Mediterranean France: History and Politics of Immigration

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  • Arrival Date:  July 24th, 2023 – August 25th, 2023

Marseille is a major French port city that has been influenced by waves of immigration of people from Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Discover this diverse location by learning about the history of the French empire, European integration, and post-colonial urbanism. You’ll experience first-hand how food, music and even sports in Marseille have been shaped by histories of movement. We will also meet with local artists, politicians to reflect on the current policies and debates around immigration in Europe and North Africa. 

Upcoming Online Info Session: Tuesday, February 21st from 3:00 – 4:00 – Register Here

Language of Instruction: English 

Courses: HIS 170C: France and Its Empire in the 20th Century (5 units); POLI 166: Politics of Migration (5 units)

Max Enrollment: 20

Faculty Leaders: Muriam Haleh Davis (she/her/hers), Associate Professor of History; Thomas Serres (he/him/his), Assistant Professor of Politics


Quick Facts

Location – Marseille, France

Prerequisites and Application Requirements 

  • Minimum GPA – 2.5 cumulative GPA or higher at the time of application and every quarter prior to departure
  • Passport: A passport valid for at least six months after the program’s end date ordered before application
  • Signed Financial Terms and Conditions Document: As part of the application, you will be required to upload an electronically signed Financial Terms and Conditions document. 
  • Other Eligibility – good academic and disciplinary standing, 45 units completed by program departure, minimum age 18


  • Lyon – The French culture is alive in Lyon, France’s third largest city. Lyon sits at the convergence of the Rhône and Saône rivers. In Lyon, we’ll learn about immigration law in France through visiting local organizations.
  • Aix-en-Provence – Aix-en-Provence is a university city brimming with beautiful architecture along pedestrian-only streets. Here we’ll visit the Archives Nationales d’Outre Mer to learn about French colonial history.
  • Frioul and Château d’If Islands  – We’ll travel by ferry to the Château d’If. It is a fortress located on the smallest island in the Frioul archipelago, situated about 1.5 kilometers offshore from Marseille. Built in the 16th century, the Château d’If later served as a prison until the end of the 19th century. 
  • Guest Lectures and Visits –  Hear from political activists and artists about the pressing issues impacting France’s diverse communities
  • Museums – We’ll take advantage of Marseille’s many museums to learn about the dynamic histories and cultures of Marseille and France.


Application Fee

  • There is a Non-Refundable $200 UCSC Global Learning Application Fee. It is charged to your UCSC account after March 1, 2023.


Country France is a western European country known for its world-class art and architecture. Given its colonial history, French influences can be seen all over the globe. France has both a multicultural population and a strong cultural identity. Learn more about travel in France here. Learn more about identities in France here.

This program is based in Marseille, a port city in southern France. Marseille is the second most populous city in France with a rich tradition of immigration, activism, and cultural production.

Host Organization
UCSC has partnered with WorldStrides for this program. Worldstrides is a US-based company and the nation’s largest accredited travel organization. WorldStrides’ higher education division works in partnership with hundreds of US University campuses to facilitate study abroad programs for thousands of students each year. When you arrive in France, you’ll be greeted by WorldStrides’ incredible on-site staff who will support you every step of the way. 

Weather and Climate

In Marseille, you can expect a dry climate and warm sunny days. During the summer months, high temperatures reach 85 degrees Fahrenheit with low temperatures in the sixties. 

Travel Documents Required for US Citizens

Passport required for US citizens. If you are not a US citizen please email to learn about additional travel documents you may need to pursue this program.



Official Language



Rooms are double occupancy and include a shared kitchen and a bathroom.

Please note that elevators, air conditioners, and other modern conveniences may not be available in all locations.Meals

Some group meals are included.


Global Seminars are generally accessible, though some locations may present unique challenges regarding mobility. These will be addressed as needed and accommodations can be made. Please email to inquire more about if this program is a good choice for you. 

Students with Disabilities

If you need support services abroad, notify your UCSC Disability Resource Center (DRC) Coordinator

Identities Abroad and Away

UC Santa Cruz Global Learning is committed to inclusion and equity in our various program options as well as striving to make everyone’s experiences abroad enriching, positive, and safe.

Learn more on our Identities Abroad and Away webpage.


Course Description

HIS 170 C: France and its Empire


  • Learn a basic narrative of historical events in France from 1914 to 1975 with a particular emphasis on decolonization and immigration
  • Asses historical ideas, arguments, and points of view by relying on research skills and critical thinking
  • Evaluate competing interpretations and multiple narratives of the past, specifically relating to colonization
  • Analyze how North African culture and history is entangled with national identity in Europe

POL 166: Politics of Migration


  • Be familiar with the concepts encountered during the course (human capital, homo sacer, racial state, borderlands)
  • Have a general understanding of the way in which migrants are targeted by various forms of state power in the Mediterranean region, and how major ideological and doctrinal changes have affected them (neoliberalism, developmentalism, securitization, externalization)
  • Grasp the interaction between forms of migrations, racial rule and urban formations in the Mediterranean region
  • Analyze how immigration and emigration influence various forms of politicized cultural production

Syllabus Coming Soon

Course Credit

Students on UCSC Global Seminars earn regular UC Santa Cruz course credit which may be used to fulfill degree, major, minor, General Education (GE) requirements. UC Santa Cruz students can use UCSC Global Seminar courses to fulfill their academic requirements as listed in the General Catalog. Students from other campuses should consult with the academic advisors from their home campuses to determine whether courses taken on our programs may be used to fulfill their specific academic requirements.