L'Université de Caen Basse-Normandie

L'Université de Caen Basse-Normandie

About l'Université de Caen

L'Université de Caen Basse-Normandie was founded in 1979 under the 1968 law reforming higher education and replacing the former L'Université de Caen. The latter was founded in 1432 by King Henry VI of England and was granted Papal recognition in 1437. It was suppressed by the Revolution and reconstituted in 1896. In World War II the University was totally destroyed by aerial bombing. Reconstruction began in 1948, the new University was inaugurated in 1957. The mythical bird the Phoenix at the entrance to campus I symbolizes this revival.

The University's development is characterized by the marked growth in the number of students which has risen to 24,007 in 2003. The University is meeting the great challenge of training men and women and coming to grips with new technologies, at the same time remaining open to its surroundings by reinforcing joint ventures and exchanges. As the only University in a region covering 3 departments (Calvados, Manche, Orne), the University of Caen Basse-Normandie represents a center of human and technological resources of the first magnitude. University students have numerous facilities at their disposal, with restaurants, halls of residence, cafeterias, child-care center, swimming pool, tennis courts, gymnasiums and cultural events -- theater, cinema, music, dance, lectures, choirs -- throughout the academic year.


Situated on the banks of the Orne, the city of Caen is located within the province of Normandy in the northwest of France. The city of Caen has a population of 200,000 and has a unique blend of fascinating history and vibrant present. In Caen there are numerous houses and buildings that survived World War II bombing and date back to the 11th century. Nearby there are vast military cemeteries and monuments to the D-Day invasion, the castle of William the Conqueror, and the magnificent Mont Saint-Michel. L'Université de Caen Basse-Normandie is the centerpiece of a city that has a lively nightlife, wealth of cultural attractions (museums, concerts, monuments, historical sites), and numerous cafes and restaurants.


Normandy is a province of many faces. Its history is both intriguing and frightening. It came into being in 911 A.D. when Rollo, Chief of the Vikings, won the territory in a treaty from the King of France, Charles III. In the 11th century Rollo's descendant William the Conqueror ruled over this coveted land, building castles, churches and abbeys to assert his authority. William left from Caen in 1066 to cross the English Channel and win the crown of England. Students can fully appreciate this moment in history when they see the fascinating Bayeux Tapestry and walk through the ruins of William's castle in Caen. The power of the 12th century Church comes to life when exploring the magnificent abbey of Mont St-Michel. Students can also see American 20th century war history when they visit the 9,385 marble crosses in the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach.

Normandy also has a much softer face. It has beautiful, peaceful gardens and chateaux. From ultra-modern Le Tréport to the Mont-Saint-Michel, the Normandy coast exhibits an astonishing variety of landscapes. It has quaint harbors on the Channel, striking cliffs, and picturesque medieval villages with half-timbered houses. On its rolling green hills graze the sheep, cows and goats that give us that incomparable Normandy cheese.

Program Offerings

Students studying at l’Université de Caen will take French courses for foreigners through Le Département Formation en Langues (FLE) with hundreds of exchange students from around the world. Students take classes at a level designated by their French language ability after a placement test. Students can either begin learning French or continue their French Language acquisition.

Beginning French students are usually placed in either the A1 or A2 levels. Students should note that they can earn up to 12 MU credits for the semester. Individual classes may be transferred under the typical MU transfer policies.

Advanced French students (who place into B2 and above) and who study at Caen, have an option for a portion of their course work. They may choose the Language and Culture option or French for University Purposes. French for University Purposes is intended for students who like to have the oportunity to take regular courses with their l’Université de Caen peers.

All MU students studying at l’Université de Caen are registered for approximately 12 academic credits per semester. Irrespective of the number of credits completed, the completed courses are still subject to MU’s distribution requirements. For further general and program specific information, please refer to: http://www.unicaen.fr/ci/Web/Index.htm
For summer program information, please refer to: http://www.unicaen.fr/ci/Web/Eng/CIE_Eng.htm


Students pay MU tuition, room and board and the Millersville general and tech fees directly to Millersville. There is an additional non-refundable, non-transferable MU program participation fee and application fee paid directly to Millersville, due at the time of application.

These charges do not include passport and visa fees, airfare, books and supplies, or incidental expenses such as laundry, personal travel or entertainment.

Below are the most recent estimated cost worksheets for the Fall and Spring semesters at Caen:

Financial Assistance

Students should investigate loans that may be available such as the application for Federal Student Aid. Scholarships have individual regulations, and students should contact their home institution's Financial Aid Office to determine if their scholarship is transferable. Please see Financial Considerations for more information.


Students may choose to study at l'Université de Caen Basse-Normandie for the Fall OR Spring semester. Please note: Due to increased demand, students are only able to apply to study abroad through this program for one semester at a time. A subsequent semester may be possible and will be determined on a case by case basis.

The fall semester begins in early September and ends in mid-December, and the spring semester begins in late January and ends in late May. Students may also study abroad in the summer for an intensive French language study program.


L'Université de Caen offers accommodation in University residences (located on Campus I) where students will have their own room. In addition, rooms have en suite bathrooms (sink, toilet, shower), a mini fridge, and internet connection. Shared kitchens are located on each floor. Students will be provided with a monthly stipend for food (approx. 245 € per month), which can be used in the campus cafeteria or elsewhere in Caen.  Cafeteria meals cost between 5-7 € per meal.


Most students who study abroad are traditionally juniors.  However, Millersville students can and do study abroad anytime after they have completed their first year and have 24 credits.  A limited number of participants may be accepted for the exchange each year, and the selection may be competitive.  Students should complete the application one semester before wishing to go abroad.  Please visit the Office of Global Education and Partnerships' web site for an application, deadlines and more information. A minimum of a 2.0 GPA and two recommendations from MU professors are also required.  The Director of Global Education and Partnerships will then review applications and a selection will be made shortly thereafter.

Transfer of Credit

Students should work with their advisors to select courses which will fit into their major(s), minor(s), and General Education requirements, if appropriate.

A Request for Study Abroad Resident Credits form, available in the Office of Global Education & Partnerships, must be completed before the student leaves. After the study abroad program is completed and a transcript is sent to Millersville University, the Registrar's Office determines the final transfer of credit. All courses taken at l'Université de Caen will come back to Millersville as transfer credit. Please consult the Undergraduate Catalog ("Transfer Credit") for the transfer policy.

To Apply

Refer to Global Education's home page at www.millersville.edu/globaled for the application release date and the final application deadline for each cycle. Approximate deadlines for applications are as follows:

  • Summer: mid-February
  • Fall: mid-February
  • Spring: mid-September

Before downloading and submitting an application to study abroad through this program, students are STRONGLY encouraged to research the program thoroughly and discuss their plans with the Office of Global Education, their academic advisor(s) and any family members or other parties involved in the decision making process.

To apply, click on the following link to be directed to the "To Apply" webpage. Be sure to read all instructions before completing an application to study abroad: To Apply webpage