French: Intensive Language Program

About the program

Students undertaking intensive study abroad as part of French Studies are required to attend the CAVILAM language school in Vichy.

Le CAVILAM in Vichy is one of the best French language schools in France. It offers thorough all-round language courses that allow Monash students to reinforce and develop the language skills and knowledge they have acquired at Monash.

It is the responsibility of students enrolled in Summer Semester French Studies units to ensure that they are placed in and complete their study in a language course at a level at or above the language level they have reached at Monash. If they are placed at a level below that indicated in the table below they should request to be moved or should seek a written explanation for their placement at that level.

Language level

In order to receive credit, this document should then be submitted to the French study abroad coordinator Chris Watkin ( along with the course certificate which must indicate contact hours and the CECR/CEFR level at which the course was taught.

Students should note that courses in France or Francophone countries based on the CECR levels do not cover exactly the same syllabus as the French Studies compulsory units. The CECR levels are much broader than the Monash French Studies levels.

Monash French Studies
language level
Indicative equivalent
CECR level
French introductory 2 A1
French intermediate 2



Students have the option to earn 6 or 12 Monash credit points toward their degree:

  • 6 points: study at least 110 hours of French language tuition
  • 12 points: study at least 220 hours of French language tuition

According to the courses chosen at the CAVILAM 110 hours may be completed in 6 to 7 weeks and 220 hours in 11 to 12 weeks.

Students who have successfully completed the required study at the CAVILAM will receive a grade of SFR for their French study abroad unit/s.

Students should be aware that, although they may need to enrol in these units and make travel arrangements before second semester results are published, the first year sequence and minor sequence referred to above are pre-requisites for these units.

Students who fail a second semester French Studies unit and, in so doing, fail to meet the minimum requirement for the second or for third year summer semester units will not receive credit for their summer course. Students are advised to discuss their second semester progress with their compulsory unit coordinator if they have any concerns regarding their progress and possible result.

Study abroad credit will only be awarded where the French study abroad coordinator is satisfied that the student has completed a CAVILAM language course at the appropriate level as indicated above.


The school offers a range of accommodation options. French Studies strongly recommends that students consider a home-stay for some if not all of their stay in Vichy in order to benefit from as much exposure to the language and culture as possible.

Who can apply?

These units are aimed specifically at students who have begun their studies at Monash University at language levels Introductory or Intermediate. Students who began at language Proficient or above will not be permitted to take Summer Semester Abroad French Studies units and are advised to enrol in a semester-length exchange program.

In planning to study abroad, students should bear in mind the Arts Faculty rules governing the structure of the BA degree, major and minor sequences within the degree and the study abroad component within the degree and the major sequence.

More details can be found on the general information page.

When is the program?

The Cavilam runs courses throughout the year.

How much?

The CAVILAM is not an exchange institution, so Monash students will have to pay fees. Prices are given on the Intensive French Program website.

How do I apply?

To apply for the CAVILAM program, you will need to apply to both the CAVILAM and to Monash:

  1. Obtain course advice from Arts Student Services
  2. Download the International Study Program (ISP) Form available on the Arts Online Website
  3. Obtain approval from the study abroad coordinator for your language school
  4. Submit your complete ISP to the Arts Outbound Exchange Coordinator ( at Arts Student Services, Clayton Campus.
  5. The Coordinator will be in contact and once approved for credit, you may apply to the CAVILAM.

Back at Monash

Upon return, to obtain SFR students must provide the French study abroad coordinator with proof of attendance, course duration, the CECR level at which the course was taught, and a pass result on the language school’s official letterhead (a certificat d’assiduité).

Please note: Students continuing with French Studies after the summer semester must sit a placement test on their return and will be placed at the appropriate language level. Depending on the number of hours studied in France, the result obtained and the overall duration of the stay in France, it may be possible for a student to jump one or two language levels. However, this happens only rarely and can only be determined by the French Studies Program once the student has returned and their language level has been assessed.


  • What Stacey, Rachel and  Uma want to say (in French!) on their experience at Cavilam, France     Stacey’s comments (in English) on experiencing Cavilam I spent 3 months studying at Le Cavilam in Vichy which enabled me to significantly improve my level of French.Le Cavilam facilitates a complete immersion with French language as in addition to the wonderful ... Read more