Skip to Main Content














You are in the main content
Cover Photo Image

Paris and Normandy: Civilization, Culture, Memory


Normandy and Paris, France

Program Description

This is a 6-credit program designed so that sstudents choose one course from each section.

Section 1: French Civilization and Culture (3 credits):
ANTH 391: Study Abroad: French Civilization and Culture
ARTH 320: Travel Study: French Civilization and Culture
FL 309: French Civilization and Culture
HIST 341: Selected Themes: French Civilization and Culture
SOCI 391: Study Abroad: French Civilization and Culture

Section 2: Normandy Invasion (3 credits):
ANTH 391: Study Abroad: Normandy Invasion
HIST 391: Travel Studies Seminary: Normandy Invasion
MCSI 150: American Military History: Normandy Invasion
MSCI 490: Spec. Studies in Military Sci: Normandy Invasion
SOCI 391: Study Abroad: Normandy Invasion

Location Description

The program is a partnership between JMU and Normandy Allies. We begin in Paris examining the history of the capital and immediate area.

Once students arrive and settle in our hotel in Paris, we begin with a walking excursion with visits to Place Des Vosges(square built by Henri IV), Sainte-Chapelle (Gothic chapel built by Saint Louis), Conciergerie (oldest remaining part of 1st royal palace in Paris). There are also excursions to Musée du Louvre, Pont Neuf (Paris’s oldest bridge), Cathédrale de Notre-Dame (12th century), Hôtel des Invalides including Musée de l’armée, Napoleon’s tomb (Military hospital built by Louis XIV, Military History Museum), Centre Pompidou (Museum), Montmartre including Basilique du Sacré-Coeur. Most transport in by Metro. We will also visit Versailles with a guide, touring the Palace and Gardens.

The second part of the trip takes us by charter bus from Paris to Chartres four a guided tour of the city and Cathedral. We then depart for Rouen where we will viist the Musée des Beaux-Arts. From Rouen, we have a full day excursion to Mont-Saint-Michel for a guided tour of city and Abbaye. The next day, we will visit the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen, Rue-du Gros Horloge, Place du Vieux Marché before returning to Paris to meet the Normandy Allies group. In paris, there will be some time to revisit the city.

The third part of the study tour begins with a bus ride to Bayeux with stop and tour of Caen Memorial to the Peace, (Caen is the 2nd largest city in Normandy and was largely destroyed in World War II. It was liberated on 9 July). When we arrive in Bayeux, there will be an orientation to Normandy with Peter Combee followed by a walking tour of Bayeux with visits to the Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux(tapestry dates from 11th century), Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Bayeux (consecrated 1077, blend of Romanesque and Gothic), Musée Memorial de la Bataille de Normandie (focuses on summer of 1944), Commonwealth cemetery (largest World War II British cemetery in Europe. In addition to receptions, an optional wine-tasting, there is an evening lecture by Major-General Graham Hollands (ret). about the Normandy landings and military leadership.

The next day, the group visits the Wall of Remembrance at St. Jean de Savigny (built and dedicated by local residents in 1997 to honor soldiers who fought there, Rue de Captain Carter (country lane near Saint-Lô (honors Captain Carter, a battalion surgeon killed there by a sniper), Saint-Lô commemorations, 70th anniversary of liberation of Normandy’s 3rd largest town (after Rouen and Caen). Town was the goal of 29th Division after 6 June. There is a picnic for the group provided by local families. At each site, the group will share in remembrance celebrations with French citizens for whom the liberation was the key event in modern history. On the next day, the group visits Juno Beach, (Canadian and British), L’Abbaye d’Ardenne (Canadian soldiers executed here by Germans, monastery founded 1121), Pegasus bridge, bridge over Orne Canal, target of British 6th Airborne, glider landing area and museum. There are lectures and guided tours for some of these sites. From Juno, the group moves to Gold Beach, Longues-sur-Mer Battery (German artillery battery completed, April 1944), Port-en-Bessin-Huppain ( coastal commune, pipeline from Britain to France under the Channel operational by August 1944 and site of Tour Vauban 17th century fortifications, Mulberries), Arromanches Village, Mulberry Museum and Circular Theater. The latter provides a lifelike simulation of 6 June 1944.

The group then departs Bayeux for Grandcamp-Maisy, stopping along the way at Lebrec Cider Farm at Englesqueville-la-Percée (site of memorial to 147th Combat Engineers, centuries-old walled property owned by LeBrec family, tasting). Upon arrivial in Grandcamp, along the coast of Normandy, the group will tour the Musée Des Rangers in Grandcamp Maisy and attend a reception for host families. Some will have the opportunity to live with French families during our stay here. The group will visit a number of sites connected to the American area of operations at Omaha and Utah Beaches, including Pointe du Hoc (German Gun battery on cliff west of Omaha Beach captured by US Rangers 6 June), La Cambe Military Cemetery (German cemetery maintained by German War Graves Commission, Isigny-sur-Mer, village (more than 60 percent destroyed in 1944, center for supplies), Graignes (village southeast of Sainte-Mère-Église where US paratroops gathered on 5-6 June, driven from village of 11 June with French citizens and captured US soldiers executed by Germans). We also visit La Fière Bridge over Merderet River (location of 82nd Airborne drop zone west of Saint-Mère-Église, bridge critical to support landings at Utah Beach), Utah Beach and Visitors Center Museum (Western-most landing branch of US 4th Division), Sainte-Mére-Église (target of US airborne in support of Utah Beach landings. Church in village center has model representing paratrooper John Steele dangling from its roof). A number of French citizens who lived in the villages in the area on 6 June and thereafter, will share their stories with the group and share lunch with us. The next day, the group visits Omaha Beach and the 29th Division Monument, American Military Cemetery at Colleville to participate in ceremonies honoring the soldiers buried there. We will also visit the Château Colombières (11th century Chateau with excellent museum of Allied propaganda. Located on southern edge of Aure River, the German headquarters taken over by Allies after 9 June).

We will also visit near Trevières for a reception at the residence of Madame Thérèse Chedal-Anglay at Vierville. The original residence was destroyed during the Débarquement de Normandie. Our final evening in Grandcamp features a dinner for the group and a farewell reception for our hosts. The next morning, we return to Paris, with stops along the Champs-Élysses and the Tour Eiffel with a final group dinner at our Paris hotel. Following a restful night, the group will depart the next day for home from CDG airport.


Michael J. Galgano | | History


Accommodations will be provided for through hotels and host families in double occupancy rooms, with all meals covered in the program fee.

Additional Items to Consider

The director will meet all flights and direct students to their lodgings in Paris.

No visas or special immunizations necessary.

The General Alvin Ungerleider JMU Normandy Allies Scholarship

I am pleased to announce the continuation of The General Alvin Ungerleider JMU Normandy Allies Scholarship for 2014.  The scholarship, created by his family, is in the amount of $3000 to be used toward meeting the expenses of the travel study.  General Ungerleider was a young lieutenant at Omaha Beach and participated in the liberation of Nordhausen.  He served in the United States Army until retirement in 1978.  He was instrumental in setting up the first Normandy Allies program (see article about his life below).

The scholarship is open to the students selected to participate in this year’s JMU Normandy Allies program.

Students should demonstrate a financial need for scholarship assistance.

The scholarship is open to JMU students.

To be considered, applicants are asked to prepare 500-750 word, double-spaced essay responding to the following prompt:  Would the young men and women of your generation be willing to make the same self-less commitment to free Europe that your grandfather’s generation did?  According to General Ungerleider, “No one ever thought about not going.”  In your answer, consider the factors that formed and shaped that “Greatest Generation” and describe the differences between it and today’s generation.

Essays must be submitted no later than 20 January 2014 and should be sent electronically to Michael J. Galgano, Program Director at  The winner will be notified no later than 4 February.

Application Process

For this program, students are required to submit the following material(s):

  • Attend an interview with the program director prior to the application deadline: Michael J. Galgano | | History

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0.

For more detailed instructions and to download the application, please click on the following link to the Applications and Forms section for JMU Short-Term Programs.

Official transcript required for first-semester transfer students and non-JMU students.

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


ANTH 391: Study Abroad: French Civilization and Culture (3 credits)

ANTH 391: Study Abroad: Normandy Invasion (3 credits)

FL 309: Civilization: Travel Study (3 credits)

HIST 341: Selected Themes in World History (3 credits)

HIST 391: Travel Studies Seminar: Normandy Invasion (3 credits)

SOCI 391: Study Abroad: French Civilization and Culture (3 credits)

SOCI 391: Study Abroad: Normandy Invasion (3 credits)

MSCI 150: American Military History: Normandy Invasion (3 credits)

MSCI 490: Special Studies in Military Science: Normandy Invasion (3 credits)

ARTH 320: Travel Study in Art History (3 credits)