Summer Language Program

1. What Is the Summer Language Program (SLP)?

The Summer Language Program is a four-week program which provides the opportunity for students from around the world to study French and learn about the French culture. It offers a unique, excellent, and highly enjoyable learning experience in the classroom, as well as in its excursions to places of interest in the region and its extracurricular program.

This program is partially funded by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Uni¬versities and must take place in the summer.

2. Who Can Apply?

To be eligible, you must be:

  • a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is also
  • a graduate or undergraduate student
  • pursuing a degree at a member university in the ORA consortium
  • be registered at that university in the academic year preceding participation in the Summer Language Program;
  • be continuing in the academic year following participation.
  • Students who are participating in the ORA regular exchange program are eligible to apply for the SLP, however, they must take the summer course prior to starting the ORA regular exchange program.

3. How Many Spaces Are There?

The number of spaces varies from year to year, depending on funding provided by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

4. How Does the SLP Relate to the ORA Exchange?

The ORA (Ontario/Rhône-Alpes) Stu¬dent Exchange Program is a jurisdictional exchange between the twelve publicly funded uni¬versities in Ontario’s partner region of Rhône-Alpes and the following Ontario institu¬tions: Brock, Carleton, Guelph, Lakehead, Laurentian,  Nipissing, Ottawa, Queen’s, Ryerson, Trent, Waterloo, Western, Windsor, and York.

The SLP is a special initiative within the ORA Exchange but can also be combined with the exchange.

5. What and Where Is Rhône-Alpes?

Rhône-Alpes is one of the 26 regions of France, located on the eastern border of the country, towards the south. The region was named after the Rhône River and the Alps mountain range. Its capital, Lyon, is the second-largest metropolitan area in France after Paris. Rhône-Alpes is also the 6th European economic region. Rhône-Alpes contains 3 major cities in France. It forms the triangle Lyon - Grenoble - Saint-Étienne.

6. Which Rhône-Alpes Universities Participate in the Summer Language Program?

Université de St. Etienne and  Grenoble 3 are the 2 Universities that offer Summer Language Programs during the month of August. These courses are offered through the Language schools attached to the above mentioned universities: Centre International de Langue et Civilisation (CILEC) in St. Etienne and Centre universitaire d’études françaises (CUEF) in Grenoble 3.

7. How Much French Do I Need?

No specific level of French is required to participate in the program. On the first day of the 4 week program in St. Etienne or Grenoble, you will be tested and placed at the appropriate level.

8. How Much Financial Aid is Available?

Participating students will receive a scholarship of $1,000. 

9. When Do I Receive My Scholarship?

Once you arrive in France, the ORA Program Office will send you a Scholarship Agreement form. You will have to sign the form and return it to the ORA Program Office as soon as possible. Cheques will be sent to a Canadian address as indicated by you on the scholarship form.

10. How Do I Apply?

  • complete and sign the ORA Summer Language Program application form
  • write an explanation of your reasons for wishing to participate in this program (max. 1 page, double-spaced); and
  • submit your application to your home university’s International Student Exchange Office. Please speak to your International Office for deadlines. 

Important: Please do NOT submit your application directly to the ORA office.

11. What Is the Process / Timing for Acceptance?

The ORA Program Office will consider all applications received from the Ontario Universities and will establish a rank-listing based on the numbers of applicants and distribution among Ontario and Rhône-Alpes universities.

The selected students will be informed by electronic email of their ORA acceptance and their placement. We will do our best to inform you about your placement by the middle to the end of April 2014.

After you return from your summer course, you will be asked to submit a report to the ORA Program Office in Ontario on your activities and experiences by September 30.

12. What Is My Status in Rhône-Alpes?

You must register as a student at your host uni¬versity in Rhône-Alpes. The university’s International Office, with which you will be in contact before leaving Canada, will help you with this process. Your student status allows you to live in residence and gives you access to stu¬dent discounts for everything from travel to entertainment.

13. Do I Need a Visa?

If you hold an EU, Canadian, or American pass¬port, you do not need a visa to enter France. For all other passports, please find out from the French Consulate.

Students who do not hold an EU passport and are participating in the Summer Language Program in France and staying less than 90 days are not required to obtain special documentation because they are considered visitors. For details on this and other bureaucratic niceties, visit the French Consulate Website.

In all cases, however, you are responsible for ensuring that you have the necessary documen¬tation and permits/visas.

14. What Kind of Insurance Do I Need?

You must arrange for additional insurance (for both health insurance and liability insurance) in France; OHIP or another Canadian insurance plan is not adequate.

Your host university’s International Office can advise you on what kinds of insurance are needed and where you can obtain coverage at a reasonable cost.

You may also wish to consider baggage or other insurance.

15. Is Accommodation Provided?

The International Office of your host university will arrange accommodation for you based on your request on the application form once you have been notified of your acceptance into the SLP (see # 16 for more details)

16. How Should I Budget?

You need to pay for your transportation from Ontario to France(approximately $1,500) plus monthly expenses of $1,000 to $1,500, including accommodation, food, insurance, student service fee, entertainment, and other incidentals. Do not forget that you receive an ORA scholarship of $1000.

Please note that the course fees and accommodation costs are different for each program.

 St. Étienne: Course fee 550 €


     *  Private Residence:  Furnished studio flat - Monthly rate of 450 €

 Grenoble: Course fee 640 €


      *  Private university Residence: (Furnished room with wc, private shower, collective kitchen) Monthly rate of 315-620 €

       *  Home Stay: One student per family, half board, including breakfast and dinner Monthly rate of 630 €

17. Can I Get Academic Credit for the language course?

Students who wish to obtain academic credit for the course in Rhône-Alpes must arrange this through their home university, at whose sole discretion credit can be granted. You will be receiving a transcript from the Host University which will confirm that the summer course is equivalent to 12 ECTS.

18. Can I Participate More than Once?

Students may participate a maximum of once at a given level of their studies. Students applying for the first time will receive priority.

19. What If I Return Home Before the Agreed-On End of my course?

If you decide to return early, you may be required to return your entire scholarship or a portion of it. The determination on this will be made by the Ontario Program Office.

20. Which Conditions Apply to My Participating in the SLP?

Once you are accepted into the SLP and have confirmed your participation, you must keep the Program Office in Ontario apprised of any change in your circumstances and contact information.

Students must sign a legal statement accepting responsibility, legal and financial, for all aspects of their program.

If you break off your stay prematurely, you may forfeit all or part of your scholarship.

SLP participants are representatives of their home university, the ORA Exchange, Ontario, and Canada. Under extreme circumstances that endanger the reputations of these entities, the Program reserves the right to abrogate a student’s participation.

Upon completion of your summer program, you must provide the Program Office with a report on all relevant aspects of your SLP. We reserve the right to make this report public or anonymized if you wish.

21. Where Can I Get More Information About France?

A good source of information is the ORA Handbook for Students from Ontario, which you can find (and download) on the ORA website. This handbook is updated annually in the spring, but even the handbook for the current year con¬tains useful information.

22. Whom Can I Contact for Advice and Assistance?

Once your file has been sent to the host University in Rhône-Alpes, you will be able to ask questions to the Director of the Program in Rhône-Alpes. Also, the Program Office located at York can provide advice and assistance. The contact informationfor the Ontario Office is as follows:

ORA Program Office 
270B York Lanes, York University 
4700 Keele Street 
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3

Tel. 416-736-2100416-736-2100, ext. 40006 or 22919

Fax 416-736-5709

E-mail llewin [at] ouinternational [dot] ca

apoleszczuk [at] ouinternational [dot] ca