This advanced program, established in 1962, is designed for selected undergraduate and graduate students with serious interest in French language, literature and civilization, and primarily for those who expect to engage in professional careers requiring a knowledge of France and the French language.

Avignon is situated in the Rhone Valley, less than fifty miles from the Mediterranean. All of the finest monuments of Roman Gaul are easily accessible from the city. Within its walls stands the most remarkable complex of fourteenth-century architecture in France, dating back to the period when Avignon was the seat of the Papacy and supplanted Rome as the capital of Christendom. Today this region has recaptured much of its former cultural importance. Each summer internationally known festivals of drama and music are held at Avignon and neighboring Orange, Vaison-la-Romaine, Les Baux, Arles and Aix-en-Provence.

The program is open to male and female students from other colleges and from Bryn Mawr. Some of the courses carry graduate credit. The Institut director and faculty members are French professors teaching in colleges and universities in the United States and Europe. Classes are held at the Médiathèque Ceccano. Library and research facilities are available to the students in the Médiathèque Ceccano, with its fine collection of 250,000 volumes, and at the Université d'Avignon. Applicants for admission must have strong academic records and have completed a course in French at a third-year college level or the equivalent.