Greeks, Romans, and Celts in France

Note: this program will not run in the 2023-2024 academic year.

This two and a half-week program takes place at the American College of the Mediterranean/Institute for American Universities (IAU) in Aix-en-Provence, France and provides an overview on how the Greeks, Romans, and Celts in Ancient Gaul (modern France) influenced French culture and history. No background in Classics, French language, history, or culture is needed to attend this program.

  • Instructor(s): Dr. Bruce Hitchner, Department Chair, Classical Studies and Director, Archaeology Program
  • Information Session (virtual): Wednesday, October 5 at 12pm; learn more from Dr. Hitchner
  • Application: We are not currently accepting applications.  
  • Dates: December 29 – January 14 
  • Minimum Requirements: Undergraduate or graduate students in good academic and disciplinary standing at Tufts (or their home institution) with a 2.75 GPA or higher. 
  • Tuition and Fees: Program Fee $9,795; $75 application fee for non-Tufts students (airfare and some meals not included)
  • Very limited financial aid available
  • Courses: “CLS 149: Greeks, Romans, & Celts in the South of France” 3 SHUs
  • Cultural Activities: 10 total excursion and site visits.

Greeks, Romans, and Celts in the South of France Course Description:

The historical identity of France owes much to the contact, interaction and accommodation that took place between the Celtic peoples of ancient Gaul, the Greeks who settled along its Mediterranean shore, and the Romans who conquered and ruled Gaul for almost five hundred years. This course will explore this rich process of cultural creation and identity formation through an exploration of the following questions: Who were the Celts? How did they express their identity culturally, ecologically politically, socially in cult and ritual, and in material culture and productivity? Why did the Greeks migrate to and settle in southern Gaul? What did it mean to be a Greek in Gaul? How were the Greek poleis or city-states of southern Gaul different from those in Greece, southern Italy and Sicily, and Asia Minor? How did Greeks and the Celtic peoples of Gaul interact and find common cultural ground? How did the Romans become involved in Gaul, and how did they engage with the Greeks and Gauls? Who were the Romans who settled and governed ancient Provence? And how did Roman, Greek, and Gallic culture combine to shape the early identity and cultural legacy of France? The course would include both lectures and tours of critical ancient sites and museums to allow students to address all these questions through direct engagement with the archaeological legacy of Roman France.

Extracurricular Activities

  • The pre-Roman Gallic hilltop town of Entremont near Aix-en-Provence
  • The remarkable Gallo-Greek-Roman cult site of Glanum (Les Antiques) near St Remy
  • The Roman colonies of Aquae-Sextiae (Aix-en-Provence), Arelate (Arles), and Nemausus (Nimes), and Aurasio (Orange), all of which have important Gallo-Roman museums
  • The famous Roman aqueduct of Pont-du-Gard—which served ancient Nimes
  • The Vallons des Arc Aqueduct and Barbegal Grain Mill in the Vallée des Baux—the largest in Antiquity—which served Arelate
  • The Gallo-Roman town of Vasio (Vaison la romaine) in the Vauciuse
  • The museum and ancient port of Greek Massalia (Marseille)

All students will be required to visit the abovementioned sites during the program. Transportation to each site and entrance fees are covered in the program fee.


Students will live close to campus in the Odalys Apart’Hotel Atrium in shared rooms. Daily breakfast will be provided and each room will have kitchen facilities so students can prepare their own lunch and dinner. The hotel has laundry facilities and laundry services, but students will be responsible for the costs.

Other Included Amenities

  • Arrival services at the Marseille Provence Airport
  • Orientation and city tour
  • Dedicated on-site IAU Coordinator to assist the group with daily logistics, provide 24/7 program and emergency support, and live in the Apart’Hotel with the students
  • Student ID Card that grants access to many of the cultural sites and museums in the area
  • Student services that include counseling and wellness support and 24/7 emergency support
  • Access to IAU's infrastructure including the computer lab, social space, library resources, Wi-Fi network, and classroom space
  • Welcome and farewell dinners
  • ISOS health insurance

Tufts Faculty Leader

Students will be accompanied by Bruce Hitchner, Department Chair of Classical Studies and Director of the Archaeology program throughout the entire duration of the program. He will help students navigate the town, address students’ concerns and issues with the IAU Program Coordinator, teach the class at ACM/IAU, escort the students on site visits, and ensure the academic rigor of the program.


The Institute for American Universities (IAU) in Aix-en-Provence, France was founded in 1957 by academics and former diplomats such as Dr. Herbert Maza, who also served as its first President, Dr. Evron Kirkpatrick, Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, and others who wanted to provide a platform for Americans interested in studying diplomatic relations with related interests and careers in the foreign service and the State Department. It was established as one of the first American-style, English language, liberal arts educational institutions in Western Europe under the authority of Aix-Marseille University and offered a study abroad program, providing for transfer credit to those willing to live and study in France for one year. With its inception, it became the first institution to offer study abroad programs to students with majors other than the French language. IAU is often considered to be one of the oldest and largest study abroad programs of its kind in Europe.

In 2015, IAU launched its initial tranche of degree programs and welcomed its first MFA (Master of Fine Arts) students at The Marchutz School. The decision to establish degree-granting programs emanated from a 2014 decision of the Board of Trustees of IAU to pursue U.S. accreditation, coincident with its appointment of IAU’s fifth president, Dr. Carl Jubran. IAU was supported in its decision by its Council of Academic Advisors (CAA). In 2016, IAU filed articles of incorporation for The American College of the Mediterranean (ACM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of IAU, that would ultimately house its degree programs.

The mission of IAU/ACM is to provide excellence in international education, inspire intercultural awareness, and prepare students for success in a global community through the study of European and Mediterranean history, languages, cultures, and contemporary issues. It does so through a unique combination of courses, internships, curricula, that combine to create American-style study abroad programs and undergraduate and graduate degree programs in an international and cross-cultural setting.

Financial Aid

Tufts University students who are registering for a short-term abroad program are eligible to apply for a Global Education Scholarship*.

There is a very limited amount of scholarship money available and it will be awarded based upon financial need; priority will be given to students with a family contribution under $10,000. Scholarships are available only to current Tufts University students.

To be considered, students must submit a Global Education Scholarship application. Eligibility will be determined by the Financial Aid Office based on the student’s financial aid application and award. Recipients will be notified of scholarship awards before the program payment deadlines.

*Federal aid and certain loans are generally not available or very limited to students attending a Short-Term Abroad Program in the winter term.