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Global Seminar: France and America: Connections through Time (Bordeaux, France)
Bordeaux, France
Program Terms: Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline App Review Begins Start Date End Date
Summer 2015 01-FEB-2015 
Variable 12-JUN-2015 27-JUN-2015
Summer 2016 01-FEB-2016** Variable TBA TBA

** For most programs, applications are reviewed on a rolling admissions basis (starting August 1st for Spring programs and starting January 15th for Summer and Fall programs). NOTE: Applications for programs offering exchange positions will be reviewed AFTER the application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed
Fact Sheet:
 Type of Program:
Faculty-Led Global Seminar
 Areas of Study:
History, International Affairs, Political Science
 Minimum Required GPA (at time of application):
 Minimum Class Standing (at program start):
2 - sophomore
 Course Prerequisite(s):
Preferred (not required): previous coursework in ANTH, ECON, GEOG, HIST, IAFS, or PSCI
 Housing Option(s):
Residence Hall
 Open to students from:
 Language(s) of Instruction:
 Course Load for Summer/Winter Program:
3 credits
 Length of Summer/Winter Program:
2 Weeks
Program Information:


Eating Escargot Like a French Person by Tom Zeiler

  • Learn how two of the world's most influential powers, France and the United States, are uniquely connected

  • Fulfill the major degree requirements in IAFS, HIST or PSCI (see Academics section for more details)

  • Earn 3 credits in 2 weeks in June

  • Enjoy numerous excursions around Bordeaux and hear guest lectures by local faculty

  • Missed the interest meeting? For more info click here

  • Learn more about this program: YouTube and Wordpress


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.




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 will take place the last two weeks of June. Check the Dates/Deadlines section above for exact program dates.

For information about arrival and departure, see the Program Specific Handbook at the bottom of this page.



  University of Colorado
Course Levels

IAFS 3500: France and America: Connections through Time (cross-listed as HIST 4190)


This course is approved to fulfill the Arts & Sciences Historical Context core requirement. The course counts as Europe/Eurasia concentration and Functional Area 3 for IAFS majors, as an upper division elective credit for PSCI majors and 4190 for History majors.


3 University of Colorado credits




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 Programs 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.


Students will be staying in a residential dormitory facility at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques. Each student will have his/her own bedroom and bathroom with fridge and microwave and will share general living space with four other students on the program.

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.

Bordeaux by Claudia Rebora

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





    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 in #1).

    1. Bordeaux grants for International Affairs majors: Award amounts will vary from a pool of $2,000.

    2. Bordeaux grants for Political Science majors (to be confirmed for summer 2015): The Department of Political Science will award small scholarships to PSCI majors who apply to the program/scholarship. Award amounts will vary.

    3. Bordeaux grants for History majors (to be confirmed for summer 2015): The Department of History will award up to $2,000 in scholarships to HIST majors who apply to the program and to the scholarship. Award amounts will vary.

  • Global Grant for IAFS and G-RAP Students: The International Affairs Program (IAFS) and Global Studies RAP (G-RAP) offer Global Grants for CU-Boulder Study Abroad Programs. The grants are $1000 each and open to IAFS and G-RAP students only. To be considered you must apply for the CU-Boulder Study Abroad Scholarship (see the link above). Click here for more information on this scholarship.

  • Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) Grants: (up to $2400/project) for undergraduate research or creative work projects including projects while studying abroad. Application, detailed descriptions, project archive (to get project ideas) are available on the UROP website. Application deadline is EARLY - usually in late February/early March.

  • 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: Visit the Alliance website for more information. The application deadline is usually March 31.







Students Eating Fondue at a Cafe by Tom Zeiler





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 2014 Participant
The course was very easygoing, but informative and very involved. Lots of information was covered, and all of it was useful for the final paper at the end of the course. Bordeaux was an amazing city to get to know, and the completely appropriate place for this program. We had a local guide who introduced us to a few friends, so that was easy to meet locals. Otherwise, the time seemed to short to make a lasting bond with anyone local there. The excursions were a great part of the trip. All very related to the course, and all extremely fun.
Summer 2014 Participant
The classes were really wonderful. It was such a treat to have a different professor each day lecture about his or her speciality. The location of the dorms was nice because it was right next to the classes, however, it was a 18-20 min tram ride from city center. On the flip side, if we were in the city center, it would be a 18-20 min ride to class, so on the whole, I think living near class was better. The local people absolutely blew away any negative stereotypes I might have been holding on to. I highly encourage breaking away from the group a few times to experience France from the local perspective...first stop, the local outdoor market! The afternoon excursions were very well planned and almost always related directly to what we had learned and discussed during the morning lecture.
Summer 2014 Participant
Being in Bordeaux was a great way to experience the content of the course rather than just reading or hearing about it. Bordeaux was beautiful and so much fun, and the people we met there were all wonderful, from the professors to the students and locals we got to know. All of our trips were a lot of fun as well as educational. It was truly a great experience.
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!