In the fall of 2005, Mansfield University (Pennsylvania, USA) started a new exchange program with the Institute of Political Science (Institut d'Etudes Politiques, or IEP) in the southern city of Toulouse, France.
Toulouse, on the river Garonne near the border with Spain, half-way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, is a metropolitan area of over 700,000 people about five hundred miles south of Paris. Once a rather sleepy provincial town, Toulouse today is a hub of cutting-edge economic activities, including electronics, biotechnology and the air and space industry. It is the fourth largest French city, and the fastest growing one, but it has managed to retain its quality of life, a rich local tradition, and an ancient culture. Toulouse, called the Ville Rose for its 'reddish' brick buildings, is also the second-largest university center in France with over 110,000 students, and one of the oldest in Europe (dating from the 13th century).
For more information about Toulouse, click here.
The Institute of Political Science, established in 1948, enrolls about 1,400 students in a five-year program. Its main mission is to train high-level executives for the public and private sectors with specializations in most fields of the social sciences. The Institute is located within the university of Toulouse I (Social Sciences), in the very center of the old town, five minutes away from the main square or the banks of the river Garonne.
"Toulouse is certainly one of the greatest places to study in! Not only because it is a sunny, historical and culturally rich city, but also because it is very friendly and entertaining. You will never get bored in Toulouse, and especially not at the IEP! 'Sciences Po', as we call our college, is always full of student animations, shows, and parties. However, don't forget it is above all a highly-rated college which covers every aspect of social sciences. Studying at the IEP will give you the opportunity to experience one the finest education programs in France."
Gérome Barry, first French student to participate in the exchange with Mansfield
Mansfield students studying at the IEP can spend the fall semester (September to early January), the spring semester (January to May) or the academic year in Toulouse. The IEP offers an intensive French language and culture program in September and, after completion of this program, Mansfield students have the option to take courses of their choice from many offerings (see our course page for more details).
Students will be housed in the university student residence hall or will be helped to identify suitable housing in town.
Toulouse is very close to the Spanish border and very well connected by road, rail, or air to all European major cities. There are many beautiful places and monuments to visit locally.
All courses offered in Toulouse meet accreditation requirements of Mansfield University and are taught by local professors. Some courses are designed for international students, some are regular offerings for full-time students of the IEP.
Mansfield students can take courses in French language as well as French history, literature, institutional life, and culture. Placement of students in classes is dependent on their language experience in French and can vary from beginning to advanced levels. It is recommended to have completed at least two years (four semesters) of French before participating in the exchange. Students will typically transfer twelve to fifteen credits to Mansfield University.
For information about courses at the IEP visit our course page.
Students will pay their living expenses locally. The IEP helps students identify suitable accommodations. Some of the exchange students at the IEP may get a room in a university dorm (cité universitaire). But space is limited, and most students rent a room in town or share an apartment with other students.
The Toulouse program is open to all regularly enrolled students at Mansfield University and others who enroll at Mansfield for the duration of their study abroad stay. Applicants must be in good academic standing and must show evidence of maturity, stability, adaptability, self-discipline, and strong academic motivation. Generally speaking, students are required to have a minimum cumulative average of 2.8 GPA.
Tuition for the IEP-Toulouse program is the same as the regular full-time Mansfield tuition. Room and board charges will be covered directly by the participants in Toulouse. Students also need to budget the cost of round trip air transportation (about $800), passport and visa fees (about $200), and insurance. Additional expenses include textbooks, local travel and entertainment.
See our costs page for detailed information.
The standard forms of financial assistance are available through the Financial Aid office. Since students going to Toulouse remain registered at Mansfield, they remain eligible for financial aid packages. The study abroad coordinator works closely with the Financial Aid office to help students obtain funds to cover the additional cost incurred by study abroad. Mansfield students may qualify for a study-abroad scholarship (based on merit and need) of up to $1000.
Students need to carry sufficient health, accident, and personal liability insurance. Costs for students without adequate insurance can be discussed with the coordinator of study abroad.
Students studying abroad are strongly encouraged to apply for an International Student Identity Card (ISIC).
To gain the many advantages of a study abroad experience, students should consult with their academic advisers well in advance. With careful planning, participants in this program not only gain regular Mansfield credit but can usually apply the credits earned abroad to general education electives, language, and major or minor requirements. Students should check with their advisers about the impact study abroad may have on their progress towards graduation.
For additional information and application procedures visit our information page.