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Study Abroad

France: University of Pierre Mendes

Washington College partners with Universite Pierre-Mendes-France in Grenoble.  The tuition only exchange program is based in Grenoble which is the capital of the French Alps.  Historically, Grenoble is where the French Revolution germinated and where Napoleon returned from his exile on the Isle of Elbe.

On a lighter side, Grenoble is a beautiful city surrounded by mountain ranges which offer alpine skiing in the winter and over 4000 km of trails for hikers in the summer. The city is conveniently located 537 km from Paris, 331 km from Nice, 100 km from Lyon, 145 km from Geneva, and 240 km from Turin while also at an important crossroads to Italy and Switzerland.


Classes will be taught in French by Pierre Mendes faculty members. The exchange student advising is done by the Service for European and International Relations.


All well qualified second semester Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors are eligible to apply for the exchange program with Pierre Mendes. This program is open to students in all majors. Students should meet the following prerequisites:

  • Avanced French Language Skills (ideally through the 303-304 level).
  • Strong academic record.
  • Evidence of good character, maturity, and motivation.
  • Ability and willingness to adapt to a foreign environment.

The cost of international travel between the United States and France; housing costs; meals; local transportation while in France; health insurance; books; and personal expenses are the responsibility of the student applicant unless other arrangements have been made.

Students should make an appointment to speak to the Director of Student Financial Aid to discuss the financial aspects of the program they plan to attend.

Living Arrangements

The Office of Housing for University Exchanges helps exchange students find suitable accommodations in and around Grenoble. Most students find it more affordable to share an apartment with other Pierre Mendes students.


Students will be able to take courses in the following disciplines: Philosophy, History, Art History, Music, Sociology, Social Sciences, Political Science, and Psychology.

Approximate Semester Dates:

  • Semester 2: mid-January to late June
  • or one academic year (late September to late June)