• 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


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 monuments, museums, cafes, and a short host stay with families in Paris as well as several cities in the south of France, including a boat ride along the Mediterranean coast. 

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

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 enroll participants in the capstone course.


  • 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: Monday, May 16 (depart) - Sunday, May 29 (return), 2022

Sample itinerary is subject to change. Activities in Paris will be scheduled according to availability. 

Day 1: Arrive in Paris, take metro to hotel, check in, explore neighborhood, and rest; group dinner in evening 

Day 2:  Seine River Cruise followed by lunch in small groups in the Latin Quarter; view Notre Dame Cathedral, followed by group walk past Hôtel de Ville, Centre Georges Pompidou, Les Halles; metro back to hotel 

Day 3:  Free morning, then travel via train to Nîmes, in the south of France

Day 4: Day in Nîmes center: Arènes visit and guided walking tour; option of Musée de la romanité; group dinner in the evening

Day 5: Day trip to Avignon: guided tour of Palais des Papes; visit of le Pont Bénézet with individual audio guides

Day 6: Day trip to Pont du Gard via bus

Day 7: Day trip to Cassis excursion via bus; 90 minute Calanques cruise on the Mediterranean Sea, followed by a group lunch

Day 8: Free morning in Nîmes, then travel to Paris via train; meet with host families

Day 9:  Meet in central location to take metro to the Arc de Triomphe; climb stairs and enjoy a scenic photo opp of the city; stroll on Champs-Élysées; visit exhibit in Grand Palais or Petit Palais

Day 10: Take metro to Louvre Museum; visit Louvre; walk down the rue de Rivoli to the Marais neighborhood; explore la Place des Vosges; optional visit to Victor Hugo’s home

Day 11: Visit Sacré Cœur Basilica and Place du Tertre; group lunch in Montmartre, followed by the option to visit Galeries Lafayette and Opéra Garnier 

Day 12: Depart host homes and check into a hotel in the Eiffel Tower neighborhood; visit Eiffel Tower - observatory level; walk across the Seine River to Trocadéro - group photo

Day 13: Free day; group dinner in the evening

Day 14: Departure

Participant Info

Important information to review:

  • Review the roles of the Advisee and the Advisor under the main menu Get Started

Entry and Exit Requirements 

  • Review and follow the travel recommendations of the CDC for France
  • Monitor appropriate websites for updates and information about COVID or other emergencies before departing and while in the destination country. The U.S. Embassy for France provides updates that can be found on their website

Housing & Meals

Students will stay with a host family part of the time in Paris. While in Nîmes, 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: 
Tuesday, February 1, 2022
Program Dates: 
Monday, May 16, 2022 to Sunday, May 29, 2022

Eligibility Requirements to Study Abroad

The Study Abroad Center reserves the right to determine participants' eligibility to Study Abroad. Students must have a completed study abroad application, including supportive recommendation form(s). Additionally, 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.