Annecy, France


The Study Abroad program in Annecy, France is hosted by the Institut Français des Alpes (IFALPES), and the focus of study is French language and culture. Students earn six UHM French language credits for coursework completed in Annecy.  The program is offered in even-numbered years.

Informational meetings via Zoom: TBA

Schedule an appointment with a Study Abroad Adviser on STAR Balance.

This program will be offered next in 2023.

2021 program dates: July 3 to August 7

Host Institution

The host institution, Institut Francais des Alpes (IFALPES), specializes in teaching French as a foreign language and is under the French University system. All Certificates and Diplomas are awarded under the guidance and approval of the Catholic University of Lyon. Courses are taught by native speakers of French who hold appropriate teaching credentials. The student body is entirely international. Therefore, there will be no French students taking courses.


The UHM Study Abroad program has a designated UHM Resident Director when appropriate. The Resident Director will monitor students’ progress, serve as an advisor, and provide student support services such as counseling and tutoring to UHM study abroad students when appropriate. Classroom facilities, in-country language instruction, excursions, accommodations, additional student counseling and tutoring are provided by the host institution. All courses are taught at IFALPES by faculty who hold appropriate teaching credentials and are native speakers and specialists of French language instruction.


Upon arrival in Annecy, students take a placement exam, focusing on communication skills. Accordingly students are assigned to language classes at their appropriate level. Conducted at IFALPES, the classes include four hours of language instruction a day, studying grammar, culture, and civilization. There are also three hours of conversation and phonetics per week.

The UHM Study Abroad Center appoints a designated UHM Resident Director when appropriate. The Resident Director oversees students’ academic progress,  mentors and/or tutors all participants. All students must participate in experiential learning activities led by the Resident Director in addition to taking classes at the host institution.


  • FR 101-102 Elementary French: Intensive courses of full-time formal instruction in France at the beginning level in French language and culture. Fulfills part of the second language requirement at UHM.
  • FR 258-259 Second Level French Abroad: Intensive courses of full-time formal instruction in France at the second-year level in French language and culture. Pre: 102. Fulfills second-year foreign language requirement at UHM.
  • FR 358-359 Third Level French Abroad*: Intensive courses of full-time formal instruction in France at the third-year level in French language and culture. Pre: 202 or 260. Fulfills UHM French major, certificate, or upper division elective credit requirements.
  • FR 458-459 Fourth Level French Abroad*: Intensive courses of full-time formal instruction in France at the fourth-year level in French language and culture. Pre: 360 or equivalent. Fulfills UHM French major, certificate, or upper division elective credit requirements.

*Courses applicable toward a Certificate in French.

Courses taken in Annecy will appear on UHM transcripts as UHM courses.


Summer 2023: TBA

Current as of Aug. 19, 2021.


Annecy, located in the heart of the French Alps, is known for what some call the purest lake in all of Europe. Lake Annecy is the central attraction for tourists and residents. Inspired by the beauty of the lake, French artist and Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne painted “Le Lac d’Annecy.” Annecy is a charming, bustling town, with narrow cobblestone streets, impressive mountain ranges, canals bordered with flowers, and majestic castles. It also offers a variety of recreational opportunities such as hiking, horseback riding, tennis, golf, swimming, boating, sailing, windsurfing, and water skiing.


Students live with a French host family in a single room. Breakfasts and dinners with the family are provided for the duration of the program. Weekend lunches may be provided by the family, upon request by the student, at an additional cost.

A major value of the homestay is that it provides students with the opportunity to closely interact with and learn from host country nationals. In addition to taking students beyond the public faces of the French, the daily contact with everyday French language in a natural setting facilitates students’ understanding of the culture and enhances language learning. Students living with families need to be flexible, and realize that a French “family” may not indicate a nuclear family that will include the student as a member.


Approximately four excursions are included in the program fees. IFALPES conducts weekly excursions, usually on Saturdays, to various regions of historical and geographical interest. Students may also participate in a variety of outdoor extracurricular activities such as sailing, windsurfing, and hiking.


Annecy, France

Program Cost (2021)


Cost includes IFALPES program fees, homestay accommodation, all meals, excursions, health insurance and UHM Study Abroad and other fees.

Roundtrip airfare between Honolulu and Geneva, Switzerland is not included; students have the option of taking the flight arranged by Third Eye Travel or making their own travel arrangements. 

NOTE: The above costs will fluctuate from year to year. This program is offered every other year, so the prices here reflect the last time the program was offered.


FOR UHM STUDENTS ONLY: In order to receive financial aid, please ensure that either: a) you are receiving financial aid during the preceding semester, or b) that you complete the Financial Aid application during the current semester.

NON-UHM STUDENTS (those attending other colleges and universities during the regular school year) must apply for financial aid at their home institutions.


See the Money Matters & Student Resources page for a list of possible scholarships.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Schengen visa-free

Admission Requirements

Students are eligible to study abroad as early as the second semester of their Freshman year or later.

The program is designed primarily for undergraduate students interested in studying French language and culture at the first, second, third or fourth levels. The minimum requirement is a cumulative GPA of 3.0. However, students with a lower GPA may be considered in exceptional cases. Non-native English-speaking students must have taken the TOEFL exam within the last two years and earned a composite score of 600+ or have taken the UHM ELI placement exam.

Admission to the program is selective. All applicants for the program will be judged on their academic performance, their reasons for wishing to attend the program, their flexibility, and sensitivity to other cultures, and their ability to adjust to a new cultural setting.

Immediately upon acceptance to the program, students are required to pay an initial payment that is non-refundable of $500.00 to ensure a place in the program. This initial payment will be applied toward the cost of the program.

Please note that students accepted to the program are required to attend three mandatory pre-departure class sessions totaling 12 hours. Failure to attend will result in students being withdrawn from the program.


A completed Study Abroad Center application and two academic references must be received by the Study Abroad Center by February 17* to receive consideration. Students from outside the UH System must also submit official transcripts from every college attended.

*The Study Abroad Center is closed on weekends, and Federal and State holidays.