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  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

You MUST choose your FIRST PREFERENCE SEMESTER when applying.

DO NOT apply to the same program for different terms. You will be able to indicate your openness to alternate semesters within the application questionnaire.

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Direct Enroll, Direct Enroll plus ND course(s) Recommended GPA: 3.0
Housing Options: Host Family Language Prerequisite: Intensive Beginning French with a grade of ‘B’ or better or equivalent
College: College of Arts & Letters, College of Engineering, College of Science, First Year of Studies, Mendoza College of Business Language of Instruction: French
Class Level While Abroad: Sophomore or Junior Language Courses Offered: Yes
Minimum Credit Load: 15 credit program Program Director: Christiane Buessard
Special Opportunities: Community Based Learning, Cultural Excursions Program Required Approvals: Advising Dean Approval, DUS Approval
Program Required References: Language Reference
Program Information:

The University of Notre Dame has offered a program of study in France since 1966 when the Stage Université Notre-Dame en France (SUNDEF) was created in association with the Université Catholique de l’Ouest located in the provincial city of Angers. Situated in the historic Loire Valley at the confluence of the Maine and Loire rivers, Angers is less than 2 hours by train from Paris and about 1 hour from the Atlantic port city of Nantes. The city’s cathedral dates from the 12th-century and its 13th-century castle situated on the banks of the river Maine was built by Saint Louis. The heart of the city, with its winding, narrow streets and old houses, maintains its medieval charm.

Program Dates*
Academic Year: End of August (for advanced track UCO students, beginning of August) through early June
Fall semester: End of August (for advanced track UCO students, beginning of August) through mid-December
Spring semester: Beginning of February (for advanced track UCO students, mid-January) through beginning of June

*Please take program dates into consideration and how they may coincide or conflict with internship and other academic requirements.

Academic Program
In Angers, students take courses at the CIDEF, an institute designed specifically to serve the needs of foreign language learners, located within the Université Catholique de l’Ouest. This program is particularly well-suited for students with intermediate levels of French, although only one semester of French is required for participation in this program.

A direct enrollment program at the Catho is available to a limited number of students with high proficiency in the French language. The students will matriculate directly in the Université Catholique, where they study alongside students from France and from other member states of the European Union. All students considering the direct-enrollment should make an appointment with the program advisor to discuss their options.

Courses taught in Angers fulfill curricular requirements or electives at the University of Notre Dame. Courses that meet university requirements can only be taken by students reaching a certain level of French: for students reaching middle intermediate levels (B1.2 of the CEFR levels - placement tests will be taken before the program), Fine Arts, History, Social Science; in addition, for students reaching upper intermediate levels (B2), Literature, 2nd Philosophy,and 2nd Theology (Spring only).

The required course load is 18 credits for the Fall (intensive four-week, 3-credit course during the month of September) / 15 credits for the Spring.

For a list of courses offered in Angers, please visit the
Courses Abroad database.

  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • At least a B average in French
Special Opportunities
  • FitzGerald Scholarship: each year, two or three Angers students with high financial needs are offered the FitzGerald scholarship to help them defray their study abroad costs. Preference is given to academic year students.
  • Service-learning opportunity: for several years, the SUNDEF has had a close relationship with the staff at a local retirement home in Angers. This has evolved into a project that involves regular visits by ND students in small groups going to talk with the elderly residents on specific topics, sometimes related to courses, and also about each other's lives in general. Each semester culminates in a final celebration at the retirement home and a final project (a booklet or some memento that students create for their partners). Please note that this program usually runs during the spring as it requires a minimum enrollment of 10 students.
  • Student chaplain service: available to all students at the Université Catholique. In addition, SUNDEF students may attend masses in the Catho’s Church. Many students attend Mass with their French families in the parish where they live. Some prefer Mass in the 12th-century cathedral, the Carmelite monastery just outside Angers, or even the nearby Benedictine Abbey of Solesmes, renowned for the preservation of Gregorian chant.
  • Cultural activities: in addition to old Romanesque and Gothic churches and a number of chateaux, monuments, and parks, Angers has two world-famous tapestry collections, from the 14th and the 20th centuries. It has museums, libraries, a permanent regional symphony, a national ballet theater company, a national lyric theater center and various lecture and concert series. Traveling companies play regularly at the theater.
  • Sports: Angers has a professional soccer team, numerous sports clubs and outdoor and indoor Olympic-size pools. Tennis is popular and court use is inexpensive with student discounts. There are also several gyms in Angers that offer memberships.
  • Excursions: many cultural enrichment excursions are built into the program each semester. In addition to these excursions, SUNDEF students can go to Paris for a day or two, an easy trip because of excellent train service. Angers provides easy access to the rest of France and many other European countries.
Housing and Meals
Students live in private homes located throughout the city of Angers, with families chosen by the director of Social Services at CIDEF and/or the Notre Dame resident director. Students must conform to local customs and house rules as to receiving guests, and the hours and the use of house facilities. All breakfasts and three dinners per week with the host family are provided by the program.

During the month of September (Intensive French course), students will take their noon meal during the school week at the Catho. Throughout the regular semesters and when classes are in session, a weekly lunch is organized by the program.

A living allowance is issued to students on the first day of the month to be used at their discretion for eating at home, at a state-operated student restaurant (RU), or at commercial restaurants.

If you are considering applying to a study abroad program and you do not have a valid passport, or your passport will expire within six months past your program end date, please take steps to obtain or renew your passport immediately. Passports can take longer than expected to process, and you may need your passport to apply for visas well before your program begins. For more information about obtaining and renewing passports visit the United States Postal Service.

Relevant Links

This program is currently not accepting applications.