Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College
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Bard French Immersion (Tours, France)

Enhance your study of the French language with a summer immersion in Tours, France (just one hour from Paris). Take courses at the Institut de Touraine and stay with a French family. Earn credit in Intensive French from Simon's Rock while experiencing French culture en direct in the heart of France.

Hotel de Ville in ToursProgram Details 

Simon’s Rock students attend the program with Bard-Annandale students and receive four academic credits in Intensive French language upon successful completion of the program. Students take a placement test on their arrival in Tours to determine the level of their course. All levels of language (beginning to advanced) are available. Students may also enroll in literature, history, or culture classes, and often have afternoons free to spend time perfecting their French and experiencing French culture on their own. There are visits to châteaux, cultural destinations, and local restaurants with Bard and Simon's Rock faculty during the month. Students are free to travel on their own on weekends or after the program ends.

Stay with a French Family

All students live with families during their month in France. Breakfast and dinner are provided each day. In addition, Bard and Simon’s Rock faculty are in residence in Tours for the duration of the program. Families in Tours are chosen by the Institut and are very familiar with hosting foreign students. The housing director will find a family who will meet your dietary preferences (vegetarian, vegan, allergies, etc.) and who will make you feel at home, whatever your needs are.

Bard College Affiliation

Bard College founded the French summer program at the Institut de Touraine in Tours, France more than 20 years ago. Simon’s Rock students have participated since 2003. We have an established relationship with the Institute’s directors and instructors, as well as with host families in the area.

Required for Participation

  • Valid passport
  • Signed liability waivers
  • Health insurance and medical statement
  • Enrollment in a French course at Simon’s Rock
  • Good academic and social standing at Simon's Rock

Program Cost 

The estimated total cost of the trip is $3100, not including airfare of approximately $900-$1000. The final cost in a given year depends on the number of participants and the exchange rate. The fee includes tuition at the Institut de Touraine, room and board (breakfasts and dinners) with families, bus transportation from the airport in Paris to Tours, and cultural excursions during the month. Students are responsible for airfare, lunches, spending money, and leisure travel.


The first step is to fill out the contact information requested on the Application Form. Once there are a sufficient number of participants and you meet the requirements for participation, the trip supervisor will help you with other forms and information.
Students must be in good academic and social standing at Simon's Rock, must have taken (or be currently enrolled in) at least one French course at Simon's Rock, and must have or obtain a valid passport. To complete the program, students must receive a passing grade in their course at Tours and complete a journal in French, one entry per day, to be submitted to the trip faculty at the end of the month.
Students receive four credits in Intensive French from Simon's Rock at the end of the program.
The program in Tours can fulfill one semester of the language requirement. Students may complete the requirement with the course in Tours if they have already completed a course in French at Simon's Rock before enrolling in the summer program.
If you plan to fulfill the language requirement with this course and you are graduating in May, you will delay receipt of the AA until the following fall. Credit for the course is awarded after the trip faculty verifies your grades from the Institut and receives your completed journal. Your transcript will reflect these credits as of Fall semester following the program, but you will not receive your diploma until the following May. You may still be able to walk at graduation; contact the Registrar for more information.