The Best of Besançon
Besançon, France, has a rich cultural life. The city has its own opera-theater and symphony orchestra, as well as a host of large and small venues for music and theater. Each year dozens of plays are presented, ranging from French classics to postmodern. Besançon also has its own museum of fine art, the oldest municipal museum in France. Examples of romanesque and gothic architecture can be found throughout the Franche-Comté, and Le Corbusier's expressionist chapel is located in nearby Ronchamp.
With 20 centuries of history such a part of everyday life, you can’t help but notice that for 2000 years people have lived on this site. A very accessible, pedestrian friendly city, Besançon has interesting shops and eateries, historic buildings and remarkable examples of architecture across the centuries all within walking distance of each other. It is a wonderful place to explore - an adventure on foot. With everything at your fingertips you’ll soon assimilate Besançon’s relaxed and convivial social rhythm of life.
Famous in France, Besançon is a pioneer in the development of public transportation that is convenient, safe, and inexpensive. So the areas of the city that are not walk able are attainable through public transportation.
The Université de Franche-Comté, with an enrollment of 21,000 full-time students, was founded in 1423 in nearby Dole and was transferred to Besançon in 1691. The université provides a full range of courses in the departments of its two main facultés: Faculté des Lettres and Faculté des Sciences.
The Knox Program also enrolls participants at the Centre de Linguistique Appliquée (CLA), a world renowned institute for teaching French as a foreign language.
Each year, the Knox Program in France organizes one or more courses exclusively for Program participants. These courses vary from year to year, but normally include French cinema, regional history and civilization, and Francophone literature. These courses are open to all program participants.
Depending on the time of year you participate, you'll experience the beautiful landscape and historic location of Ornans, a three-day trip to Paris, a look at the breathtaking châteaux of the Loire region, or a visit to another historically significant region of France.
Life, Besançon Style
Besançon’s location in the Jura Mountains of France's Franche-Comté region makes for accessible travel to other parts of Europe. Historic Besançon is two hours by car from Geneva, Switzerland and two and a half hours by the high speed TGV train from Paris.
The large student population of over 40,000 adds vibrancy to the history of Besançon. The social nature of this young population enjoys meeting in cafés, and visiting in patisseries and shops. There are many opportunities for you to get involved in the vivacity of the city through concerts, plays, and sporting events geared toward young adults.
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A Knox College graduate and vice president of development at the Greater Peoria Business Alliance, Jim Lynch is among the young leaders recognized by InterBusiness Issues magazine.