experiential learning.


An image of France, Health, The French at Work, The French Educational System, Europe, Politics, Immigration, Women in French Society, Justice, Ethics, The Media

Community Service

The social service activities are organized according to the requirements of the partner associations of the IML, the requests of the participating students, and their abilities and aspirations as stated on their application forms.

Typical partner associations provide services to children, the elderly, and handicapped individuals, including visits, tutoring, arts and recreation, and other activities provided on site.

Community service is performed on weekday afternoons, after the morning French Language class.

Summary of Courses and Other Learning Activities:

-French language: 45 hours /3 credits

-Service-Learning: 30 hours /2 credits (Institutions course + Tutorials + community service)

(Volunteer work: A variety of activities are offered in the community combined with an academic course on institutions)

Excursions and  cultural discovery:  Introduction to the region’s unique tourism and historical sites

Course Descriptions and Syllabi

Here is an example of the Winter Course Syllabus.

Review IMLS’s website for more information regarding course offerings.

General Education Information for UAlbany Students

Credits earned on this program will automatically satisfy the International Perspectives requirement. Three credits of foreign language study will satisfy the Foreign Language requirement. No additional approval is required for you to earn these general elective credits.

Major/Minor Information for UAlbany Students

Courses may also satisfy major and minor requirements, upon approval by the department.


All courses taken abroad count towards UAlbany General Elective credits. Credits and grades will appear on your UAlbany transcript. You may file a request to have additional courses approved for equivalency as necessary. 

Your Instructors

Your courses are taught by local faculty organized through IMLS.


Participants live with host families. Housing arrangements are organized by the staff of the Institut Mediterraneen de Langues (IML). 


Students eat breakfast and supper with their host families and purchase their own lunches. 

Estimate of Costs

Please review the Winter 2018-2019 Estimate of Costs

More Information

Click for more information on Program Costs and Financial Aid.

Remember to speak with the Office of Financial Aid at your home campus to determine how your aid package could apply towards your program abroad.

Academic Requirements

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors are able to apply. Applications are welcome from students in all majors.

Previous study of French is helpful but not required.  Students with no prior study of French may also apply.

Experiential Learning

Excursions and service learning is a key part to this program.

Funding Opportunities

Most financial aid and academic awards will apply to semester programs.

External scholarships, listed on our website, are a good way to partially fund your study abroad experience. In addition, the Center for International Education and Global Strategy offers two scholarship programs for UAlbany students studying abroad on UAlbany or 4-year SUNY programs.

More information on applying to these scholarships is located on the Scholarships web page.

Program Advisor

Stokes, Jay

About the City

Montpellier is located in the south of France along the Mediterranean sea.

Travel Documents

A valid passport is required to participate in this program. You do not need a visa for this program. 

Application Availability

Applications become available online one semester before the program start date, based on the following timeline:

  • Winter programs: July

Program Dates

Winter 2019

12/27/2018 to 1/19/2019

About the Program

Learn more about IMLS online here.

This comprehensive brochure outlines the program and agenda.

Program Orientations

Upon acceptance to the program, you will be required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation. During this time, you will have the opportunity to meet other program participants, discuss in-depth the details of your program, and prepare of the overall education abroad experience. The fall semester pre-departure orientation will be conducted the Saturday before the end of Spring UAlbany classes and in late November/early December for the spring term abroad.

Upon arrival at IMLS, you will attend a mandatory program orientation. This is an important and informative set of sessions organized by International Office of your host university.

Support Services

UAlbany’s Office of Education Abroad staff assists you during the application process, in your preparation to travel abroad, and on-site if necessary.

IMLS staff serve as an experienced resource for resolving issues that you may encounter in while abroad.