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Summer - picnic in the meadow provence


A totally immersive experience

Many of us dream of living abroad, but few of us ever get the chance. We’re pleased to offer you a golden opportunity to realize that dream! This memorable program provides a richly enhanced way to spend an entire month living like a local in charming Aix-en-Provence while learning a new language and digging into a different culture. You’ll enjoy a balance of scheduled classes, activities and excursions along with ample leisure time for independent exploration.

Southern France is a feast for the senses, and here, amid the sun-drenched landscapes that inspired Cézanne, Matisse, Renoir and Van Gogh, you’ll experience French life at its best. Take in the lovely scenery, engage in captivating lectures and authentic encounters with local people. What could be better than that—a glorious summer in the South of France?


June 1–29, 2023


29 days


From $10,995 per person

Trip size

36 participants

Minimum age

18 years
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Faculty leader

A different kind of classroom

With renowned Stanford faculty and scholars leading the way, every Travel/Study trip is a one-of-a-kind educational experience.

David Kennedy


Learn about French history and international relations from historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Kennedy.


A month-long sabbatical in the heart of Provence

Attend French language classes on weekday mornings, then practice using those new skills on group excursions and during ample free time.

Language Track

Learn to communicate in French! Whatever your level of proficiency, work on acquiring or improving both written and oral communication skills, and learn to understand and speak on various topics. Classes are four mornings a week and are offered at multiple levels, from beginner to advanced. Classes are taught by Alliance Française, located about a five-minute walk from our hotel. Depending on the number of students at each level, it is possible that some classes will not be exclusive to Stanford.

Included in program price for all participants

Art and Culture Track

Enjoy three half-day excursions, one in Aix-en-Provence and two to nearby sites. Explore the streets and lanes of Aix-en-Provence as we learn about the stories behind the city’s famous fountains, including the hot springs discovered by the ancient Romans and the fountains that grace the squares and private mansions. Visit Lourmarin Castle, Provence’s first Renaissance castle that operates now like a mini-Villa Medici, and Silvacane Abbey, one of the Cistercian monasteries of Provence.

Included in program price for all participants

Culinary Track

Discover the region’s bounty of delicious meats, pâtés, cheeses, olive oils, and fruits and vegetables on a food shopping excursion to local stores and a farmers’ market. Later, learn the fundamentals of French and Provençal cuisine through two hands-on cooking lessons at a local cooking school in town. Find out firsthand what Julia Child was making such a fuss about all those many years ago! 

Optional addition available to participants: $545 per person

Active Track

Travel by public bus to several nearby villages for our hikes. Three guided excursions are offered, each led by a qualified hiking guide who will talk about the landscape, flora and fauna, truffles and more. Hiking highlights include the hilltop villages of Cucuron and Vaugines; Mont Sainte-Victoire best known as a repeated motif in the work of Cézanne (we’ll visit some of his favorite painting sites); and the town of Vauvenargues, where Picasso is buried. 

Optional addition available to participants: $575 per person

Trip details

Start preparing for the trip of a lifetime

From top to bottom, we’ve taken care of all the details, so you can enjoy a no-stress, worry-free travel experience.

Bouquets of dry lavender or lavandin blossoms for sale on the market of Aix en Provence, France

“I am delighted to have gone. I always wanted to live in France long enough to be familiar with its culture, history and people. My daydream was to live in my own little apartment in Paris and gradually involve myself. Well, this sabbatical accomplished my objectives and exceeded my expectations. The lectures, travels to surrounding towns and places, wine classes, cooking classes and various tours of Aix were all wonderful and taught me more than I could ever learn on my own.”

— Phillip Laird, ‘70


Secure your spot today

The price of your trip covers a comprehensive educational program in addition to meals, accommodations, tours and excursions. Continue reading for a full list of what’s included.

Join us in France

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