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A Little Bit of France in the Caribbean is a unique academic program offered by the Department of Modern Languages and Intercultural Studies to provide students with an opportunity to experience francophone culture in the Caribbean in a way they might not as independent tourists. The program is scheduled to run during spring break 2013. Students will participate in a variety of activities that will allow them to gain a deeper understanding of the history and culture of the island of Martinique, from its colonial role in the French triangular trade to its present day struggle to define itself as an independent nation. Martinique is an island of contrasts: Program time is spent immersed either in the bustling city-life of Fort-de-France or the stunning natural environment of Martinique’s coastal villages. Under the guidance of experienced faculty of French language and francophone culture, students will learn about the geography, history and culture of the island, while experiencing its breathtaking flora, fauna and marine-life first-hand. The next offering of Martinique: a little bit of France in the Caribbean is scheduled for spring break 2013.
CLASS: MDFL 399: Martinique (1 credit) - A one-credit academic course offering appropriate for any students with an interest in Martinique, the history of French colonialism, francophone literature and francophone culture of the Caribbean. The course is designed to provide participants with a structure to read, write and think about the island of Martinique as it continues to define itself as an independent nation. While program participants visit Martinique’s key monuments and cultural sites, shop in its traditional outdoor markets, and dine at its seaside cafés, they will read about how the island came to be what it is today. The program faculty will help participants to reflect on their experience through brief lectures, writing assignments and group discussion. In addition, the faculty will help participants with no French language experience to learn some basic survival French, and those who have studied French to use this travel experience to improve their oral and listening skills. All participants must register for the one-credit course and are expected to participate in the planned program activities. No previous study of French is required, and there are no pre-requisites.
EXCURSIONS: The Martinique program includes programmed visits to important cultural and historical sites throughout the island including the main square of Fort-de-France, the historic Schoelcher library, the island’s government offices, and the lively market place of the capital city. Participants will also be given the opportunity to climb to the top of Mont Pelée, the active volcano that last erupted in 1902, and to mountain bike through the island’s tropical terrain to one of the island’s most beautiful beaches: Les Salines. Other planned excursions include: touring a rum distillery, snorkeling near les Fonds Blancs, visiting a former slave plantation, taking a mini-train ride through the volcanic ruins of Saint-Pierre, and enjoying a guided boat tour of the François islands.
HOUSING: Throughout the program, participants will stay at the Centre International de Séjour (CIS) in Fort-de-France, Martinique. The recently constructed youth hostel has double-occupancy rooms, each with its own bathroom and shower, a flat-screen TV with access to the main French-speaking channels transmitted from the island, as well as from the French mainland, a buffet-style cafeteria offering traditional island cuisine, a snack bar, and wireless internet access (for a nominal fee).
COST: Total cost of the Martinique program is estimated to be $2,200. This includes all tuition and fees, international airfare from Philadelphia International Airport, full room and board in Martinique, participation in all cultural excursions and admission to all cultural sites. Not included: Passport fees and optional miscellaneous expenses (wireless internet at the CIS, snacks, souvenirs, etc.) The final cost will be determined in fall 2012.
APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS: Admission is competitive and enrollment is limited. Students will be admitted on a rolling basis until the program is full. The application deadline for spring semester is December 1, 2012, however enrollment is limited to 15 students, and it is expected that this program will fill to capacity. Once the program is full, accepted students will be placed on a waiting list, regardless of the application deadline.
In addition to the application form interested students should submit the following directly to the program director:
Final date to withdrawal from program is December 1, 2012.