• Student in front of Eiffel Tower at sunset

    Capstone in France

  • Pont du Gard Roman aqueduct

    Capstone in France

  • Calanques of Cassis coastal view

    Capstone in France

  • Two students sitting on stone railing

    Capstone in France


This program is currently full for summer 2020. Please consider participation in one of our winter break 2020 programs or check back in August 2020 for our summer 2021 options!

Participants of this unique program will examine the link of culture and communication and the importance of intercultural understanding while experiencing French culture firsthand. While abroad, students will experience the museums, monuments, and cafes of Paris as well as “every-day” life with host families in Avignon.

The Capstone in France is a perfect way to learn more about French culture and visit so many beautiful places. Elizabeth is a great professor and really helps you feel immersed in the culture while you are there. - Frani, 2019

I would recommend this program to other students studying abroad. The host family experiences is really unique and important for students learning. I would also recommend this program because students got a mix of "big city/country". The excursions on this trip were so fun and cover most of the iconic attractions of France. - Jordan, 2019 


Course Leaders

Elizabeth Zwanziger, Associate Professor

Departments: Languages and Literatures; Teaching
Phone: 319-273-2858
E-mail: elizabeth.zwanziger@uni.edu
Campus Address: BAR 1030
Spring 2020 Office Hours: Tuesdays 12:30-1:45 pm & Wednesdays 2:00-3:30 pm; email Dr. Zwanziger in advance in order to ensure availability or to schedule an appointment outside of office hours

Elizabeth teaches French at UNI and has traveled to France over 40 times. More than 20 of her trips to France have been with students, and she looks forward to sharing her appreciation for French culture and cuisine with students each summer.


CAP 3550: Constructing Cross-Cultural Bridges (3 credit hours)

Through a variety of fields such as anthropology, communications, and linguistics, this hands-on course examines the link of culture and communication and the importance of intercultural understanding in effective global interaction by studying a specific culture and experiencing it firsthand. By looking at a variety of specific cultural patterns, this examination begins with an exploration of how culture shapes and modifies an individual’s view of reality and shapes perception. Elements of culture such as history, religion, values, social organization and language all work together to this end. Participants in the course will also put the theory of intercultural communication into practice by exploring the differences between verbal and nonverbal message and how those differences can impact the intercultural encounter. To view the course syllabus, click HERE. 

Participation in this program requires several class meetings throughout the spring semester and one meeting at the beginning of the fall semester. The actual capstone course is scheduled for the summer.  If you are a summer graduate, you must notify the course leader in order for coursework completion and grading to be adjusted for your graduation. Not doing so could result in delayed graduation, since final grades are assigned in the fall for this program. Please contact the program's course leader for more information on coursework requirements. 

The Study Abroad Center will direct enroll participants in the capstone course during the spring semester. 


  • In order to receive Capstone credit, program participants must have completed 60 credits hours prior to the program's course start date (i.e. be of Junior standing). Students who participate in capstone programs without meeting the credit hour prerequisite will receive elective credit. In this instance, students should consult with their academic advisor(s) regarding how the elective credit fits into their specific plans of study.
  • Students planning to participate in the spring commencement ceremony in May can enroll in this summer term program, however, their degree will not be conferred until the end of the summer term and is contingent on the successful completion of the program and all required coursework.
  • Students attending colleges and universities other than UNI are welcome to participate in this program. If you are not currently a UNI student, but would like to participate in this program, please contact the UNI Study Abroad Center prior to starting your program application.
  • Capstone courses cannot be repeated. If you have previously taken this capstone course, please contact the UNI Study Abroad Center prior to starting your program application.


Tentative Program Dates: Sunday, May 10 (depart the U.S.) to Saturday, May 23, 2020 (return to the U.S.)

Sample itinerary is subject to change.

Day 1: Arrive in Paris in morning; group dinner in evening

Day 2: Seine River Tour in morning; Latin Quarter, Luxembourg Gardens, and Notre Dame

Day 3: Train to Avignon; meet host families

Day 4: Visit the Palais des Papes and the Pont Saint Bénézet with free time in Avignon center

Day 5: Day trip to Nîmes with visit to The Arena, a Roman amphitheater

Day 6: Day trip to the fishing port of Cassis; boat tour on the Mediterranean  

Day 7: Visit to Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct

Day 8: Travel to Paris; Eiffel Tower visit

Day 9: Arc de Triomphe; explore/shop Champs-Élysées

Day 10: Louvre museum visit; explore the Opera/Grands Boulevards area

Day 11: Free day in Paris

Day 12: Montmartre neighborhood including Sacré Coeur Basilica

Day 13: Return to U.S.

Housing & Meals

Students will stay with a host family while in Avignon. While in Paris, students will stay in a youth hostel or hotel. Approximately half of the meals while abroad are included in the cost of the program. Students will pay for the remainder of their meals (primarily lunches) out-of-pocket while abroad. 

Program Costs

Capstone in France

Estimated Program Cost:


* estimated total cost of participation, actual amount depends on type of housing accommodation selected, actual airfare purchase price, personal spending habits, and other factors

Click Below to View Detailed Budget Sheet:

Cost of studying on-campus*

*per semester, estimated, will vary per person

Tuition & Fees:


Room & Board:




Personal Expenses:






Source: https://admissions.uni.edu/costs

Dates & Deadlines


App Deadline: 
Saturday, February 15, 2020
Program Dates: 
Sunday, May 10, 2020 to Saturday, May 23, 2020

The Study Abroad Center reserves the right to determine participants' eligibility to Study Abroad. Students must meet all of the following in order to be eligible to Study Abroad:

  • Have a cumulative 2.5 GPA or higher at the time of application and maintain this cumulative GPA prior to departure and throughout the study abroad process
    • If your cumulative GPA is lower than 2.5, submit the following to the Study Abroad Center (103 East Bartlett):
    • Letters of reference from two academic contacts (e.g. academic advisor and former or current professor) supporting your pursuit of study abroad. If you are attending a faculty-led study abroad program, one of the letters must be from a course leader. However, if the program has two course leaders, only one of the letters can be from one of the course leaders.
  • Must be over the age of 18 years old
  • Must meet the course prerequisites (participation in the program is dependent upon meeting these)
  • Must be in good standing with the University
  • UNI's partner institutions may require additional eligibility requirements to be met, these vary from institution to institution. Please consult with the Study Abroad Center staff to discuss these additional requirements if applicable.
  • Applicants traveling to a region of a country or a country with an overall Travel Advisory Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) or 4 (Do Not Travel) will not be eligible.
  • All study abroad applicants must pass the Study Abroad Applicant Assessment with a score of 70% or greater.
  • Applicants may be selected for an in-person interview before being accepted. Selection for an interview does not guarantee acceptance into the program. You will be contacted directly by the Study Abroad Center if selected for an interview.