Living in Besancon
Participants begin the fall term and full-year programs in mid-September. You'll be met in the arrival city -- usually Geneva or Lyon -- by the Resident Director and the Assistant to the Director, and your group will then travel by chartered bus to the orientation site, the Jura mountain village of Rochejean. Students who begin the Program in January will normally fly to Paris where they are met by either the Resident Director or the Assistant, who will accompany them to Besançon. Students arriving in January have an abbreviated orientation in Paris or in Besançon.
Initial orientation in Rochejean includes informational meetings about academic matters and the family stay, as well as practical advice on how to cope with the initial shock of living abroad. After two or three days in Rochejean, your group will travel to Besançon where you'll begin the family stay and where orientation continues. To welcome you into your new city, the group will do a walking tour of Besançon, complete with a city scavenger hunt. You'll also visit the Crédit Agricole Bank, where you'll open an account.
As a participant in this program, you'll live in a private French home during the month of orientation. You'll be plunged into French life and obliged to speak French immediately upon arrival -- the month with your host family helps to "break the cultural ice." Some of these families have been with the Knox Program for many years, and we can assure every student a friendly welcome in their French home.
After the orientation month, you'll move into a dormitory. Participants are normally scattered throughout the dormitories in order to encourage contact with French students. The two different kinds of housing experiences prove to be enriching for students in the Knox Program in France.
There are three student restaurants in Besançon, two in town and one on the new campus at the edge of the city. Students may eat in any restaurant.
Tickets for the noon meal and cash for transportation will be issued during the family stay. After that, cash will be given to cover three meals a day at the student restaurants, plus cost of transportation. Some students prefer to buy hot plates and prepare meals in their dormitory rooms.