Harvard Summer Program in Aix-en-Provence, France
10/1/20: In light of the significant and prolonged uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Harvard Summer School is closely monitoring the feasibility of operating our 2021 summer study abroad programs. The health and safety of our students and staff is paramount and we will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide more information as it becomes available. For further travel resources, please visit the Harvard Global Support Services website and Harvard’s coronavirus website which is frequently updated and contains the latest announcements, guidance and resources.
This unique program, situated in the picturesque town of Aix-en-Provence, brings together students of French language and culture to examine historical, literary, and cultural aspects of Arab and European interactions in the colonial and postcolonial (contemporary) eras. You investigate cross-cultural perceptions, tradition versus modernity binaries, travel, exile, immigration, gender, and family. Field trips and lectures on topics related to the area supplement class time.
The program will be of particular interest to those who focus on French or Arabic language and area studies. You take two courses:
- An intensive upper-level French or Arabic language class introducing you to literary and cultural texts that treat Arab-European encounters
- A literary and cultural criticism course (in English) covering seminal works of contemporary literary and cultural theories on postcoloniality (i.e., negritude, orientalism) and Mediterraneanism as ways of understanding the primary texts
COMP S-134 Study Abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France: The Arab World and France, Textual Encounters (34702)
This course introduces students to a variety of writings, in Arabic or in French, including travel accounts, ethnographies, memoirs, essays, short stories, and novels. The central themes unifying the readings are a shared interest in imperialism, nationalism, modernity, and the complex nature of identity. The readings explore anti-colonial resistance, decolonization, and the interconnectedness of economic, political, and cultural phenomena in recent Mediterranean history. The syllabus additionally features texts that treat labor migration, musical culture, and the interplay of religion and language in the construction of national cultures.
Prerequisite: Three years of Modern Standard Arabic or two years of French, or the equivalent level of proficiency.
COMP S-136 Study Abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France: The Arab and European Mediterranean from Colonial to Postcolonial (34703)
This course introduces students to contemporary theoretical, critical, and political debates that inform Franco-Arab (read: East-West) relations throughout the recent history of the Mediterranean.
Where you Live and Study
Aix-en-Provence is a small town in southern France that is home to several important universities and educational centers. It is an ideal place to explore the interaction of Arab and European history, languages, literature, and cultures.
You stay with local families, chosen by the experienced staff of our local host institution, the Institute for American Universities.
You may apply to no more than two programs; if applying to two programs, you will be asked to rank your two applications in order of preference (first and second choice). Any applications submitted in excess of the maximum of two will be automatically withdrawn. You will be notified of your admissions status in each program by late February.
A complete online application includes:
- Basic personal information
- A statement of interest
- Your most recent transcript
- Program-specific requirements (if applicable; may include letters of recommendation, audio or video submissions, etc.)
Interviews may be requested at the discretion of the program.
Harvard College students applying for funding from the Office of Career Services (OCS): Please note that the OCS funding application is separate. OCS funding awards are tied to a specific program, and cannot be transferred to another program.
If you have questions about the application, please contact the Harvard Summer School Study Abroad Office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at (617) 998-9602.
Cost & Expenses
The program fee includes:
- Scheduled program activities
- Some meals (the program will provide further details)
You will also need to budget for a number of expenses not covered by the program fee. The amounts listed below for these out-of-pocket expenses are approximate, and you may incur additional expenses not noted here. Your actual expenses will depend on a number of factors, including personal spending habits and currency exchange rates. Note that for 2021, expense categories--especially airfare--may be subject to significant fluctuations.
- International airfare ($1,300 - $1,600)
- Ground transportation ($200)
- Meals ($1300)
- Personal expenditures, communications, course materials, and miscellaneous ($400)
If you have specific questions about personal budgeting, please contact the program directly.
See Funding and Payment for information on how to submit payments and funding options.
Please note that 2021 program information is subject to change
- William Granara, PhD, Professor of the Practice of Arabic on the Gordon Gray Endowment, Harvard University
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