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Chateau Program offers abroad experience


The University of Southern Mississippi’s Office of Study Abroad invites students to spend a semester in Strasbourg, France through the Chateau Program, which includes a cultural and academic journey through multiple French cities over the course of about three months. This program begins Feb. 15, 2017, and students will return on April 30, 2017.

The program will begin with a week-long cultural exploration of Paris. While earning 13-16 hours of history, French and English credit, students live in the Chateau de Pourtales, an 18th century chateau.

Not only do students get to take classes and reside in a historic city, there are many opportunities for students to visit other cities through excursions organized by the program or independent travels during breaks.

Some of these guided excursions include a tour of Strasbourg, a visit to the Council of Europe, a visit to the European Parliament, tours of Frankfurt, Heidelberg and Struthof and a performance in Strasbourg.

Madame Keltoum Rowland, director of the Chateau Program, said she especially encourages freshmen and sophomores to consider participating in a semester abroad in France.

The program offers credit for courses needed by almost all majors, such as English 203 and World Civilization 102. Because of the offered general- education courses, the first two years in college are the best times to participate in study abroad, according to Rowland.

The program is not limited to French majors.

“Study abroad pushes students to get out of their comfort zone,” Rowland said. “It allows them to broaden their perspective of the world and come back home with a more critical eye.”

The cost of the Chateau Program is estimated to be $10,830, which includes program fees, tuition, airfare and personal expenses.

Many students’ main concern about study abroad programs is the financial aspect. However, financial aid applies directly to tuition and housing in Strasbourg.

“Students don’t realize that if they are paying for housing, tuition and a meal plan, they are spending about as much as they would studying abroad,” Rowland said.

“Participating in a study abroad program is surprisingly affordable,” said Molly Hinesly, a sophomore international business major who plans to study abroad this spring. “The department helped me really make a plan to make this happen, and I know it is going to be so worth it.”

Sophomore public health major Anastasia Walrod attended the 2016 Chateau Program last spring.

“I decided the attend the Chateau Program on a whim, just a few days before the application date closed,” Walrod said. “Choosing to attend was the best decision of my life. I read poetry on a French hillside, discussed Jewish identity in a Nazi work camp, danced to street music near Sacre-Coeur and toured the European parliament. I gained a sense of identity as an American abroad and learned what it meant to be an international citizen. The memories and friendships I made will last a lifetime.”

According to Madame Rowland, spending one semester abroad is a great way to do something different and gain cultural experience that students would not find while staying at Southern Miss every semester of their college career.

The deadline to apply is Nov. 4, and the program is limited to 25 students. For more information or to apply, students can contact Madame Rowland at keltoum.rowland@usm.edu or the Office of Study Abroad at 601-266-4964.


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