University of Poitiers Exchange

Language Requirement: 2 years
Academic Standing by Program Start: Sophomore or above
Location: France
GPA: 2.75
Program Overview

The city of Poitiers has a history of serving as a university center since the Middle Ages. The University of Poitiers was established in 1431 by Pope Eugene IV and King Charles VII, and is known for educating many famous philosophers and scientists – including François Rabelais and René Descartes, Joachim du Bellay, Guez de Balzac – throughout the ages. It is one of the oldest universities in Europe.
There are currently over 26,000 students attending the University of Poitiers, 4,000 of which are international students. The university utilizes buildings that date back the 16th Century as well as facilities that were built within the last few decades. With over 1,000 faculty and researchers and 14 colleges and faculties for, students have a wide variety of academic subjects to study. And the campus is just a 15-minute bus ride from the city center.
Poitiers is located in western France In the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. It is a young city as many college students inhabit the area. It is full of historic churches, Romanesque architecture, shops and cafés near the city center. It is approximately 2 hours from Paris by train and has convenient public transportation (bus and railway).

** GEO programs are under continuous review during this period of global uncertainty and limited travel. All program details outlined on this page, including program cost, are subject to change if global or location-specific conditions require modifications to program structure.

Academic Details

The Poitiers program is ideal for students in a variety of majors who have sufficient French background and are hoping to experience cultural immersion in the French context. All courses are instructed in French.
The academic program begins each fall with a stage, an intensive cultural and linguistic orientation course for which you will receive UO credits. During the stage, you will complete a language skills evaluation that determines placement in the Language Institute or confirms that you are ready for direct enrollment in general university courses taught in French.
One Semester:
Studying at Poitiers for one semester is a unique opportunity for students to improve their French skills. After taking a placement exam, students will either be placed in the Language Institute courses at the Centre de Français Langue Étrangère (CFLE), which offers intensive training in French language skills at all levels, or will be allowed to directly enroll in courses taught at the University of Poitiers. By directly enrolling in courses at the university, students will continue to improve their French proficiency while taking regular university courses in a variety of fields. The semester program can be paired nicely with an internship semester in or around Poitiers.
Academic Year:
Students who go for a full year have a variety of options, depending on their level of French. If you have only completed your second-year of college level French, you will likely get placed in the Language Institute courses at the Centre de Français Langue Étrangère (CFLE), which offers intensive training in French language skills at all levels. After completing a semester at the CFLE, students will then have the option to transition into directly enrolling in subject-specific courses at the university for their second semester.
For students who demonstrate sufficient language abilities and place high enough on the placement exam, you will be able to directly enroll in courses in a variety of fields including the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and business management. Most students who arrive in Poitiers with three years of college-level French are ready for direct enrollment their first semester.
Areas of study include:
•    Law, economics and business management
•    Life, health and sport sciences
•    Science and technology
•    Social sciences, humanities, languages, and are
•    Education

Some of the unique academic programs at Poitiers include medieval studies, theater arts and film, and the Institute of Technology, which blends scientific studies with technological training and innovation. In addition, students majoring or minoring in the fine arts or music may sometimes be placed into one or two courses per semester in the School of Fine Arts Poitiers, on a case-by-case basis. Studio art and music courses cannot be guaranteed until after arrival in Poitiers, usually based on examination of a small work sample.

Poitiers uses the ECTS crediting system in which 1 ECTS is equal to 0.75 UO quarter credit. Most courses are worth 6 ECTS, but some are only worth 3 ECTS. Students attending Poitiers must register for 15-30 ECTS in the fall semester and in 30 ECTS in the spring semester. You should consult with your UO academic advisor before submitting your course enrollment to Poitiers. Note for spring semester students: the courseload required to reach 30 ECTS is extremely rigorous (you may be required to take 8-12 classes). You are encouraged to consider applying for the fall semester or academic year.

Course Equivalencies

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.

Housing Description

Students can request housing through a form that will be made available to you be int Poitiers's International Relations Office. Depending on your preferences, they will offer you a placement in a university residence hall or a list of private accommodation options that you would then be responsible for coordinating. University housing is not guaranteed; the earlier you apply, the better chances you have of securing a residence hall placement. Please note that students typically need to pay a security deposit and housing insurance is mandatory.

Additional requirements
  • GPA of 3.25 or above for graduate students.
  • Two years of college-level French or equivalent with GPA 3.0 or higher. Three years for direct exchange.
Application process

Selection for the program is based on a review of the student's written application, transcripts, recommendations and completion of the interview process.

IMPORTANT: Applications for exchange programs involve two parts. Both parts of the application are due by the application deadline. Early application is advised. 

1. Completion of the UO online application.

2. Completion of the University of Poitiers online application.

Please note that students cannot begin the interview process until both applications are complete.

Application fees are due at the time the applications are submitted and are non-refundable under any circumstances.

Graduate Students (year-long program only)

In addition to the process described above and below, graduate student applicants must also complete the Graduate Enrollment in UO-Sponsored Study Abroad Programs form. This form requires that you obtain pre-authorization for your program from your adviser, department head and the Graduate School.

Dates and Deadlines
TermYearDeadlineArrival DateDeparture Date
Fall Semester20212/12021Late AugustMid-December
Academic Year2021-222/1/2021Late AugustLate May
Spring Semester20222/1/2021Early JanuaryLate May

Travel Advisories

For current health, safety, and travel advisory information, search the US Department of State country webpage.