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University of Burgundy

French courses for refugees

University Diploma (DU) in French as a Foreign Language (FLE) for the professional and university integration of migrants
(Diplôme Universitaire (DU) Français Langue Etrangère (FLE) pour l'insertion universitaire et professionnelle des publics migrants)

With an increasing amount of migrants arriving in Europe, who already have higher education diplomas or who had to stop their studies before leaving their country, the University of Burgundy, like numerous other French universities, has put together a welcome plan with a strategy to accompany these participants with their university and professional insertion, that no other plan would provide.

During the academic year 2016/2017, this project was taken on by the International office in its experimental phase and had 44 participants.

At the end of this first test year, which consisted principally of volunteering teachers, over half of the participants had plans for further training in line with their project, whereas the others had to continue to perfect their language skills before moving onto the next step.

Based on this encouraging outcome, and what this welcome represents for the migrants in terms of human, civil, social and economic stakes, the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy at the University of Burgundy launched a program for their complete insertion in the form of a university diploma (DU) in French as a Foreign Language (FLE) for the professional and university integration of migrants.

This diploma is aimed at non Francophones and offers an integration pathway with an educational focus on French as a foreign language.

The objective is to prepare the students for programmes taught in French at the university and to help with their integration in order to prepare them for their professional future, including as a professional in their country of origin for when returning is a possibility.

The aim is to provide a complete insertion programme which comprises of:

  • intensive French lessons;
  • cultural activities to promote the expression and discovery of French society;
  • modules dedicated to finalizing their university and professional projects;
  • pairing of an uB student with a student registered on the DU program to encourage social insertion, sharing of knowledge and of experiences.

Those eligible for the programme:

  • migrants who were not able to go to university in their country of origin (having only a high school diploma) or migrants who had their studies disrupted;
  • those who have graduated (with bachelor or master level) who need to acquire a high level of French in order to practice their profession, take competitive and non-competitive examinations or to partially adjust their professional profile in order to access the French job market.

Status of the candidates:

  • refugees;
  • those under subsidiary protection;
  • asylum seekers.

Required language level:

  • the candidate must have minimum A2 level in French in order to be accepted onto the DU programme.

Education requirement of candidates:

  • have at least a secondary school diploma (Baccalaureate or foreign equivalent).

Those interested in applying for the University Diploma (DU) programme should send a request to the following email address Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser. including:

  • their name and first name;
  • date of birth;
  • country of origin;
  • status (refugee, asylum seeker, person under subsidiary protection);
  • address in France;
  • telephone number;
  • level of studies completed;
  • level of French language;
  • if possible, scanned copies of all relevant supporting documents in their possession (diploma, proof of language level...).

Those able to apply for the programme can also contact those responsible for the diploma through the social workers of the mandatory accommodation services (Adoma, Coallia...) and training centres (CESAM, FRATE).

Application deadline for the year 2018/2019: 3rd July 2018.


  • If an applicant is eligible to enroll in the University Diploma (DU), they will be contacted for an interview with those responsible for the diploma programme in order to finalize their application, after which the educational team will make their decision to accept or refuse the candidate.
  • The application files assembled during the interview process should highlight the academic path of the candidate both in their country of origin and since they arrived on French soil. The interview allows those responsible for the programme to get an initial idea of the candidate's professional and university project as well as finding out their expectations.
  • A language placement test in French is organized in September in order to establish the initial level of the participants in the four main linguistic skills.

  • The diploma is attached to the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy at the University of Burgundy.
  • Most teaching takes place in the Droit-Lettres building found on the Dijon campus, 2 Boulevard Gabriel.
  • The diploma is capped at 45 participants.

The modules are designed for the academic year. The teaching is based on:

  • 4 modules comprising of classes in French as a foreign language and French for university objectives. Following the results of the language placement test, the students are placed into two groups;
  • 2 modules comprising of project workshops: an intercultural group project; an individual university and professional project.

Linguistic support is guaranteed throughout the year by student tutors and volunteers, in order to promote social insertion and to avoid drop outs through the year in case of difficulties.

The academic structure allows the participants to gain the linguistic and learning skills required in order to access their desired university study progarmme.

The lessons take place four days a week for two semesters with 3-5 contact hours each day. The project workshops can be modularized.

Total hours

The total hour count of the programme is 432 h for each student; this is necessary to ensure the target language acquisition is achieved (up to B1 or B2 depending on their initial level) founded upon the guidance of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CECRL). The initial placement test is to split the students into the one of the two groups that suits their language level.

Programme Calendar

Submitting applications
by email 
Until the 3rd July 2018 for the year 2018/2019.
Interviews From the 15th June to the 6th July and from the 3rd - 12th September 2018.
placement test
 From the 17th - 22nd September 2018.
Semester 1 From the 1st October 2018 - 27th January 2019 with a two week holiday break over Christmas (from the 22nd December 2018 - 6th January 2019).
Semester 2 From 29th January to 12th May 2019 with a break for the winter (one week mid/end of February) and spring holidays (from 13th to 28th April 2019).


Detailed programme of the Diploma

Title Contents Evaluation
French as a foreign language

1st and 2nd semester
Working on the 4 skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. Continued examination and final exam.
French for university objectives

1st and 2nd semester
  • Acquisition of language skills linked to university expectations: understanding educational discourse; understanding and producing academic writing.
  • Acquisition of pragmatic skills linked to university methodology: understanding situations involving university written communication, know-how and soft skills.
  • Acquisition of cultural skills: to be capable to put cultural content covered throughout the course into perspective.
Continued examination and final exam.
Intercultural project workshop

1st semester
Media workshop (blog, radio show, reporting and TV or online programs) in collaboration with local media.
Theatre workshop.
Professional and University project workshop

2nd Semester
Constructing their individual project. Meeting with key people, structures and orientation services. Research and documents about the different study programmes. Immersion by attending classes as non-exam students of their chosen academic field.  
Perfecting language and methodology

1st and 2nd semester
This module draws upon existing resources for the perfecting and linguistic remediation in French for international students and non-Francophones. Continued examination.

The framework is upheld by staff researchers working in language sciences and in information and communication sciences from the Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté community (UBFC) as well as by specialist temporary teachers of French as a foreign language (FLE). The framework is enhanced by interns from the teaching of FLE master.

Special support is put in place in form of companionship, with a uB student linking with one of the migrants registered on the programme, in order to promote the social insertion of the migrants, to share experiences and knowledge and uphold the civic engagement of uB students on relevant problematic issues on a local, national, European and international level.

Candidates accepted onto the University Diploma programme will carry out their administrative registration through the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy.

Registration fees:

  • 190 euros if their training is financed by an organism;
  • exempt from fees in other cases.

  • Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser., in charge of the programme, lecturer and joint head of international relations at the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy.
  • Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser., administrative manager of DU FLE, Faculty of Arts and Philosophy ; +33(0)380395584.
  • Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser., responsible for communication and relations with the programme's partners, lecturer at the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy.

  • University of Burgundy's Facebook page for migrants.
  • ARAM association: created in 2017, this association aims to help the University Diploma candidates and their families in their social and cultural insertion. A student association at the uB, led by students and supported and validated by the Student Living Council. It receives students but is open to external participants who want to meet others and enjoy a socio-cultural mix.
  • Ensemble en France platform about the values, habits and customs of the French. It provides a multilingual online training course made up of fun and varied educational resources: videos, cartoons, paintings, quizzes...
  • Mon French Kit (My French Kit) is the first educational game for smartphones which facilitates the integration process, aimed at all those who need to obtain a residence permit to live in France. Mon French Kit is available for free on the Apple Store and Play Store.

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