Chateau program offers life-changing experience


This past spring, I was fortunate enough to be able to be study abroad through the Chateau Program. The University of Southern Mississippi’s Chateau Program is a semester- long program that sends students to be taught by USM professors in France for nearly three months.

The first week of the program is spent in Paris learning from professors in places like the Louvre, the Pantheon and various cities. After a week in Paris, our group travelled by train to Strasbourg where we arrived at the chateau that we spent the next two months living in.

While over there, we took around 15 credit hours of classes and could spend any of our free time exploring Europe. On the weekends, if we weren’t travelling for a field trip then we were free to travel wherever we wanted.

As a group, we all bonded through our shared experiences and memories. Many of us travelled together on our free weekends to places like Amsterdam and Germany. Some of the people I met by studying abroad, I hope to still call friends years from now.

Every day while studying abroad was a new and exciting adventure. Travelling by public transportation into the city, walking to the grocery store, going out to eat and ordering in another language, all were things we went through almost every day and each was something that we learned from. Because of this, we were no longer just learning in the classroom, but through the world.

By studying abroad, I learned so much about the world and about myself that I could have never even imagined. I learned another language and about a foreign culture both inside the classroom and through experience. I made so many amazing memories while study abroad.

While abroad, we were taught by some amazing USM professors that we all owe our gratitude to for being there on our many field trips and travels and giving us lessons that will last us a lifetime.

The person our group owes the biggest thanks to is Madame Rowland for being such an incredible director of the program and for so generously dedicating herself to every student she teaches and travels with.

“Even if you don’t go on the Chateau program, don’t graduate from college without studying abroad,” Keltoum Rowland, French Professor and director of the Chateau Program said.

Rowland explained that after college the opportunity to study abroad will no longer be so readily available and many countries, especially in Europe, offer transportation and travelling discounts for students under the age of 26.

The Chateau Program is only one of the many study abroad programs that USM offers. The Office of Study Abroad, located in the International Center, has Study Abroad Coordinators that can discuss your options with you academically and financially. Don’t miss the opportunity to study abroad.