France: Tours (June - July)

The University of Toronto will offer a course in French culture, and French language courses in Tours, France. The courses are worth one full-year credit and are contingent on adequate enrolment. Students are not permitted to register for more than one course. Language courses are taught by faculty from the Institut de Touraine.


FCS369Y0 The Culture of Touraine: Fables, Myths, and Legends of the Loire

FCS369Y0 The Culture of Touraine: Fables, Myths, and Legends of the Loire

The Loire Valley is celebrated as the “cradle of the French language”, and as the “garden of France”, recognized by UNESCO as an “outstanding cultural landscape”. The unique history of the Touraine cultivated extraordinary legends, myths, folk tales, and many well-known fairy tales. Artists through time and space draw their inspiration from these fabulous and extraordinary stories. This course aims to introduce long and rich cultural history of the Touraine with some of its famous, and sometimes infamous, historical or fictional figures. We will explore stories of literary giants such as Ronsard and Balzac, as well as historical superhumans such as Da Vinci and Jacques Coeur. We will learn about saints whose life stories influence various art forms in French patrimonial history. How about the story of Aurore, that you might know as Sleeping Beauty, not only its Disney variation in 1959 animated film, but also her somber and more intriguing origins? Where does the French-Canadian legend of flying canoe find its akin version? From saints to giants, from witches to princesses, from fantastic creatures to haunted animals, the course delves into stories that continue to stimulate artistic and literary imagination in our modern narratives. We will also adopt a comparative approach and active learning strategies to help students examine similar narratives and symbolism in tales from their own culture. Classes are Monday-Thursday 9am-12 noon

Students who choose to complete assignments in French may consult with the French department about having the course fulfill program requirements.


Completion of 4.0 credits in any subject.
Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1).
Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Taught in English - No placement test is required.

2024 COURSE OUTLINE (preliminary)

Field Trips

Field trips are carefully selected and integrated throughout the course, allowing students to experience first-hand a variety of important sites in the Loire region. This includes visits to the region's famous castles, beautiful gardens, historical sites, churches, and museums.

Instructor: Rosa Hong

La Touraine holds a special place in Prof. Rosa Junghwa Hong’s heart. It was in Tours where she studied the French language as a foreign student at l’Institut de Touraine, followed by pursuing her MA in French Literature at l’Université de Tours. The proposed topic of FCS369Y0 is, in fact, one of the ways through which she learned to appreciate the language and culture of the region. The appreciation paved the path for her subsequent Ph.D. in French Literature at the University of Toronto where she continues to combine her passion for teaching and love for French and Francophone literatures. Her current interests center around innovative pedagogical approaches in second language teaching fields. She also researches on Franco-Canadian diaspora writings.



FSL***Y French Language courses

FSL***Y0 French Language Courses in Tours 

Students enrol in Institut de Touraine French language courses, and earn a regular University of Toronto credit (i.e., the U of T course code and grade will be listed on their U of T transcript). Classes take place Monday to Friday. Class times and schedules are not available until after students arrive in Tours; however, typically no classes are held on Friday afternoons. 

Language courses are taught by faculty from the Institut de Touraine. Classes are small and include students from around the world, in addition to participants in the U of T summer program. Students have access to several language labs, a small library and a multimedia studio. 

FSL courses are Breadth Requirement = 1 (Creative and Cultural Representations)


Placement Test

The Institut de Touraine language program comprises nine levels of instruction. All students (with the exception of absolute beginners - see below) write the Institut de Touraine's online placement test in February to determine their Institut level. It is your responsibility to ensure you are eligible to take your requested course. Consult with the French department for further detail about your own program requirements.  Details about the placement assessment will be sent to students after the application deadline. 

Absolute Beginners: Students with no significant French exposure at any level (formal instruction or non-academic exposure) DO NOT have to write the placement assessment. Those students will need to sign and upload the "Beginner Declaration Form" when applying to the program. If you request the beginner level (FSL100H+FSL102H) but have had any previous French exposure you must write the placement assessment. 

Based on the assessment results, students will be assigned to the most appropriate level. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are eligible to take the FSL course you have been assigned. It is not possible to take a course for which you already have a credit or an exclusion. Consult with the French department for further detail about your own program requirements. If you are not eligible to take the course(s) of your choice, your $200 application fee will be refunded. 

NOTE: All UTSG students who are placed in FSL195Y0 or FSL295Y0 must write U of T’s placement test upon their return to Toronto to determine the accurate credit for their course in Tours, as well as their appropriate next level. Students are responsible for contacting the French department themselves and arranging to write this test ( After writing the test, the equivalent FSL credits will be noted in Degree Explorer only - the credit “FSL195Y0” or “FSL295Y0” will remain on your academic record as is.

UTM and UTSC students should consult their home language departments regarding whether a placement test will be necessary upon return and to confirm equivalency.

View the Equivalency Chart HERE

Grade Conversion
Please note the Institut de Touraine welcomes students from around the world and employs a 20-point grading scale based on the French university system. These points do not constitute a percentage. In order to convert this score into an appropriate U of T grade, Institut grades will be multiplied by 4.5. For example, a final mark of 17.3 based on the French system will be converted to a U of T grade in the following way: 17.3 x 4.5 = 77.85. This score will then be rounded to 78%.

View the FSL Course Outline HERE. Please note an updated syllabus will be distributed by the Institut at the beginning of the program.