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After an overnight flight, our Global Works leader greets us at the Montpellier airport! We transfer by private bus to our accommodations in Avignon for a chance to rest and settle in. Throughout the next few days, we visit historic and cultural centers of Provence, one of France’s most popular regions. We stay in the city center of Avignon, within walking distance to the Pope’s Palais and the Pont d’Avignon, where we learn about the religious importance of this city- once the seat of Western Christianity. In Arles, we visit some of Vincent Van Gogh’s favorite painting sites and explore the ancient Roman arena. We also take time to practice our French and sample the local fruits, honey and cheeses during a scavenger hunt at a local market

Lavender is an important regional crop and we begin the service learning element of our trip at a local lavender farm. We learn about this plant and work alongside local farmers to help care for and maintain the lavender. In the evenings, we have immersive French language reviews through games and activities designed to facilitate our language immersion and to prepare us for our upcoming homestays


We make our way to Carcassonne, a traditional French town near the Mediterranean, where we are welcomed into the homes of our new homestay families! This is an excellent opportunity to test our language skills, make friends, and absorb the many cultural differences found in day-to-day living and conversation. We spend evenings and weekends with our homestay families and during the days we meet as a group for service projects, exchange activities, and cultural visits.

During our days in Carcassonne, we serve the community alongside local volunteers through historical restoration projects. Past projects have included rebuilding ancient walls at an 11th-century chateau, removing invasive plants from a historic shepherd’s refuge, and constructing walking paths. We work with the communities to determine which heritage sites and monuments require our attention year to year

It’s not all work and no play; we take breaks from our service sites for local cultural activities. We see beautiful stalactites and stalagmites on a tour of a giant underground cavern and take time to visit the beach on a Mediterranean excursion day! In the evenings, we have time for cooking lessons or pot-luck dinners with local families. We will visit the winding streets, turrets and ancient walls of the iconic medieval city to learn about the region’s history…all cultural activities that will help hone our French language skills!


After saying goodbye to our homestay families, we board a private bus and drive to the Montpellier airport for our flight home. We are sad to leave, but excited to share our stories with our family and friends. Au revoir la France!

Learn more about how our Universal Learning Goals are implemented on Global Work programs