French Visiting Student Program (FVSP)

A. Rationale
B. Eligibility
C. Program Structure
D. Course Selection and Transfer Credit
E. Credits Toward (i) an Arts and Science Major in French (ii) an Education Major in Modern Languages (French) or (iii) ans Education Minor in Modern Languages (French)
F. Grading
G. Application to the Department of Modern Languages
H. Enrolment and Fees
I. Financial Assistance


Study in francophone milieu is an excellent means of improving one's understanding of the French language. French 2250 is a required course for Modern Languages Education.


The program is designed primarily for French majors. Students are eligible to participate when they have second-year standing (a minimum of 30 credit hours) and when they have French 2000 or French 2001 with a minimum C minus (C-).

Since participants in the FVSP must register at the University of Lethbridge, they maintain their official University of Lethbridge student status while studying at the host university. As Residence Requirements vary across Faculties, students are advised to consult the University of Lethbridge Calendar and/or an Academic Advisor for the Residence Requirements of their Faculty.

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Students will spend a full semester at a francophone university, e.g., in Québec or in France. Participation in the FVSP is not permitted during summer semesters. The formal requirements of the Program are

1. During the semester a maximum of 6 one-semester courses, to include:

a) FR 2250. This course involves regular correspondence in French with the U. of L. French Off-Campus Studies Coordinator. A minimum of six (6) 500-word letters describing the student’s stay in Québec/France/ etc., must be forwarded every other week at predetermined dates. Credit for this work is granted in recognition of the anticipated improvement in the student’s command of the French language, resulting from her/his participation in the FVSP.

b) a maximum of five French transfer courses in French language, francophone literature or culture and civilization, or French linguistics. French transfer courses must be taught in French and must be eligible for credit at the 2000-, 3000- or 4000-level at the University of Lethbridge.

2. Options: In the above program of 5 French transfer courses (C.1.b.), a maximum of two substitutions are allowed:

a) Students may substitute a one-semester non-French transfer course for one of the French transfer courses mentioned above. A non-French transfer course is a course in another discipline (e.g., sociologie, psychologie, histoire, etc.) in which French is the language of instruction. Physical activities, other languages or courses taught in English are EXCLUDED.

b) Students may substitute a University of Lethbridge Independent Study in French for one of the French transfer courses mentioned above.

3. Minimum program requirements: In order to remain officially enrolled in the FVSP, students must complete at least three courses as follows:

a) French 2250,

b) One French transfer course,

c) One of the following: i) A second French transfer course; ii) One non-French transfer course; iii) One Independent Study in French.

N.B. If a student does not complete the minimum program requirements, s/he will be considered to have dropped out of the FVSP. Only students fulfilling the minimum requirements of the FVSP will be eligible to receive credit for French 2250.

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In selecting a university for the FVSP, prospective applicants should consult the promotional literature describing study opportunities in francophone regions - see brochures on display on Department bulletin boards and the online suggestions. The French Off-Campus Studies Coordinator in the Department of Modern Languages can also provide advice on selecting a university.

Students must select their courses for the FVSP in consultation with the French Off-Campus Studies Coordinator. While prepared to advise students on course selection and transfer credit, the Coordinator is not authorized to grant transfer credit for courses which students intend to take off campus. Upon completion of their courses at the host university, students will apply for transfer credit at the Admissions office at the University of Lethbridge as described in paragraph J.8 and 9. For non-French transfer courses, students should consult an advisor in the appropriate Department at the University of Lethbridge for advice on transfer credit. In planning their off-campus courses, students should keep the following in mind:

  • In order to be eligible for transfer credit at the U. of L., French transfer courses must be at or above the level of French for which the students have obtained official credit in a given "stream"; the Department recognizes four main "streams": language, literature, culture and civilization and linguistics. For example, students who have successfully completed a 3000-level French language course will not be allowed transfer credit for 2000-level French language courses taken off campus. Students must have passed the courses taken off campus in order to receive transfer credit for them. Moreover, any courses which duplicate work for which the student has already obtained official credit will not be eligible for transfer credit. Finally, a student may obtain a maximum of FIVE TRANSFER CREDITS from participation in the FVSP, plus an additional credit for FRENCH 2250.
  • Students may be required to take a language placement test by the host university. Students are strongly advised to enrol only in courses for which they are properly qualified, as indicated by the results of the placement test. Some students may thus find themselves having to take courses which are below the level of French for which they have already obtained official credit. Such courses would not be eligible for transfer credit.
  • Participants in FVSP should be aware that they may take longer than expected to complete all of their program requirements at the University of Lethbridge. For example, if the courses from the host university transfer at the 2000-level rather than the 3000-level, the transfer courses may not satisfy students' university of Lethbridge degree requirements. Such students would have to take additional courses to meet their graduation requirements.

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  • Only French transfer courses count towards the requirements for a Major or Minor in French.

  • Non-French transfer courses count toward students’ general degree requirements but not toward a Major or Minor in French.

  • Arts and Science Major: French 2250 will count toward the maximum of 17 French courses allowed in the Major but not toward the minimum 15 courses required for the Major.

  • 5-Year BA/BEd (French Major): French 2250 is a required course for this program.

  • 5-Year BA/BEd (French Minor)
    5-Year BSc/BEd “ “
    5-Year BMgt/BEd “ “
    5-Year BFA/BEd “ “
    5-Year BMus/BEd “ “
    French 2250 is a recommended course in these programs.


  • Mention will be made on participants' University of Lethbridge transcript that the semester was spent in the FVSP at a particular francophone institution. However, University policy does not permit titles of courses taken at the host university and grades awarded to appear on the University of Lethbridge transcript. Such information is recorded only on the transcript issued by the host institution. The transcript issued by the host university will be kept in each student's personal file.
  • Since students' grades from the host university are not recorded on the University of Lethbridge transcript and do not affect students' GPA at the University of Lethbridge, the CR/NC designation is not available for courses taken at the host university. Please note, however: For students seeking admission to the Faculty of Education, grades awarded by the host university will be taken into account. Students may not choose the CR/NC designation for the Independent Study course.
  • FRENCH 2250 is designated Pass/Fail.
  • Upon returning to the University of Lethbridge, students will not be allowed to enrol for credit in FRENCH 2000 or in courses which duplicate those taken in the FVSP or which are at the 2000-level in streams in which students have successfully completed courses at the host university (for an explanation of the term "stream", see Section D.1).

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Interested students should apply in writing to the French Off-Campus Studies Coordinator as early as possible during the university term preceding the semester of their intended participation in the FVSP. Application forms are available online:  FVSP Application Form and from the French Off-Campus Studies Coordinator. Deadlines for application are as follows:

  • by OCTOBER 1, to participate in the FVSP during the Spring semester;
  • by MAY 1, to participate in the FVSP during the Fall semester.


Students must enrol and pay required fees BOTH at the University of Lethbridge and the host university:

  • at the University of Lethbridge payment must be made for FRENCH 2250 and the optional Independent Study course;
  • students will pay fees to the host university for all transfer courses undertaken in the FVSP. Specific information on the host university's fees may be obtained from the appropriate university calendar in D-610. Visa students should be aware that Québec universities’ foreign student fees may be substantially higher than those charged in Alberta.


The Alberta Department of Advanced Education offers a number of fellowships and travel bursaries to assist students who wish to improve their knowledge of French by studying in a francophone milieu. Deadline for application for a fellowship is usually early September. See the French Off-Campus Studies Coordinator for details.

Since students are registered at the University of Lethbridge, they may be eligible for the Alberta Government loans and for University of Lethbridge scholarships and bursaries, such as Travel Awards. For further information and deadlines, students should consult with an advisor at Scholarships and Student Finance (AH115).

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