Study Abroad - Aix Extracurricular Activities

IAU offers its students in Aix-en-Provence, France, dozens of opportunities to explore and maximize their time abroad. From cultural and linguistic immersion opportunities to athletic sports, lecture series to soirées with students from the local French universities, IAU has something to meet the needs and interests of its diverse student body.

            
Students on a January weekend ski trip to Vars in the Hautes-Alpes. (Left) Emily Murphy, Shakhnoza Nasriddinova, Madison Ryan, and Elayne Deelen take in the mountain air after a gondola ride; (Center) Liam Maguire, Emily Scott, Lauren Butler, and Nate Goldman snap one last photo after eating lunch on top of the mountain; (Right) Emily Scott takes a moment to enjoy the view at the top of slopes. Photos courtesy of Liam Maguire.

Please contact IAU's Student Life Coordinator, Ms. Margaux Hofstedt, for inquiries regarding the below opportunities. 

French Language

  • Meet French students through IAU's Language Partner Program: a cultural and French/American language program allowing all IAU students to have regular contacts with French students while in Aix. Students are paired with local French students from Political Sciences University and other Universities in Aix. This is one of the best ways to make your study abroad experience worth your while. IAU regularly invites French and American students to various events such as buffet dinner parties, live music parties, talent shows and much more!

  • Over 60 American students are a part of this French-English language partnership. French students study at local universities such as The Institute for Political Studies (l'Institut d'Etudes Politiques) and the Aix-Marseille University (L'Institut Universitaire de Technologie de l'Université d'Aix-Marseille). IAU students help tutor French students in English and help them prepare for their English oral and written exams.

  • Some recent activities that the Language Partner Program has been involved in include: a trip to Montpellier with students from the IEP, celebrating Valentine's day and playing billiards with students from l'IMPGT and an international dinner with students from IEP.

Explore Provence

  • Visit a winery and participate in a winetasting at Château Lacoste.

  • Olive picking in the Fall: Check out photos from a trip to the olive gardens! 

  • Visit lavendar fields in the summer: Visitors from all over the world come to Provence in June and July just to walk through acres of lavender fields, all 5 senses enlightened by this wonderful flower. You will be learning about the distillation process and the many uses of lavender essential oil.

  • Join a local church/synagogue/mosque while studying in Aix and meet French and foreign students from all over the world.

  • Cooking workshops at l’Ane à Nageoires.

      


Traveling in Europe and the Mediterranean Region

WSA Europe: IAU is a partner with WSA (Weekend Student Adventures), an organization that helps students travel safely in the region.

Physical Activities

  • Hike to the summit of the jewel of Provence, Mount Saint Victoire, Paul Cezanne's favorite motif. A 2-hour easy climb to a chapel-marked top offering an outstanding 360° panorama. 

  • Learn to play the typical pétanque. A perfect way to spend your afternoons in local parks!

  • Go skiing or snowboarding for the day in the Spring with our partner Bivouac Travel agent.

  • Spend an afternoon at Indian Forest Sud Aix rope park.

  • Mountain bike around Mount Saint Victoire with our partner Aixprit.

  • Rockclimb, hike and Nordic walk with our partner Evana.

  • Take dance classes – ballet, modern dance, Zumba, and MORE with our partner Aix City Ballet. Additional resources include: Dance in Aix, Festival d’Aix and Dance Studios in Aix

  • Take salsa and swing dance classes with French students (free admission).

  • Attend free rehearsals at Pavillon NoirAix Contemporary Dance National School.

  • Schedule a weekend trip with Discovery of Provence!

  • Attend pilates classes.

  • Sports and Fitness - Around 50 different individual or collective sports are available for IAU students. IAU has a special agreement with Aix-Marseille University sport organization allowing IAU students to attend all sport activities and join French University teams. Sport categories: soccer, American football, basketball, handball, swimming, waterpolo, martial arts, tennis, running, athletics, fencing, horseriding, squash, badminton, hockey, sailing, Frisbee, golf, and gymnastics. To inquire and to enroll for activities contact the Student Activities Coordinator.

  • Swimming - Students interested in swimming while abroad can locate a pool using the Aix-en-Provence Office of Tourism Swimming website

Working while Abroad

  • Job Opportunities with French Families - Students can work as tutors, babysitters and English teachers for families in Aix, which will help them meet French people and make money on the side. Job placement cannot be guaranteed by IAU. Part-time jobs in Aix-en-Provence can be hard to find and require students to complete the OFII Form during the long stay student visa application.

Student Conferences

IAU Students Attending a Local Festival