Questions about visiting La Maison

  • When can students visit La Maison?

Students are encouraged to come by La Maison on Wednesday nights for the “CineClub” at 7:00 pm, as well as on Thursday afternoons from 2:00-5:00 pm for “Pause Cafe.” Students can also exchange meal swipes for dinner on Mondays through Thursdays between 6:00 and 7:30 pm.

From time to time, there are other cultural, culinary, or academic activities offered at the La Maison. Like our facebook page to stay up to date!

  • Do students need to be fluent French speakers to come to La Maison?

No! Students of all levels are welcome. There are English subtitles on the films shown on Wednesday night.

Questions about living in La Maison

  • How many people live in La Maison at one time?

Usually approximately 27 people live in La Maison during the school year. This includes an RA and a Language Advisor. This number sometimes fluctuates as people come and go from study abroad.

  • How many bedrooms are there in La Maison?

There are 19 bedrooms, with one bedroom reserved for the RA and another reserved for the Language Advisor. Of the bedrooms for students, there are 8 doubles, 7 singles, and an “apartment” with 2 singles in addition to a living room and kitchenette.

  • How are bedrooms assigned?

Bedroom preferences are determined in part by seniority. Returning residents convene to discuss their preferred housing selections, and the French House Director then assigns rooms based on these preferences.  New Maison residents will be assigned rooms after their acceptance to the Maison. New residents will have the option to make note of a preferred roommate on their application.

  • Are residents responsible for cleaning?

Residents are responsible for the cleanliness of their own rooms. UVA Housing will clean public spaces and shared bathrooms; however those that have personal bathrooms connected to their bedroom are responsible for cleaning those.

  • What is the guest policy?

Overnight guests are permitted, though it is your responsibility to obtain permission from your roommate if applicable, as well as to let the other residents know if your guest will be staying with you for longer than a night.

  • What are the dining policies?

Residents are required to purchase a meal plan and to eat at least two meals per week at the French House.  UVA Dining provides dinner Monday-Thursday in exchange for a meal swipe between 6:00 and 7:30 in the kitchen. Pizza is provided on Thursday nights.

There are two refrigerators in the kitchen; residents may wish to purchase or rent a mini-fridge for their room. Residents are expected to clean up after themselves in the kitchen, as well as to be respectful of others food and utensils.

  • What is the food like?

The food is similar to what you would find in a dining hall. With dinner, there are usually one to three main dishes offered, with at least one type of cooked vegetable and some sort of meat dish. Usually, bread, salad and a limited selection of desserts are also offered.

  • What are the parking/transportation policies?

Luckily for the residents, La Maison is very central to most academic buildings, especially Nau-Gibson and New Cabell Hall. There are bus stops located just down the street which are served by the Inner Loop, Outer Loop, Green Route, Stadium / Hospital Shuttle, Nursing / Clinical Shuttle, and the CAT. There is no parking for students at the La Maison. Students can purchase a parking pass for the Emmet-Ivy Garage or for one of the other lots on grounds. Parking is free and open to the public on the weekends and after 5:00 pm at Bice on Brandon Avenue. La Maison has a bike rack on the front lawn, and students are encouraged to make use of it!

Questions about applying to live at the French House

  • What level of French is required to be able to live at the French House?

In order to fully participate in the French immersion environment at the Maison Française, students must be at or beyond the intermediate, 2000-level (or its equivalent) to apply. Exceptions to the language requirement can be made on a case-by-case basis.   Your level of French is not as important as your enthusiasm for the language: if you’re at a lower level but are determined and passionate about your study of the language, the French House could be a very good place for you. Most of the current residents are at the 3000 level or above, but being at a lower level won’t automatically disqualify you.

  • What if I want to study abroad?

The French House is the perfect living situation for those that wish to study abroad. Since residents are “on-grounds,” you don’t pay for the semester that you’re abroad — unlike off-grounds housing! Many of the current residents have previously or plan to study abroad, so students have a pool of knowledge to draw on for tips and tricks.

  • What kind of time commitment is expected of the residents to participate in events and activities at the Maison?

Students who are considering living at the French House should be interested in spending time engaging in and promoting the French speaking community at the French House.  Residents are required to attend two dinners per week and also to create a participation plan detailing how they plan to get involved.  This means that you will spend a few hours every week at the French House, either at dinner or participating in other events.

  • What is the 1-credit French House conversation course (FREN 3028 and FREN 3029)?

The 1-credit French House course is a discussion course available only to French House Residents. 3028 is offered in the Fall, and 3029 is offered in the Spring.  This course allows students the unique opportunity to put their French to use by creating community service projects that are generated by the residents.  Past projects include: creating sustainability initiatives at the French house, making video creations, planning a French Revolution themed haunted house, hosting local elementary students for a cooking project, and moderating discussions about French politics and culture.  Grading for the course is “student option”: students may take these courses for credit/no credit or for a grade.  Credits that are taken for a grade can be applied towards a major or minor in French!

  • Can I live at the French House for more than one year?

Absolutely!  Residents are required to reapply for a second or third year in order to reflect on their goals for the upcoming academic year and to allow the Director to assess their commitment to speaking French and participating fully in the French House community.

Questions about other French resources and opportunities in Charlottesville

  • What other resources are there to learn French in Charlottesville?

In addition to the activities offered at La Maison, students can take French classes through the French Department at UVA. Additionally, students can subscribe to the “UVA Friends of French” biweekly newsletter for updates on French-related activities, scholarships and volunteer opportunities.

Other resources/opportunities include the Alliance Française and Charlottesville Sister Cities!

  • What is the Alliance Française?

From their website:

The AFC’s mission is to promote and share French language and culture for the enrichment and enjoyment of the greater Charlottesville community. The Alliance Française de Charlottesville began in 1992. The Alliance Française is a non-profit organization, dedicated to promoting French language and culture. We seek to encourage cross-cultural dialogue by creating a welcoming environment that helps foster community for all people with a shared interest in French culture.

The Alliance Française offers classes, lectures and other activities to their members. If you’re interested in learning more about AFC, stop by the weekly Pause Cafe at La Maison — there is often a representative present!

  • Can students join the Alliance Française of Charlottesville?

Yes! Students receive a discount on membership at the Alliance Française — it’s only $10!

  • Where is the Alliance Française?

700 Harris St, Charlottesville, VA 22903

  • What is Charlottesville Sister Cities?

Appointed by City Council, the Charlottesville Sister City Commission is an organizing body devoted to assisting the individual Sister City relationships with community activities and promotion. One of Charlottesville’s Sister City relationships is with Besancon, France. Yates Nobles is the Besancon representative, and CSCC is always looking for volunteers. If you’re interested in getting involved with CSCC, email them at cvillesistercities@gmail.com