Institute for Field Education

Academic Courses

The curriculum of the Strasbourg Program

Preparing students to participate in Strasbourg and Alsace

In the Strasbourg program the five-week preparatory session is a triptych constructed to provide students a solid understanding of the constitutive elements of French society in the specific context of Strasbourg and Alsace, while also treating the issues and problems faced at local and regional as well as national levels.

The European context, which determines a good deal at these various levels, is integral to the content of the preparatory session.

The three courses comprising the preparatory session treat, respectively:

 The fundamental political institutions of French life as they arose historically;
 France’s situation in Europe and internationally;
 Social realities in France today.

All three courses - and especially the first and third - make abundant reference to the realities of Alsace and Strasbourg.

As a result of this preparation students become interns ready to take their place, and take part in the work of their host organization.

Three courses comprise the Preparatory Session

 Course I - French Politics and the Evolving State, since Napoleon
This course presents a multifaceted France constructed by the juxtaposition of diverse spheres. The history of this construction is an arduous one of conflict and constant change. By focusing on evolving institutions, the course helps students grasp the political struggles out of which the French State arose and developed its current form.Class discussion plays an important role in this course, as students are encouraged to interact with the material not only to consolidate their grasp of the subject but also as a way to analyze events, explore causality and therefore discover the complexity and subtlety of historical analysis.(syllabus)

 Course II - France in the World since 1945
The course intends to provide a systematic view of French foreign policy and foreign policy debate, since the end of the Second World War. French diplomacy played an extremely important role in the world right from the beginning of international politics in the 17th century. Against that backdrop, the period since 1945 is usually seen as a decline in French internatonal power and influence, in favor first of the United States and then of Euope. (syllabus)

 Course III - French Society: Problems and prospects
The key to understanding contemporary French society that is provided to students by this course lies in grasping the paradox between the democratic ideal that is at the foundation of all the institutions of modern, post-revolutionary France on one hand and, on the other, the current crisis of those institutions – and even of deep societal values – which is provoked by the pressures of global economic liberalism and the transformations taking place in Europe and in its Union. Through this course students become familiar with the effects these pressures are having on the specific institutionalized relations which exist between French citizens and their culture, work, education, immigration and other facets of life and society. Taught by Jean Zoungrana (syllabus)

During the internship period

It is during the internship period that students work individually with their research advisor to delineate a research topic, set an outline, define sources, and produce the independent study field research project. (syllabus)

Student-interns also return weekly to IFE premises to attend a third academic course, a seminar which examines globalization from a local and ethical standpoint.

 Course IV - Globalization: Historical, critical and French societal perspectives
The course is structured by three main analytical stand-points. The first is the history of the process now known as globalization, a history still under debate. The second perspective comprises a look at the main features of the phenomenon of globalization: intensification of worker mobility and migration; vastly increased capital flows as well as flows of goods and services; and the significant increase in information exchange or cultural globalization. The third point of view is that of the main actors of globalization – States, international organizations, NGOs and transnational movements, multinational corporations – whose roles are transformed by the effects of globalization. (syllabus)

Paris | Bruxelles | Strasbourg Paris central office
5, rue Saint Nicolas 75012 Paris - France Tél. (331) 43 21 78 07 Fax (331) 42 79 94 13       
Contact & Maps
Site Map
Privacy Policy
© IFE 2017
Facebook  LinkedIn