Orientation takes place shortly after incoming students arrive and is designed to help them become familiar with their new environment in Aix-en-Provence. 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 more. New students are briefed on social and recreational activities such as sports, ski trips, local gyms, and excursions. 

Early Start Program

All first-year ACM students are required to participate in the optional week-long, Early Start Program before the start of their degree program. This is a pre-orientation program designed to further introduce students to ACM, Aix-en-Provence, and their fellow students. 

Students can expect to:

  • 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, and an introduction to French language instruction.

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. 

Students living independently for the semester are expected to live independently for the Early Start Program, as well.