Orientation takes place shortly after incoming students arrive and is designed to help them become familiar with their new environment. Students are introduced to one another, to ACM and to Aix-en-Provence. They meet with the Housing and Academic Directors and with the staff. During this period, the academic policies of ACM are explained and 
information is given about housing, cross-cultural adaptation, safety and security, and banking options. New students are briefed on social and recreational activities such as sports, ski trips, local gyms, and excursions. French "partenaires linguistiques" show students around the city, answer questions about life in France, and introduce their new American friends to "les jeunes Aixois." 

Early Start Program

Students are invited to join ACM for an optional week-long, early-start program before the start of their degree program. It is often thought of as an extended orientation. Review the weekly schedule to learn more!

Students can expect to:

  • Earn one course credit
  • Jump-start the French immersion process and ease into the new and exciting culture
  • Gain confidence in their language skills and feel comfortable in everyday communication with locals
  • Participate in a hands-on environment with small classes and personal attention
  • Learn to navigate the city of Aix-en-Provence through local excursions in a fun and relaxed setting
  • Attend lectures on local culture to get the most out of their abroad experience
  • Begin their French homestay a week early
  • Learn important intercultural differences such as body language, etiquette, do’s and don’ts, French homestay expectations, stereotypes and misunderstandings
  • Meet local French and foreign students through ACM
  • Learn where to buy the best croissant in town
  • Become a French insider!

Student Reviews

"The Early Start Program was an amazing introduction to life in France. In the morning classes we focused on French language and culture, and in the afternoons we went on a variety of excursions that were incredible. The wine tour and hiking were both personal favorites!"
- Julia Watterson

"This program was extremely useful and a perfect way to start the semester. Having a week to adjust to the time change before classes began was great too!"
- Courtney Carroll

"My French language skills improved during the Early Start Program, and I became more confident using my French to navigate this new city. I feel lucky to be here and am ready to start my semester."
- Klevisa Kovaci

The Early Start Program fee provides week-long housing with a French homestay, breakfast daily and six dinners, local excursions, language instruction and one course credit.

Students participating in the Early Start Program will be housed with their assigned French host for both the Early Start Program and the following semester. Travel details can be found on the Travel Logistics website. All dates and fees subject to change.

You can enroll in the Early Start Program by emailing admissions@acmfrance.org. Please note that the program does have a maximum capacity and we accept registrations on a rolling basis. You can expect to hear from ACM with confirmation of your enrollment in the Early Start Program upon acceptance into the full semester program. Your registration is not complete until you have received this notice from ACM.