Vietnamese language and culture will be taught in a training program at Paul-Valéry University, Montpellier 3, in France’s Occitanie region from October, as part of a cooperative effort between the university and the University of Languages and International Studies (ULIS) at the Vietnam National University, Hanoi.

During the year-long course, students will learn about the Vietnamese language and the country’s culture, history, and geography four hours a week. Some 20 French students have already enrolled in the course.

The course is to be expanded to two years, with the second year spent in Vietnam on further studies and an internship.

A host of cultural activities are included, to help the French students better understand the country and people of Vietnam.

Addressing a ceremony launching the course, President of Paul-Valéry University, Patrick Gilli, hailed Vietnam as a country with a rich cultural tradition and history, adding that the Vietnam - France strategic partnership has developed robustly in many fields, including education.

Ambassador of Vietnam to France, H.E. Nguyen Thiep, described the course as a breakthrough, saying it will train young French researchers in Vietnam and contribute to promoting exchanges and cooperation between the two countries.

The course is the outcome of cooperation between the two universities and in particular the efforts of historian Pierre Journoud, a professor at Paul-Valéry University.

Professor Journoud has known Vietnam for more than 20 years, where he traveled from north to south and became fond of the country. He carefully studied the history of relations between France and Vietnam and the history of the conflicts Vietnam has had to endure.

When teaching at Paul-Valery University, a large social science university with 20,000 students, he recognized that there was a gap in its curriculum when it came to Vietnam. He began to talk about the country at seminars on master training, on its struggle for national liberation and military history.

From this school year, Paul-Valéry University will welcome six Vietnamese students from ULIS’s Faculty of French Language and Culture, who will act as course tutors and a language and cultural bridge for French students.