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Université du Maine (Le Mans)

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Program Snapshot

Le Mans is best known for its 24 hour sports car race and its well preserved old city where Cyrano de Bergerac was filmed. As the ISEP site in France closest to Paris, Le Mans offers students a combination of a charming small French town with easy access to the City of Lights. As one of the smaller universities in France, the Université du Maine offers students the opportunity to engage with other French students, to take courses taught in French in most subjects, and improve their French language skills.

For more information regarding programs in France, please contact Lindsay Moats or check out her blog.

Situated on the Sarthe river, Le Mans is about 55 minutes by train (TGV) southwest of Paris. The city is of great interest from a historical and geographical point of view: the Gallo-Roman walls still stand 1700 years later as a testament to the excellence of Roman engineering. These walls encompass the Vieux Mans along with several houses celebrating the architectural diversity of different historical periods: the Middle-Ages, the Renaissance and the 18th century. Le Mans Cathedral displays a beautiful combination of Roman and Gothic art due to its different periods of construction from the 11th to the 15th century. Numerous cultural activities and events take place year round (theater, dance and music--including a renowned Jazz festival in May.) Le Mans is also famous for the race "Les 24h du Mans" in June of every year.

ISEP Exchange: undergraduate and graduate programs available for an academic year or semester

ISEP-Exchange for US students.

Chance of Placement
ISEP Exchange chance of placement for US students is generally Excellent.
For the most current chances of placement, see the Sites Open for Applications for US Students

Program Dates
Academic year: early September to May
Semester 1: September to December
Semester 2: January to May

Fast Facts
Le Mans, France (pop. 150,000)
Student Enrollment: 7,500
Language of instruction: French
University Home Page
Joine the ISEP France Facebook Group


Full year or semester enrollment in regular university courses:

Letters and Humanities: modern literature, classical literature, history, geography, German, English, Spanish civilization, Applied Foreign Languages [English/German, English/Spanish])

Law, Economics, and Economic and Social Administration

Sports Sciences:
STAPS - Sciences et Techniques Des Activités Physiques et Sportives

Sciences: mathematics, physics, computer science, chemistry, biology, geology, acoustics, materials science, mechanical technology

ENSIM: engineering [sensors & vibrations]

Institute of Technology: biology, business administration, technical marketing, chemistry, mechanical engineering.

Academic Notes

Students typically enroll in 5-6 classes per term which averages to #-12-15 hours in class per week. A term runs for 13-16 weeks.


Transcripts are sent to ISEP in March and July and then immediately released to the student's home institution if there are no outstanding financial obligations.

Language Notes

Language Requirement: A minimum of 4-5 semesters of university-level French or its equivalent must be completed prior to program. More French is recommended for advanced studies especially in technical areas.

Language Notes: A French language course is offered throughout the school year for lower-intermediate, upper-intermediate, and advanced levels. Contact hours per week: : lower-intermediate (4 hours/week), upper-intermediate (4 hours/week) and advanced (2 hours/week).

Additional Information: ISEP students may also take a one hour per week translation course designed specifically for English speakers. Other language classes offered are not tailored for foreign students, but do include courses on French syntax and linguistics. A good command of French is required for these courses.

For more information on courses and language options, see the:
ISEP French Language Advising Guide for US Students
ISEP French Language Advising Guide for I-to-I Students

Special ISEP Application Instructions

All students studying in France must purchase French health insurance (la Sécu) upon arrival for approximately 215 euros in addition to purchasing ISEP Health Insurance prior to departure.

Housing and Meals
ISEP students live in residence halls with a private shower and bathroom. Students also receive a stipend to cover the cost of meals at the university cafeteria. No married student housing is available.


You are responsible for all of your personal expenses including: optional fees (e.g. computer, language, science lab fees), books, local transportation, entertainment, etc. The amount below is provided as a guide; the actual amount needed will vary depending on courses and personal habits. Your personal expenses per month, including books, are estimated at 400 euros.

The International Relations Office, the ISEP Coordinator, and their team of student volunteers welcome the students individually. Campus tours and various other social events are organized. The ISEP Coordinator establishes the study program with each student and will meet the students regularly during their stay.


Host will provide arrival directions with acceptance packet

Founded in 1969, Universite du Maine is a small multidisciplinary institution with a single campus. Total enrollment: 7,500.

What Past Students have to Say
"The size was perfect for me. Everyone I met there was very helpful and kind, which is the product of a small city with few tourists. It is a great place to study if you are interested in improving your French and meeting nice people." - ISEP student in Le Mans Spring 2009