France: Strasbourg

Program Snapshot
Semester: Fall, Spring, or Full Year
Offered: Annually
Estimated Dates: Fall: early September to late December, Spring: Mid-January to early June
Program Focus: Language Intensive


FREN 202 with a 3.0 GPA or better and 3.0 GPA in language. Students must satisfy the Words and Numbers CORE requirement before participating in an overseas program.
Housing: Host Families

Campus Contacts:

Isabelle DeMarte
Associate Professor of French, 503-768-7426

Molly Robinson
Associate Professor of French
, 503-768-7422

Philippe Brand
Associate Professor of French, 503-768-7429

Program Design

The Lewis & Clark France Program in Strasbourg focuses on the language, history and contemporary culture of France. Courses are taken with faculty in the Institut International d’Études Françaises (IIEF) at the Université de Strasbourg, and are also taught by other faculty from the Université de Strasbourg. Students with advanced French have the option to enroll directly in courses at the Université de Strasbourg in most departments. All students take an internship course, with internship opportunities available in a number of fields.

Since its founding by the Roman Empire, Strasbourg has served as an international gateway and birthplace of great ideas in every era. Its rich history as the much-disputed prize of many nations has given the city a unique international flavor. Strasbourg houses the Council of Europe and the European Parliament, as well as the European Court of Human Rights. In addition to its role as the political “Capital of Europe,” Strasbourg is an important economic center. Its historic role as the “crossroads of Europe” continues as the second largest port on the Rhine river and the midpoint between France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and Luxembourg.

The city overflows with cultural activity from the homespun to the avant-garde. Internet-connected cafés are tucked onto streets that look as they might have two hundred years ago. An ultra-modern tramway takes locals from Renaissance and Medieval-period areas of town to metropolitan commercial districts, and even within minutes to Germany. Culturally, the city boasts a national opera with ballet, a national theater, museums, gardens, and one of the largest and most beautiful cathedrals of Europe. Strasbourg continues to have an active modern artistic community, keeping cultural growth in the city alive. More cultural experiences than anyone could possibly attend are available, all within a short walking distance.

Onsite Staff: The Resident Director of LCCF is Beth Zehr. Originally from New York State, she graduated with a BA from James Madison University and also did MBA studies at Syracuse University. She has worked as an administrator for study abroad programs for 30+ years. She enjoys reading, traveling and is an active member of the Anglican Church in Strasbourg, serving as the safeguarding officer.

The Academic Director of LCCF is Ronald D. Lyndaker. Ronald holds the doctor of musical arts degree from The University of Texas at Austin. He studied as well at Eastern Mennonite University and The Ohio University. In addition to academic oversight for LCCF, he is employed as an opera singer at the Opéra de Nancy et de Lorraine, and as an associate professor and language studies coordinator at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris in Nancy. He has taught 30+ years at the university level. Hobbies include jogging, swimming and reading. For him, study abroad furnishes a life transforming experience when combined with cultural and linguistic immersion. His international experiences have included: a stay as an exchange student to Sweden; a junior year abroad at the University of Strasbourg and the Regional Conservatory of Music in France; and graduate research and study in Prague at Charles University.


Requirements Fulfilled:

GE prior to Fall 2020 - This program fulfills the 8-credit International Studies general education requirement for students who successfully complete 12 or more semester credits. 

GE Fall 2020 and later - This program fulfills the Global Perspectives general education requirement for students who successfully complete 8 or more semester credits.

This program fulfills the overseas study requirement for the French Studies major, the World Languages overseas study requirement with French as the primary language, and applies up to 12 credits toward the French Studies minor.

Credits: Credit earned varies based on courses completed. Students may earn up to 19 credits. Overloads are not permitted. 


French Language: Students are given a French language placement examination to determine course curriculum options, which vary according to students’ language levels. Students also take an internship class where they meet regularly with a French professor, keep a journal and complete an internship. Additionally, students may choose from a wide variety of courses offered by many of the regular departments or Facultés of the University of Strasbourg, with the exception of the Sciences where admission is limited.

Students may earn credit in three ways:

  • LCCF courses: Each term LCCF hires French professors to teach a small number of courses that are available only to LCCF students.

  • IIEF university courses: University courses open only to international students. These courses are taught in the IIEF: Institut International d’Etudes Françaises, a part of the University of Strasbourg. Most students will have at least some coursework at the IIEF. All classes are taught in French, with a focus on French language and civilization. Courses range in level from beginner to advanced, designed for mastering French language acquisition in the areas of oral, written expression and comprehension. Subject courses in French civilization, literature, politics, and culture are taught at advanced levels.

  • University of Strasbourg faculté courses: University courses open to French and international students: LCCF students can take classes at a number of departments and institutes of the University of Strasbourg, depending upon their level of French skills, and class size availability. The Institut d’Etudes Politiques, a separate selective part of the UDS system, is a faculté with popular course offerings.

LCCF Courses in Strasbourg

Intercultural Research Project
All students complete an internship class as part of their first semester in Strasbourg. The internship opportunities are varied and reflect students’ interests. Past internships have included positions at bakeries and floral shops, refuge organisations, an LGBTQ centre, Catholic charities, art galeries, wine shops, local high schools, and even the European Parliament. This course, under the direction of a French university faculty member, consists of completing 40 hours at the internship site, keeping a journal noting reflections, a weekly meeting with the professor, and a final research paper with an abstract.

French Writing Workshop and Village Field Project (Spring Semester)
This is a seminar course focusing on honing French writing skills while organizing and undertaking a Village Field Project in the Alsatian region, which is rich in history, art, and nature. Keeping in mind the local cultural specificity, students choose a village for a visit, interviews and interaction. The course culminates in oral and written research reports.

The European Union (Fall Semester)
This course primarily examines the development of the European Union and its institutions from its inception in 1949 to its present form. In addition, a number of international organizations located in Strasbourg will be studied. Three field trips are included to the EU Parliament, the Council of Europe, and the European Court of Human Rights. This course is taught in English.

Stage de Septembre (Fall Semester)
This course begins during the first week of September and has two parts: a pre-semester  intensive language class with assignments and a final exam, and cultural activities throughout the semester which also include regular assignments.

University Courses for Foreign Students at the IIEF

Most courses at the IIEF are one credit unless otherwise noted, except for the French language class, which is worth six credits.

Institutions Politiques
Study of the major developments in the French political landscape since the Revolution. Second semester deals exclusively with the Fifth Republic.

Histoire de l’Art
Fall semester: Néo-classicisme et romantisme. Studies of the works of David, Gericault, Gros, Ferie, Ingres, and Delacroix. Spring semester: Réalisme et impressionnisme. Studies of the works of Corot, Courbet, Manet, Degas, Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Morisot, Cassatt, Pissarro, and Cezanne.

Theoretic approach to French phonetics. Study of relationship between written and spoken French. Bibliography: Carton, F.: Introduction à la phonétique du français.; Malmberg, B.: La Phonétique.; Martinet A. Eléments de linguistique générale.; Wioland, F.: Prononcer les mots du français. Des sons et des rythmes.

Institutions Européennes
Survey of the major European institutions with particular emphasis on those headquartered at Strasbourg—the Council of Europe and the Parliament of the European Union.

Littérature: “Initiation à la Littérature Française”
General history of French literature with analysis of extracts from major works. Bibliography: Ronsard, poésies; Racine, Andromaque; Voltaire, Le dictionnaire philosophique; Flaubert, Un coeur simple

French Language Course Block (up to 6 credits)
A wide range of courses designed specifically to improve students’ grasp of French are offered at the IIEF. Subjects range from written and oral expression and comprehension to translation and writing styles. Students are placed in language classes according to their French level.  They may also receive a French diploma, signed by the University of Strasbourg President, which can certify their level and ability to take graduate classes in a French institution.

Other Courses commonly available at the IIEF:

  • Civilisation Française

  • Histoire du Film documentaire

  • Littérature du XXème et techniques d’Écriture Littérature thématique

  • Ecriture créative

  • Histoire des Révolutions Françaises

  • Traduction Anglais-Français

  • Relations Internationales

University Courses at the IEP

The Institut d’Etudes Politiques (IEP), part of the French Grande Ecoles system, is a highly selective Political Science and Public Policy studies institute at the University of Strasbourg where students can attend a wide range of classes. Most IEP courses are 2 or 4 credits per semester. The IEP has its own competitive admissions process, but Lewis & Clark students can be admitted by recommendation from their French professor at Lewis & Clark College, or after a semester at the IIEF. Students are required to complete an online application with strict completion dates the semester before attendance. Students majoring in Political Science or International Affairs will especially be interested in taking courses at the IEP but students majoring in other disciplines may also find classes that will compliment their majors.

Excursions: The program includes local and regional excursions through LCCF. Students attend a 4-day field trip to Paris, including museum excursions, a theatre event, and other cultural activities, along with gourmet dinners and three-star hotel accommodations. In addition, two day-long excursions in Alsace and sometimes Lorraine take place each semester. They include guided visits to museums, a concentration camp, the Alsace Moselle Memorial museum, a large château, charming villages, and always a fine-cuisine meal at a well-known regional restaurant.

Student Life

Housing: During their time in Strasbourg, students will reside with carefully chosen host families. Living with a host family gives students the chance to practice their language skills outside of the classroom, and lets students experience daily life in the average French household. Students will eat dinner and breakfast every day with their host families. LCCF provides students with a generous lunch stipend, which they can use to eat at student cafeterias on campus or at local cafés. 

Extracurricular Activities: Active student clubs introduce students to French peers who share extra-curricular interests in theater, pottery, hiking, singing, and more. LCCF gives each student a culture card, which allows students to purchase discounted and very inexpensive tickets to concerts, Opera, ballet, and theater performances, as well as discounted movie tickets. LCCF students also receive a university sports card, allowing them to choose from over 50 class offerings including dance, rock climbing, team sports, and horseback riding.

Travel: For students who want to travel, Strasbourg is ideally located. Constant train services keep London, Brussels, Zurich, and Paris all within a few hours’ distance. Cheap buses run regularly between Strasbourg and major European cities. Low cost airlines leave from the Strasbourg airport. International students from all over Europe and the world come to study in Strasbourg, making study in Strasbourg an intercultural experience of the most flavorful variety.


2021-2022 Fee Breakdown*

Total Fee (includes Tuition, Program Fee, and Health & Wellness Fee): $36,259

Tuition: $28,485

Program Fee: $7,737

Health & Wellness Fee: $37**

Included in the program fee are room/housing, board/meals, and administrative fees. Not included are airfare, passport and visa expenses, primary insurance coverage, photographs, books, immunizations, and incidentals. 

*Fees are updated every February for the following academic year.

**The Health & Wellness Fee supports the operations of Wellness Services staff in delivering pre-program orientation services, as well as in providing health-related consultation regarding participant health needs. All students in the College of Arts and Sciences pay a mandatory fee of $37 per semester.

Stipend: Students will receive a stipend to cover the cost of meals and transportation costs not covered by the program fee.

Estimated Airfare (Round Trip PDX to FRA): $800-$1,500

Estimated Travel Document Fees: $230 - $270

Estimated Health Insurance Fee: $1,350.50

All students participating in overseas programs are automatically enrolled in iNext, a supplemental travel insurance program. The fee for iNext is covered in the program cost. However, students are also required to have comprehensive health insurance during their time abroad. All students participating in overseas programs, both abroad and domestic, are automatically enrolled in the College’s student health insurance program. Similar to a regular semester on-campus, students participating in overseas programs may waive enrollment in the student health insurance program if they have other comprehensive health insurance (e.g., through a parent, guardian or employer) that 1) provides coverage for them in the geographic region in which they will be studying and 2) includes mental health benefits. Click here for more information regarding health insurance & overseas programs.  

Program Preparation

Application Process: Applications are due one year before the start of the program. The semester before the program, students are required to complete specific pre-departure tasks and attend an orientation session organized by the Overseas office. Students must also attend an orientation session presented by the French department, which is meant to inform students about French culture, customs, and the French university system. 

For more information about the application process, click here.

Travel: Students usually fly into the Frankfurt airport (FRA), where they can take the Lufthansa bus to the city center bus station in Strasbourg (2.5 hours). If students arrive at the station within a predetermined window of time, the host family will pick them up from the station.

Visa: Students will be required to apply for a visa in order to participate in this program. All students are required to present their visa documents in person at a VAC (Visa Application Center) in the US. The closest VAC center is in San Francisco. Visa applicants living in the United States can set up their appointment at one of the nine VFS Global centers regardless of their location. Click here to view all VFS locations. More information will be provided upon admission to the program. Please do not start the long-stay visa process until you have been notified to do so.

Country-Specific Health Information: Click here to view specific health information for people traveling to France.

State Department Country Information: Click here to visit the State Department’s France page.

France, Strasbourg