Le Havre is more than just a port city in northwestern France: named a World Heritage site for its postwar architecture and home to renowned impressionist painters, the city also houses the Université du Havre. The university is ideal for students seeking to improve their French skills and offers course options in both French and English, French lessons at every level, tailorable credit-bearing volunteering opportunities, and a welcoming environment for international students (that includes a peer-tutoring program!).
Students studying in France must be independent, self-reliant, organized, and able to handle ambiguity in order to successfully immerse into the highly structured and often times bureaucratic French university system.
A student must be comfortable with advocating for themselves on campus and comfortable with the local language to thrive in this location. Student services and especially class registration may not be at all similar to what is done at the College and may be difficult for some students to adjust.
To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:
Students applying to ISEP must apply for an Exchange option (in any country) as a first choice but may apply to a Direct option as a back-up. Direct options may have an additional cost (see a financial section for more information).
Le Havre, in the northwest, is France’s second largest port. The town was largely rebuilt after World War II and today features beaches and a marina. Le Havre’s central location offers frequent ferry service to Great Britain and Ireland and facilitates travel all over Europe.
Established in 1984, Le Havre takes pride in its close relationship to local industries which facilitates hands-on training of students.
Le Havre is more than just a port city in northwestern France: named a World Heritage site for its postwar architecture and home to renowned impressionist painters, the city also houses the Université du Havre. The university is ideal for students seeking to improve their French skills, offers course options in both French and English, French lessons at every level, tailorable credit-bearing volunteering opportunities and a welcoming environment for international students (that includes a peer-tutoring program).
Le Havre offers an array of courses taught in English at both the undergraduate and master’s degree level. These programs include but may not be limited to:
Bilingual degree in law at the undergraduate level (courses in English):
Bilingual Degree in International Management (courses in English):
ACADEMIC ENVIRONMENT AND TEACHING STYLE
French universities operate in ways that are quite different from the system with which you are familiar. Understanding the differences will help you plan your program of study in France, use your time effectively while you are there and return with transferable credits. French students follow a highly structured curriculum specific to the degree they are pursuing from day one at the university. They do not take “liberal arts” or general education requirements for 2 years before focusing on a major or area of study as most U.S. students do.
In general, French students have to assume more responsibility for their own lives on campus than American students. They do not have as many campus support systems as American students, and they too may experience frustration when they first begin their studies! The amount of information you receive before you leave and during the first days or weeks of your stay abroad may seem overwhelming. However, if you review the material sent to you by ISEP and your host institution carefully, you will be ready to meet the challenges of adjusting to a different system and find your coordinator and professors more willing to help you than if you had not prepared yourself.
French professors are not as accessible as their American counterparts. Increasingly, however, professors do have office hours or may be available if you make an appointment. They will also be willing to answer questions and discuss problems before or immediately after class. It would be a good idea to introduce yourself to the professor at the beginning of the year, explaining that you are an international student. Do ask other students in class for advice or assistance if you do not understand something.
Please understand that the academic system is quite different. Classes are usually lecture-based, instead of discussion or group work. Classes are often much larger than those found at Lake Forest College. Grades are based heavily, at times almost entirely, on one end-of-term exam, though some courses will also offer a midterm. Professors are often more formal than those in the United States.
All courses/modules may have prerequisites. Some departments may have limitations on numbers of courses that can be taken within or outside it. Be aware of these limitations.
Please follow the instructions provided through the link “Tips for Finding Courses”.
While students can take a full course load in English, it is highly recommended that students have a working knowledge of the French language to navigate daily life in France. Students with a French background should submit a Language Proficiency Report for French to demonstrate their language level.
Registration (inscription) is the process of enrollment into the university; you will fill out many forms and hand in several passport-size photos in order to receive the various university cards signifying your enrollment.
Selection of courses is done during registration. You should expect to have to go to each building that houses the faculté (department) of the course you wish to take, find the administrative office, ask for a course listing and sign up for the desired course. Students should be aware that the registration process can take several days. French universities are not as “service-oriented” as those in the United States and there are many students for few administrators. Ask questions of your ISEP host coordinator if you have trouble registering. Also, the add-drop process is very informal. You may want to observe several classes before making your final selection and to make sure that you will be able to follow the course and fulfill all course requirements. Remember to consult about any changes in your course selections with your host and home coordinators and advisors. Be sure to keep track of your courses, including course titles, hours, professors, and assignments for after your exchange. In all cases, you must verify all of your course information with your host coordinator to ensure that you have enrolled properly.
The actual number of hours in a class varies according to the department or subject and the amount of work expected of students outside of class. Courses usually meet 1-2 hours each week, meaning you will probably be taking a higher number of courses than at home. Most current ISEP students in France are taking 12-15 units per semester.
EXAMS AND GRADING
Student performance is assessed in two ways:
Some U.S. universities will only award credit if you have an exam grade. Exams may be oral or written. The professor will grade you as he or she does a French student. Although the grading system in France goes from 0 to 20, the grades from 0 to 14 are generally used; 15 and 16 are relatively rare; 17 and 18, very rare; and no one is sure that 19 and 20 really exist. A 10 is about a U.S. “C”; in some courses, an 8 or 9 may be a “C” for a non-native speaker; 12 is good. Above that - bravo!
The atmosphere at a French university may seem low-pressure, but be on your guard. Even if a class does not require regular assignments, you must keep up with the reading and attend classes. Final examinations are given at the end of each course. ISEP students should check with professors to determine when the exam will be given as most professors do not provide a syllabus at the beginning of a course. As a foreign student, you may not be required to take the final exam. You may be able to substitute written assignments for the exam. Check with the professor to find out whether you are expected to take the exam in order to get a grade (in many instances, the exam might be the only evidence that you have taken the class) or whether you can substitute other assignments. Taking a final does not automatically entitle you to a grade since you must pass your exams to receive a grade. Also, make sure to register for the exam in addition to taking it.
If you make any special arrangements with a professor, obtain the agreement in writing signed by both you and the professor. Provide a copy of the agreement to both your home and host ISEP coordinators and keep a copy for yourself. Without an agreement in writing, it is expected that you will take all final exams. Credit transfer is not guaranteed if you fail to take exams or provide written proof of other arrangements.
Please review ISEP country handbook for more information.
Students should be advised to contact their host ISEP coordinator prior to arrival on site to notify them of their itinerary. Students should plan on being at arriving at their host site during normal business hours (to be provided). Upon arrival in France, students can take the reliable public transportation to their destination. Once in Le Havre, students can buy a special discounted bus pass to get around.
Host will provide arrival directions with acceptance packet.
|The Universite du Havre offers several extracurricular volunteer/service learning or internship options for students who want to deepen their French learning. These programs include placements in primary or secondary schools, sports, music, or the arts; for some programs, students have the option to complete a report and thesis defense and receive credit. These experiential learning opportunities can be tailored to the student’s needs and interests.|
|Housing and Meals|
Students are housed in rooms in residence halls. A stipend is provided for meals, which students can use to purchase meal tickets in the cafeteria. Students who qualify for semester exchanges beginning in January are housed off-campus.
For all approved programs for guaranteed financial aid transferability, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee. The program fee for a semester with the ISEP Exchange program includes orientation, on-site director, college fees, housing, and a stipend to cover the equivalent of 19/meals per week.
Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2018/Spring 2019 programs:
Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of January 2018. We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change.
You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.
Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate and will depend on your course registration choices.
Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.
For Questions About the Initial Application Process:
Coordinator of the Global Engagement Office