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IFE Strasbourg Field Study & Internship
Strasbourg, France (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Fall,
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Homepage: Click to visit
Program Sponsor: IFE - Institute for Field Education 
Restrictions: F&M applicants only
Budget Sheets Fall,
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Dates / Deadlines:
Tabular data for Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2020 10/01/2019 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Fall 2020 03/01/2020 08/01/2020 TBA TBA
Spring 2021 10/01/2020 12/01/2020 TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of F&M approval for this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
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Language of Instruction: French Minimum GPA: 3.0
Housing Options: Dorm, Homestay, Other Term: Fall, Spring
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Partner Institution:
IFE Language Pre-Requisite: 3 semesters
Program Advisor: Dean Sue Mennicke Area of Study: Art and Art History, Biology, Business, Economics, French, Government, History, Judaic Studies, Math, Music, Neuroscience, Peace & Conflict Studies, Philosophy, Physics, Pre-Health, Pre-Law, Public Health, Religious Studies, Sciences, Sociology, Theatre, Women's & Gender Studies
Program Type: Direct Enrollment at Local University, Field Study, Internship Opportunities, Study Center
Program Description:
Program Description:

IFE Field Study in Strasbourg

About IFE

The Institute for Field Education (IFE) originated as a French not-for-profit educational organization founded in 1988. IFE serves as a resource for advancing transatlantic understanding and contributing to European Studies in the US, principally by exposing students in depth and in situ to contemporary European society. At IFE international education is driven by a vision focusing on rigor in academics, seriousness of purpose in experiential education, high standards for cross-cultural exposure and learning and, finally, the importance and value of integrating these three goals.

The foundation of IFE’s work is it’s Field Study and Internship program model (Paris, Strasbourg, Brussels), Andalucía, and Asturias), with its detailed emphasis on making the European workplace accessible to students as a productive learning and research space. The keys to understanding IFE’s success can be found in the restricted size of its enrollments, its focus on one small area of the world, its embedded presence and dense local networks in that area, and its individual approach and commitment to designing the best possible international education for each student it enrolls.

Through IFE’s programs, students plunge into contemporary Europe, alongside committed professionals, and discover European society as it is: complex, stimulating, contradictory, creative.

Why Field Study and Internship?

IFE’s Field Study and Internship programs turn the European professional workplace into an effective learning space, a broad interface with another culture whereby students become fluent in French, deeply familiar with contemporary European society(ies), and more knowledgeable in their chosen field of study or work, gaining both know-how and comparative knowledge.

The success of IFE’s Field Study and Internship model can be traced to one clear, foundational concept: an internship in another culture is significantly, qualitatively different from a home-culture internship. A cross-culture internship differs in both the objectives for such an exercise as well as the techniques for ensuring the success of each student-intern. 

Why Strasbourg?

Borders divide but may also unite. Lining one side of the River Rhine, the ancient and modern city of Strasbourg, capital of Alsace, has known all the roles of a boundary land. The contemporary city is far more a center, and especially a crossroads of European cultures than is is the a borderland of France.

Home to international institutions, its two-culture heritage alive and well as the intersection of the EU’s two most powerful member-States, Strasbourg stands as a symbol of reconciliation. Along with Alsace it is an actor in the building of European community at local, regional and trans-national levels.

Still, much of the attraction of Strasbourg — the only city in Europe besides Geneva to host international organizations while not a national capital -– stems from it’s being a lively French city. Strasbourg offers a broad and highly representative canvas of contemporary France, at the local level. If study abroad is really anthropology, this teeming, ethnically diverse city is an anthropologist’s dream for understanding the reality of life in France today. 

Field Research

Students work individually with a research advisor from their field. The first task is to identify a topic, following guidelines established by IFE for research topic choice. The subject must be tied in a useful and complementary way to the student-intern’s responsibilities, as well as to the core concerns of the host organization. The research question should be designed to draw as much as possible on resources available to the intern via the internship (data, documents, interviews, observations, seminars and the like).

The extensive independent study field research paper produced by the student is both the centerpiece of the intern’s professional engagement and the culmination of the academic achievements of the semester. Rather than an extraneous burden added to the intern’s other duties, the field research project grows out of the internship through a useful and rewarding synergy of internship and research. The Field Study and Internship model results in well-trained student-interns fully engaged in mission-driven internships in their field, while exploring a critical problem guided by an experienced research advisor.


To enable students to take the step across the line that separates observers from participants, the IFE model begins with five weeks of classroom training, a mix of lectures and workshops combined with site visits. The IFE preparatory sessions provide students with an in-depth introduction to the local setting and culture that will be their milieu for living, working and studying during eighteen weeks. All instruction is solely in French. At the end of the first five weeks of the program, students are much more confident in spoken French and boast a solid familiarity with local issues, concepts, historical foundations, and actors. They are now informed observers, ready to become informed participants.

For program details, visit the IFE Strasbourg website.

Franklin & Marshall Academic Policy
F&M requires all students to enroll in a full course load at the host institution or off-campus study program. You can typically find this information on the program partner's website. In many cases, this will be four or five courses for a semester. Many programs grant course credit in U.S. semester credit hours. Franklin & Marshall will award four F&M course credits for a total of 15 or 16 U.S. semester credit hours.  If the total number of credits for your program is more than 16 or less than 15, divide the total number by four to find out how many course credits you will receive (this includes summer study).

Courses on off-campus study programs must be taken for a letter grade, not on a pass/no pass basis. Grades from off-campus study program courses will appear on your Franklin & Marshall transcript, but they will not be calculated into your cumulative GPA.

Courses taken off-campus may be able to satisfy major, minor, language or distribution requirements (Arts, Humanities, Social Science, Non-Western Cultures or Natural Science Lab) in addition to general elective credit. Courses may fulfill more than one requirement. Please note that Franklin & Marshall cannot issue transfer credit for a course taken in a department that is not represented at the College.  If a course does not clearly fall under a department, the off-campus study advising staff can help you determine whether or not it can be accepted for credit.

Franklin & Marshall Housing Policy
Housing options during your off-campus study program will vary by program. Some programs may allow students to choose their housing option; other programs require all students to live in a certain type of housing. Typical housing arrangements may include apartments, homestays, or on-campus housing at a local university. Please visit the program homepage to determine your program's housing options or requirements.

Please note that some programs may offer students the option to pursue independent housing (outside of the regular housing options provided by the program). F&M does not allow students to choose independent housing unless there is a significant academic or cultural reason (such as wanting to live in a homestay when only apartment housing is provided). Independent housing carries many risks and F&M and the program provider cannot provide any support to students who pursue independent housing. Students who are interested in pursuing independent housing will need to contact their off-campus study adviser to petition for approval to pursue this option.

Financial Policy, Financial Aid and Scholarships
During the academic year, students will continue to be eligible for financial aid during a term of off-campus study.   This includes federal and state loans and Franklin & Marshall merit scholarships and need-based grants.  In general, eligibility for financial aid is based on Franklin & Marshall tuition, cost of housing and meals from the off-campus study program, and an allowance for books and personal expenses.  Your annual estimated family contribution as generated by your FAFSA will remain the same regardless of program costs. Students who receive Grant-in-Aid benefits will continue to access these benefits for the semester off-campus. This benefit is only available to students of eligible full-time F&M faculty and staff.

Students may be eligible for additional scholarships outside of F&M, please review the Scholarships section of the website for more information.

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