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Programs : Brochure

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Program Information:


  • Learn from French professors the pressing issues and current events affecting one of Europe’s most influential countries
  • Sit on the banks of the Garonne River and enjoy the park atmosphere with French locals
  • Visit the first known American diplomatic station in the world, first established in 1778
  • See the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux, first constructed in 1780
  • Fulfill the major degree requirements in IAFS, HIST or PSCI (see Academics section for more details)

  • Earn 3 credits in 2 weeks in June

  • Please note: this program often fills early - it is recommended that you apply in advance of the application deadline.

  • Want to see more? Check out this video from 2017 participant, Jessica Sullivan!

  • Missed the info session? View the presentation here!

  • See photos from this program!


Two students eating escargot

With a long and rich heritage as a political, economic, and cultural hub, Bordeaux has, for centuries, sat at the crossroads of history and contemporary affairs. Situated near the Atlantic coast (and excellent swimming and surfing beaches), Bordeaux offers both a unique and universal perspective on France. It is a French city but also a European and global center with a historic district that is a United Nations World Heritage site.

A few hours to the south lie the Basque country, the Pyrenees, and Spain. Paris is just three hours North by train, and Brittany and Normandy are also easily accessible. Bordeaux has a modern tram system, a maze of picturesque streets, and the largest pedestrian mall in Europe. Of course, the wine industry gives Bordeaux a special place in a network of vineyards, companies, and transportation links across Europe and the world.

You are expected to be full participants at the pre-departure meetings and at each visit and lecture in Bordeaux. In addition to on-site lectures in Bordeaux, the course will include site visits, guest lectures, and day trips.


Students will be staying at the Teneo Talence Cetnre in Bordeaux. This hotel is a 2-minute walk from the Forum tramway stop, 3.7 km from Bordeaux Cathedral and 5 km from Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux.

Each room includes a kitchenette with a microwave, mini-fridge and stove top. All come with flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. Some rooms feature terraces and separate sitting areas. The hotel provides continental breakfast for a small extra charge. Additional amenities include a business center and laundry facilities.

A Welcome and Farewell dinner will be provided on the program.


Students are responsible for making their own transportation arrangements to France and back. The program begins and ends in Bordeaux.

Transportation on program-related field trips while in Bordeaux is provided as part of the program fee.


  • Course: IAFS 3500, France and America: Connections through Time (cross-listed as HIST 4190)
  • Credits: 3 upper-division credit hours
  • Approved for: This course is approved to fulfill the Arts & Sciences Historical Context core requirement. The course counts as Europe/Eurasia concentration or Functional Area 3 for IAFS majors, historical views Core for CMCI, as an upper division elective credit for PSCI majors, and 4190 for History majors.
  • Grading: This is a CU Boulder course, so you will receive letter grades
  • See course description

With Bordeaux as a case study, French Connections will familiarize you with the history and contemporary relations of two of the world's most influential powers. Topics in the course include: revolution/democracy/nation-building, war and society, trade and business, education, immigration, security/diplomacy/terrorism, and regional/global integration. The course will also examine how France and America have, at times, embraced and also vilified each other. French Connections is targeted at students majoring in International Affairs, History, Political Science, Economics, Anthropology, and Geography, although students in other majors may also apply.

The course fulfills the Europe/Eurasia concentration for IAFS majors and counts as an upper division elective credit for PSCI majors. It also fulfills Historical Context for A&S core. A detailed course syllabus will be provided to all the students and is available from the program director.


The program is directed by Professor Tom Zeiler. He is a Professor of History and International Affairs and also the current Director of International Affairs. He was part of the Visiting Professor Program with L'Institut des Sciences Politiques Bordeaux in spring 2011. His experience leading and teaching groups of students abroad consists of spending two years as a Fulbright scholar in Tokyo, Japan and Buenos Aires, Argentina. During this time, he taught foreign students at their local universities, as well as groups of visiting students from the United States.

Professor Zeiler, along with staff from the Study Abroad office, will select program participants.

See Professor Zeiler's Faculty Spotlight.


The program schedule is relatively busy but when students are not in class or doing a group visit they will have time to explore Bordeaux. There are many class site visits in and around Bordeaux, a guided tour, and two day excursions.



    The following 3 scholarships are specifically for program participants. To be considered for any/all of these 3 awards below, you must apply for the Buffs Abroad Scholarship (see the link above).

    1. Bordeaux grants for International Affairs majors: Award amounts will vary.  Students must complete the additional essay questions for IAFS majors in the Buffs Abroad application to be considered for this funding.

    2. Bordeaux grants for Political Science majors: The number of awards and amounts varies, but awards are typically around $500.

    3. Bordeaux grants for History majors: The number of awards and amounts varies, but awards are typically around $500.

  • Katherine J. Lamont Scholarship: (for students studying abroad on a French program for the first time). Contact the French & Italian Department;

  • Alliance Française de Denver: The application deadline is usually March 31.



Coffee and pastries in Bordeaux

Program Reviews:
Summer 2014 Participant
Bordeaux is a great place to study abroad. The course is very informative and the workload is quite fair. I highly recommend having the French experience. The culture is quite unique--the food and wine are amazing and the history in the areas is unbeatable.

Summer 2013 Participant
academics - not too intensive, shallow introduction into a broad array of topicslocation - housing and school: 20 minutes outside of city center. bordeaux in relation to europe: can fly and take train easily to many places. europe is small.housing - minimalistic, but sufficient. best part (for me): single rooms = escape, solitude, etc. worst part: distance from city center. interactions with locals - be friendly and they will reciprocate. dont be an ass. try to learn the language and they will love you. and bordeaux has really nice people for the most part. etienne is awesome. local transportation - very convenient. goes everywhere youll wanna go. europe in general does this very well.excursions - st. emilion is the jam. taste a lot of wine. and do something fun on the weekends.

Summer 2015 Participant
Bordeaux is beautiful! Located in wine country in France, it is surrounding by gorgeous vineyards and countrysides, and the city itself is very fun to explore.

Summer 2014 Participant
Class was easy, but it's important to be alert in class. The location was beautiful, though not as close to downtown as I was expecting. Locals were kind as long as you were respectful back. Excursions were amazing, make sure to be prepared for them!

Summer 2013 Participant
It was a great learning experience to learn from the professors in the country we stayed. The location of the dorms and the school were nice because it was out of town. The dorms were also a good experience because we were there with French students. There was a lot of free time which was great for exploring and interacting with the people. Transportation was surprisingly efficient and easy. Excursions were a great way to see more of the country and to learn more of the history of different locations. The only Slight negative about the trip was getting to the location of the city as well as our free weekend. I had never been out of the country before and was quite unaware of a lot of obstacles and other travel expenses. Along with buying plane tickets on my own, I also had to buy train tickets to get around. Also there were a few of us who did not know many people on the trip and planning to do things together became a last minute decision that could have been easier if we had spent more time together before we left the U.S.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline App Review Begins Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 23-JAN-2018
Variable 16-JUN-2018 30-JUN-2018
NOTE: Dates on this page are for information only; final dates will be confirmed with participants after acceptance to the program. Do not purchase airfare until instructed to do so by your Program Manager. The Start Date indicates the day participants arrive at the program location; the End Date indicates the day participants depart from the program location.
Summer 2019 23-JAN-2019 ** Variable TBA TBA

** Most programs’ applications are reviewed on a rolling basis (starting August 1st for Spring programs and January 15th for Summer and Fall programs). NOTE: Some programs start the admissions process earlier and fill before the deadline, and some programs’ applications aren’t reviewed until after the deadline. Check with Education Abroad staff for details.

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