GBL 267 IS EAT, PRAY, LOVE: SACRED SPACE AND THE PLACE OF RELIGION IN 21ST CENTURY FRANCE 4 S.H.
Taught in English with half the time spent in Paris and half in the vibrant medieval city of Montpellier, France, just ten minutes from the Mediterranean Sea, this course will explore both historical and current notions of sacred space and perceptions of religious experience in French culture through the palate of gastronomy, art, architecture, and popular music. In so doing, students will examine France’s paradoxical relationship to itself and study this country’s shifts in national identity vis-à-vis organized religion due to decolonization and immigration during the last century. Course facilitation will include cultural studies texts, journal articles, French/Francophone literature in translation, video news reports and podcasts, films, documentaries, popular music, and on-site visits to places such as restaurants, cafés, cathedrals, abbeys, castles, the Papal palace in Avignon, mosques, a medieval synagogue and Jewish ghetto.
Prerequisite: GBL 167. Application and acceptance required. Additional travel fee is required. Counts toward Civilization or Expression (non-literature) requirement, and satisfies one unit of experiential learning toward fulfillment of the Experiential Learning Requirement.
Additional Course Information
From the Holy Land to Hagia Sophia and Mt. Fuji to Mecca, why do we experience some places as more special than others? What makes a sacred space feel like hallowed ground? What precisely do we mean by ‘holy’? How do various subcultures express their understanding of self and world in the location and design of certain spaces that they consider to be sacred? Both Paris and Montpellier afford a rich variety of ancient and contemporary sites, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Muslim and prehistoric, where we can explore the meaning of the sacred as it is set forth in geographical and architectural forms. And yet, not every location we visit may strike you as religious in the traditional sense. Imagine, if you will, le Louvre as a temple of visual art, le Stade de France as the high church of soccer, the Cordon Bleu as the cathedral of haute cuisine.
From Montpellier to Paris
In the US, France is beloved by many, despised by some, and all too often misunderstood. Yet France has long been a valuable partner of the US, politically and militarily, and its culture wields extensive influence over American arts, fashion, and food. Students seeking to become global citizens stand to learn a great deal about their own cultural assumptions from first-hand experience of French politics, customs, and mores. Moreover, exposure to the history and current state of relations among the many and varied religious communities in France will provide a rich source of information and possible options for how the United States might move forward into an increasingly multi-cultural future.
The city of Montpellier is located in south central France 10 minutes from the Mediterranean. It was established around 985CE as a village of merchants importing spices from the Levant. With the imports came the medical uses of their products from the knowledge of Arabic medicine. By 1000CE, many Arab and Jewish trading partners were teaching merchants and students there. The school of medicine founded at this time is the oldest in Europe and still a prestigious medical school today. Montpellier is a vibrant, animated medieval city with a diverse population.
Paris breathes intellectual air, ethnic and religious diversity, artistic appreciation, and culinary excellence at every corner: with its open-air markets, bistros, and boulangeries, its myriad of museums, historic landmarks and countless places of worship– all these spaces are deemed sacred by different people, and thus Paris embodies an ideal location to learn about cultural cohabitations in a multi-ethnic and multi-faith society.
** Please note that this program includes tours that are often strenuous, long, hilly, filled with cobblestones. This program is for hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
Students will be housed in shared accommodations.
Students will experience many sites deemed sacred, which will provide multiple opportunities for personal reflection and growth.
- Multi-course gastronomic meals at tradition-al French restaurants in both Paris and Montpellier.
- Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre and other museums, the Moulin Rouge, the Eiffel Tower, 17th century cafés that were sacred spaces for philosophers and the literati, the Catacombs, the Great Mosque of Paris, and Versailles.
- Palaces, wineries and vineyards in and around Paris and Montpellier
- Prehistoric caves, medieval abbeys, cathedrals, and Buddhist temples in and around Montpellier.
- The Maison carrée, a Roman temple in Nîmes , the papal palace in Avignon, and the synagogue of Avignon, which was first built in 1221CE.
Note: Itinerary is subject to change due to availability of local facilities and scheduling issues.
Eligibility & Application Deadlines
The eligibility requirements specific to this program are listed in the Fact Sheet at the top of this brochure.
See the Deadlines and Events Calendar for the most up-to-date deadline information.
- February 28, 2017: All Fall 2017 travel-embedded and Winter Term 2018 Study Abroad and Study USA programs are announced.
- March 6, 2017: Priority period begins for all programs.
- 11:59 PM, March 16, 2017: Priority period deadline. All applications received during priority period are reviewed for eligibility and merit rather than time of submission.
- March 28, 2017: Notification begins. The GEC will send notifications via email for all applications received by priority period deadline.
- March 28, 2017: Change period begins. Students that submitted applications during the priority period can switch into available programs by submitting a Change Form (available March 28).
- March 30, 2017: Rolling period begins. New applications will be accepted and reviewed on a space-available basis.
- August 31, 2017: Final deadline for Study Abroad programs.
- September 4, 2017: Deposit refund deadline for Study Abroad programs. Students accepted to Study Abroad programs that cancel after this date will not have the deposit refunded.**
- September 14, 2017: Final deadline and refund deadline for Study USA programs. Students accepted to Study USA programs that cancel after this date will not have the deposit refunded.
Students are required to take the fall pre-departure course associated with this Winter Term course. All students will automatically be registered for the pre-departure course but must register themselves for the Winter Term course during pre-registration for Winter Term.
Pre-departure Course: GBL 167
This Winter Term course has a required one semester-hour fall pre-departure course associated with it. Students accepted into the Winter Term course will be automatically registered for the associated fall course. There is no additional cost for the pre-departure course for students who are registered full-time even if the one credit creates an overload for a student's registration.
It is Elon University policy that students who are registered part-time for the fall semester will be charged the additional one credit hour of tuition for the fall pre-departure course. Students will also be charged four credit hours of tuition for winter term in addition to the program fees. If students contact the Bursar's office to verify that they will be enrolled full-time in the spring semester, the four hours of winter term tuition will not be collected.
There will also be a required meeting about the course in May.
Spring Meeting Information
There is no spring meeting for this program.
Fall Course Meeting Information
The fall pre-departure course will take place on Wednesdays from 3:35-5:15 PM, beginning October 4 and ending November 29. There will be small group meetings starting at the beginning of October. Faculty will communicate times and dates beforehand.
To cancel your participation in a program, complete the Winter Term Withdrawal questionnaire in your application.
Per the Study Abroad Policies webpage
, please note the following payment and cancellation deadlines:
- September 4 - October 2, 2017: Students accepted to Study Abroad programs that cancel within these dates will not have the deposit refunded.
- September 15 - October 2, 2017: Students accepted to Study USA programs that cancel within these dates will not have the deposit refunded.
- October 2, 2017: Full payment deadline.
- October 3 - 9, 2017: Students that cancel within these dates are responsible for 50 percent of the cost of the program.
- October 10 - 18, 2017: Students that cancel within these dates are responsible for 75 percent of the cost of the program.
- Oct. 19, 2017: Students that cancel on or after this date are responsible for the full program cost.
You are responsible for the costs noted above if you cancel regardless of whether you have paid the program fees at the time of cancellation.
Deposit Refunds -
If you have paid the deposit and are cancelling your participation prior to the deposit refund deadline, the amount will remain as a credit on your account to be applied towards the following semester’s billing. If you have any questions about your deposit, you may contact the Bursar’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org
*All students are automatically enrolled in a travel insurance policy through iNext, an outside insurance provider. This policy covers students who must cancel their participation due to serious health issues that occur after October 1. In some instances (evaluated on a case-by-case basis) the travel insurance may insure against changes in mental health. The insurance does not cover any other changes in circumstances such as disciplinary or academic status; job, internship, graduate school or theatrical performance opportunities; leadership opportunities on campus; fear; other personal issues. Students who must cancel their participation after the final day to have the $400 deposit refunded may be able to seek a refund through the travel insurance company.
If airline bookings have already been made by the time of a student's cancellation, some airlines may issue the student a voucher for the value of the ticket less some penalty fee for change in ticketing. These are usually valid for 12 months with the airline issuing the ticket. The airline can provide specific details.
Costs for study abroad vary program to program and are in addition to the tuition for Winter Term (included in fall semester tuition/bill).
Basic cost information is available on the Cost and Credit Chart.
Detailed cost information is available on the budget sheet (link at top of page).
Students seeking need-based financial support are encouraged to apply for the GEC Access Scholarship.
For additional information on scholarships or other funding for study abroad, see the Financial Planning for Global Study page.
If you qualify for a travel grant through any of the fellows or scholars programs, see the appropriate program director for more information on how to apply the grant to your study abroad program. Visit the Deadlines and Events Calendar for travel grant deadlines.
Read blog posts from students on this program in years past and access blogs for faculty-led programs on the Study Abroad Blog.
Global Ambassadors are GEC student representatives that have participated in one or more study abroad programs and have been trained to speak about their experiences. You can be in touch with current Global Ambassadors via email--they are looking forward to hearing from you!
Want to know more? Connect with the GEC, alumni, and prospective students on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And keep in touch with us using #ElonGlobal!
For More Information
Program Leader 1: LD Russell
Department of Religious Studies
CB 2340, Spence Pavilion 210
Program Leader 2: Sarah Glasco
Department of World Languages and Culture
CB 2125, Carlton Building 324
Isabella Cannon Global Education Center (GEC)
CB 2375, Global Commons 360
Elon, NC 27244