Université Grenoble Alpes

Wander (or take your bike) through the beautiful streets of the history-rich city of Grenoble. Located in the French Alpes by the Isère river, it is overlooked by the famous Bastille, a well-preserved fortress in the mountains above the city.

Grenoble is one of Europe's main scientific centres and one of the top 2 centres for research in the country. Here, you can discover the impressing caves Sassenage and La Grotte de Choranche, enjoy the nature in one of the nearby national parks or go back back in time in the medieval town of Saint Antoine l’Abbaye near Grenoble. Université Grenoble Alpes is a new amalgamation of Université Joseph Fourier, Université Pierre-Mendès-France, and Université Stendhal - which reopened as a united university in 2016 with over 45,000 students and 5500 staff. Currently ranked as one of the top 7 universities in France, and in the top 200 universities worldwide, Grenoble Alpes is known for its excellence in Earth & Natural Sciences (ARWU 2018; QS 2019). 

Key information


Grenoble, France


English, French


Fall, Winter, Academic year

Program type


Application information

Application status



2024-2025 applications

First come first considered for remaining spaces until

Winter 2025: August 15, 2024

University-specific additional requirements

No reference letter required; minimum GPA 2.7. See Eligibility section below for details.

2025-2026 applications

Open November 1, 2024

Student experience

 "Grenoble is such a beautiful city, with a picturesque view of the Alps. The exchange experience stretches you outside of your comfort zone and I have acquired new confidence in myself to make it on my own, and to travel Europe! There is always something interesting right around the corner and easy to get to with Europe’s train network and the cities’ public transit. People here are proud of their culture and will share things with you and teach you about the unique aspects and treasures of the region." - Alyssa

Program details

Studies in the Arts: Archaeology, Art History, Communications, Drama, Economics, Languages (German, Italian, Russian and Spanish taught in French), Geography, Greek and Roman Studies (Classics), History, Law & Society, Linguistics, Music, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Urban Studies. 

Studies in the Sciences: Biology, Chemical Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Science, Maths, Nanoscience, Physics, and Statistics. 

Other areas of study: Business, Accounting, Finance, Management, Sports Science and Management (Kinesiology). There is also a unique full-year program which grants students a law certificate upon completion; this program is open to interested undergraduate students from all faculties. 

A comprehensive list of bachelor courses, or "Licences" can be found here. Click on preferred program, then look for any sub programs or links like "Guide des études" or "Program".

For 4th year students, there a list of Masters programs (most offered in English) on their Field Search page.  

The main language of instruction is French, however some courses and subject areas are offered in English. There is also the opportunity for exchange students to take French-language-learning courses.

Note: Because course registration often takes place on arrival in Grenoble, students are recommended to arrive 1.5-2 weeks earlier than the courses start date to arrange courses. 

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.

The academic year is divided into two semesters, which run from early September to mid December and from early January to mid June. 

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. 

    Living costs in Grenoble are about €660 per month (with accommodation in a university residence). More information on budgeting for UGA can be found on their "Managing Your Budget" page. 

    Also, remember 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.

    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. 

    Grenoble cost comparison vs. Calgary: Click Here

  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 several awards, including the Global Access Fund (based on a funding-first model where students apply prior to committing to a global learning program) and the Global Learning Award (students apply after being accepted to a global learning program; the amount varies year-to-year as the money is split among chosen recipients). Students may only receive these awards once. Please see the funding page, linked below, 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. UGA advisors will be able to assist you with the application for the housing subsidy.

    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. 

Housing in university residences is guaranteed for incoming exchange students - once students are nominated to UGA, they will receive an email with further information for the online housing application (don't contact the housing office directly as housing is arranged via the support of the host exchange advisor office). Housing app deadlines are June for Fall or full-year exchanges and November for Winter exchanges. Once your online housing request is received, you will be sent an "attestation de logement", which may be needed for your visa application. Final housing decisions are generally made the month before your arrival in Grenoble. 

Housing is organized by CROUS (which stands for 'Centre Régional des Oeuvres Universitaires et Scolaires'). All lodgings are furnished and the monthly cost usually includes heating, lighting and water. For a self-contained 'studio flat' (A 'studio', in French), electricity is charged separately. For more info on housing, please visit their accommodation page

The types of CROUS accommodation (approximate rates):

  • Traditional furnished type of room of 9 m², with washbasin. Toilets, shower and kitchen are shared. Average cost: 150 € per month.
  • A furnished room of 12 m² with its own toilet and shower. Shared kitchen facilities. Average cost: 300 € per month.
  • A furnished appartment 'studio' for one person of 12-14 m² with its own toilet, shower and kitchen facilities. Average cost: 380 € per month (plus electricity).

IMPORTANT: Whether you choose a university residence (CROUS) or an accommodation in the private rental sector, you will be asked for a 'garant' if you qualify as low income (as many students do). Most of the time, lessors only accept 'garants' that pay their taxes in France, which can be problematic for foreigners. To solve this issue, several options are provided by the French State. More information is available on the National Agency For Information on Accommodation site.

Private accommodation in Grenoble is often significantly more expensive (around €450 to €600), so CROUS housing is recommended. For more information, you can visit the page on the private rental sector.

This exchange is open to regular, full-time students at UCalgary who have completed at least 1 full year (10 courses) at the post-secondary level, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 (B-). 

For English courses, while advanced French is not required, all students should have some basic knowledge of French and be able to independently navigate websites and forms written in French.

For courses in French, 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. 


What options are available for improving my French at Grenoble Alpes?

Though applicants to UGA should have a B2 CEFR level command of French at the time of their exchange, the university does offer (and pays for!) 2 sessions of French language classes for their incoming exchange students, which are highly recommended in terms of improving your knowledge level and meeting other students. 

What supports and services are available at Grenoble Alpes? 

UGA advisors can help with visa and immigration questions, course selection, and a variety of other services. Each semester an orientation session is organized for you at the beginning of the first semester of your exchange at UGA. It is strongly recommended that you participate in the orientation, as it provides much-needed information for establishing yourself in Grenoble. Additionally, multiple orientation activities are organized to facilitate your transition to France and the UGA, so be sure to plan your arrival accordingly. 

UGA offers over 200+ clubs and a variety of resources through its student centre EVE, a dozen libraries, a radio station, international student services and an immigration office (Integre is the international student association).  The international office works closely with student-run Integre to ensure that exchange students have a rich social life - they host a variety of cultural, social, mentorship, and outdoor events pairing French and international students for dinners, pub nights, hikes (and other alpine activities), trips to Lyon and Annency, and more. UGA offers courses in over 35 various individual and team sports (most free of charge or at reduced cost), as well as a campus health centre, free art performances at the Amphidice, and convenient transit options. Sports include skiiing, climbing, hiking, snowboarding, swimming, rugby, archery, horseback-riding, volleyball and more. 

The UGA is also committed to diversity and inclusiveness and thus have special programs accommodating those with accessibility needs, academic accommodations for learning needs or chronic illness, and more. 100% of public transit in Grenoble is wheelchair accessible. For information on accessibility of campuses across Europe, ESN has created Inclusive Mobility 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.

Grenoble also provides extensive support for student athletes, assistance towards refugees integrating into a new culture, and offers a variety of supports for students/staff with children that are bringing them to Grenoble.

What's so special about Grenoble? 

1 in 5 Grenoble residents work in research, technology, or higher education, making Grenoble one of the most well-educated and innovative cities in the world (currently top 5 for innovation). With its 2000+ years of history, Grenoble is a cultural hub - it was the cradle of the French Revolution, a key site of French resistance in WW2, and home to important figures such as Stendhal and Berlioz. Student surveys consistently place Grenoble in the top 3 cities of France as it combines the convenience of a mid-sized city with mountains only 30 minutes away, for a wealth of outdoor activities. Over 400 cultural events are held in Grenoble each year, and the city offers more than 320km of bike paths, making it a cycling hub in France.

Have questions?

Global Learning 101

Please watch this short YouTube playlist before reaching out or booking an appointment. In these videos, you will learn much of the basics about Global Learning, which may answer your initial questions.

Watch Global Learning 101

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how this program 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

Global Learning Advising

If you have questions, please reach out to our office! We offer drop-in advising for general inquiries, and if you have questions about this specific program or any others, you can book an appointment with the responsible advisor.

Please use the link below to find the most up-to-date information about our current advising options.

View the Global Learning Advising page

The exchange advisor for this program is: Tara Jorgense

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 global learning 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 Global Learning Advisors will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

If you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Global Learning Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.

Please note: All participants must adhere to COVID-19 and other vaccination-related requirements for the destinations visited on this program. Failure to do so may have consequences such as being denied access to accommodation/housing, program activities, or to the host country itself.