Aix-Marseille Université

Experience the Mediterranean lifestyle in the south of France and discover the marvelous ancient fortresses and cathedrals, like Fort Saint-Jean or the Old Major, a Roman Provencal Style church that dates back to the 5th century.

The 5 campuses of Aix-Marseille Université are located at the sea coast in the beautiful cites of Marseille (European Capital of Culture 2013) and Aix en Provence. The university’s origins as Université Paul Cézanne (founded 1409) go back over 6 centuries. In 2012 Université Paul Cézanne, Université de Provence and Université de la Méditerranée were merged to Aix-Marseille Université which is today the biggest university in the French speaking world and ranks as one of the top 4 universities in France and amongst the top 3% globally (ARWU 2018; THE 2019).

Key information




Fall, Winter, Academic year

Program type


Application information

Application status



20/21 deadline

First come, first considered for remaining spaces until full or:

Mar. 10 (Fall, full year)

Oct. 15 (Winter)

University-specific additional requirements

One academic reference required - see the Eligibility section below.

21/22 applications

Opens Nov. 1, 2020

Program details

Areas of Study: Aix-Marseille offers a wide variety of programs in various fields:

  • Arts, Letters, Languages (Art, Art History, Fine Art, Film Studies, Music various Languages including French Language and Literature, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Arabic, etc.)
  • Law, Business, Economics, and Management Studies (Public Administration, Economics, Law, Communication)
  • Humanities and Social Sciences (Geography, Urban Studies, Religious Studies, Greek & Roman Studies, History, Art History, Archaeology, Philosophy, Psychology, Education, Anthropology, Linguistics, Sociology)
  • Kinesiology (Sport Sciences)
  • Science & Technology (including Chemistry, Math, Physics, Astrophysics, Computer Science, Cellular Biology, Neuroscience, Nanotechnology, Geology, Geophysics, Biology, Earth Science, Health Sciences, and Urban Studies)
  • French language courses - SULFE Program

A list of programs can be found online. Select the program area you are interested in and follow the links to the Faculty's website. On each Faculty's website, you should find a link for International Students or to "Formations" with further information. Note: semesters 1, 3, & 5 are equivalent to Fall and semesters 2, 4, & 6 are equivalent to Winter. L1 is 1st year, L2 is 2nd year and L3 is 3rd year. 

Restrictions: Courses at the Institut d'Etudes Françaises pour Etudiants Etrangers are not available through the exchange. For courses through the Institut d'études politiques d'Aix-en-Provence, please visit the Sciences Po Aix page.

Course requirements:
In Europe, full-time course load is typically 30 ECTS (European credits), and exchange students are typically expected to take 24-30 credits per semester. 6 ECTS = 3 UCalgary units (1 half-course). 
The amount of credits each course is worth corresponds to the workload/contact hours, and can vary from 1-30 ECTS per course, so please be mindful of this in your selection. At Aix-Marseille, the majority of courses should be chosen from one faculty. 

The academic year is divided into two semesters, which run from mid September to mid January and from mid January to mid June. It is not possible to finish the first semester in December.

Please Note: French visa applications for Canadians may require travel to the Vancouver consulate to submit the documentation and take biometrics as needed within 3 months before departure to France, so students may not have access to their passports during that time. 

  1. Costs

    Exchange students pay their tuition and academic fees to the University of Calgary. Other expenses are paid directly to the service provider. 

    Students must provide evidence of sufficient funds during their stay in France for both visa and residence permit applications (monthly statements, certification of your available funds from your bank, and/or evidence of your scholarships or grants are examples). The amount officially requested by the French authorities is 615€ a month, but don't use this as a guideline for budgeting.

    For more information, please review the Budget Guide on page 31 of the Student Guide linked in the sidebar.

    Example of a monthly budget for a student living in a Hall of Residence (see graph on right)


    157-247 €

    Meals at University

    165 €

    Supermarket Meals

    150 €

    Books and Supplies

    50 €


    20 €

    Personal Hygiene & Laundry

    60 €


    60 €


    50 €

    TOTAL (est.)

    750 € -950 €

    However, if students live off-campus, rent can be much higher (est. 400-500 € pm).

    Aix-en-Provence cost comparison vs. Calgary: Click Here

    Also, don't forget to include things like visas, insurance, vaccinations etc in your budget planning. All students on exchange in France will have to pay roughly €215 for French social security on arrival, which covers some costs of medical care, but comprehensive travel medical coverage will still be required.

    Please Note: French visa applications may require travel to the Vancouver consulate to finalize your student visa and take biometrics as needed - please speak with the exchange advisor as soon as possible about whether this will be required for you.

    Students considering significant rail travel in France may want to purchase a Carte Jeune via French National Rail (SNCF), which allows for reduced travel for every journey over a year. 

    Student Tips: "If you are under 26 years old, you can go the gare routière and create a “Cartreize” student subscription, which will allow you to ride the whole system for 24 hours for only 2 euros! You are able to visit many neighbouring villages as well as Marseille with this card." Note: their buses run from Marseille's airport into Aix-en-Provence for less than 10 euros. 

  2. Funding

    Did you know that you can take your UCalgary funding with you on exchange?    
    Since you remain a degree seeking student at UCalgary while on exchange you remain eligible for any 
    awards and scholarships you are eligible to receive from the university as well as student loans.

    Our office administers the International Study Travel Grant for students travelling on approved UCalgary study programs that are credit bearing. The amount changes year to year as the money is split evenly between qualified applicants. Students may only receive the study travel grant once. Please see the exchange funding page for more information.

    France - Housing Aid 
    All students in France who rent housing with a contract, regardless of national origin, are eligible for a National Housing Aid from the ‘CAF’, Caisse d’Allocations Familiales. For the subsidy application, please make sure to bring a copy of your birth certificate.

    E. Catherine Barclay Scholarship 
    The E. Catherine Barclay Scholarship is a generous award of $7500 granted to one outstanding full-time student, registered in any faculty at UCalgary, who has been accepted by us to study for a full academic year (French-taught courses only) on one of our official exchange programs. For details, deadline and application forms, please visit the link above or our 
    Funding page for more details. 

Student Halls of Residence at Aix-Marseille are dormitory style with single rooms with private or shared facilities. Applications are made as part of the exchange application process directly to Aix-Marseille. The "Gazelles" and "Cuques" residence buildings are located the closest to campus.

Students can also choose to live in private residences, shared flats or with a family. For Off-Campus Housing, there is additional information on their Student Life site.

Student Tips: "I lived in the “Cuques” residence building which was really convenient because it was about a 5-10min walk from campus and a 15-20min walk into town. I was small but you got your own bathroom which was nice. You had to share a kitchen with the floor but you get your own fridge and you get to do your own cooking, which is nice. It was also a good way to meet people. A bed, a desk, a mini fridge, toilet, shower, sink and some cabinets were provided in the rooms. There was WiFi and coin laundry in the building. There was a games room, a small cardio room, some study rooms and a music room that you could use if you went to res services to get the key."

This exchange is open to regular, full-time students in any faculty at UCalgary, who have completed at least 2 full years (20 courses) at the post-secondary level (prior to starting the exchange), with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 (B-).

Students participating in the SULFE program to take French language courses can already go in their 2nd year (need to have completed 10 courses). 

Courses at Aix are taught in French. As such, applicants must have a command of French at the B2 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Language (CEFR) at a minimum, or have completed at least two 300-level or above courses in French. Certification of language proficiency may be required. Students do have the opportunity to take French language courses during their stay.

An academic reference is required for a complete application.

What's so special about Aix-Marseille?

The University has a vibrant campus life with more than 130 student organizations, sports and cultural activities. You can find information on student life (housing, health, working, university restaurants, university libraries, sport, transport, useful phone numbers, the Student Life Office), the student organizations, activities on campus, etc. on their Student Life site

Student Tip: "There were organized sports for all levels available if you pay 15 euros, which was nice and a good way to meet people."

Aix-Marseille also has a buddy program for international students.

5 Main Campuses:
Campus Aix-en-Provence (30,000 students): Home of Arts, Languages, and Humanities; Faculty of Law, Management. 
Campus Marseille-Étoile (4300 students):
Campus Marseille-Centre (13,000 students): 
Campus Marseille-Timone (14,000 students): Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy
Campus Marseille-Luminy (4500 students): Faculty of Science. The science campus is located near the coast, with excellent hiking and outdoor rock-climbing nearby.

What supports or services are available at Aix? 

Aix-Marseille offers services through "La Mission Handicap", which welcomes and accompanies students with temporary or long-term physical or sensory accessibility issues, dyslexia, mental health issues, etc. Support is tailored to individual students, and may include teaching aids (including captionist services, specialized equipment, relocation assistance, or exam support). To register, please inform your exchange advisor to contact the relevant support staff at Aix-Marseille. 

For information on accessibility of campuses across Europe, ESN has created "MappEd!" which allows you to check the accessibility of universities and cities across Europe. For city-specific services and places in Europe, the Jaccede interactive platform (website and/or smartphone app - both Android and iOS) also provides a searchable user-built database to identify important accessibility information of public places and locations.

Is there a French language program?

Yes - students have the opportunity to take a French language course before or during their studies. Aix-Marseille also offers the SULFE program where students can take only French language classes at various levels for a full semester (up to 30 ECTS credits - worth 5 courses at UCalgary). 

Have questions?

Study Abroad 101

Please watch this YouTube playlist before reaching out or booking an appointment.

Watch Study Abroad 101

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how an exchange might align with your degree (e.g. best time to go, what courses you need).

After you are accepted, you should ask your academic advisor more specific questions about courses/transfer credits. It’s also recommended to follow up with your advisor again once you return to Calgary.

Find your academic advisor

Study Abroad Advising

If you have questions about this exchange program, you can meet with the specific advisor for this program by booking an appointment through the link below. Appointments are currently on zoom.

1. Select “Book an Appointment”
2. Select “Study Abroad Appointments”
3. Select “Book by Appointment Type”
4. Read through the list of appointment types to select the most appropriate type and view available times.

Book an appointment

The exchange advisor for this program is: Saskia Schaelicke

How to Apply

Download the application guide

This PDF contains information on how to complete your application and what to do after you have applied.

Application guide

Identify three programs of interest

We recommend applying for your top three programs for the priority application deadline, as placement may be competitive. We will assess your applications in ranked order.

Check requirements and deadlines

These may vary by program, so check the individual program pages and make sure that you are aware of any different application deadlines or eligibility requirements.

Start your application

Once you have gathered everything you need, you can begin your application!

Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are submitted in full.


International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.

For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular study abroad program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Study Abroad Team will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

Please note if you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Study Abroad Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.