To learn more about how you can take part in and support this international partnership:
Please email us! Montpellier Sister Cities Committee - [email protected]
Montpellier Committee Co-Chairs: Wendy Yoder & Laura Blandford

Want to spend the summer in the South of France?

We are still accepting applications for this year's Montpellier-Louisville Intercultural Exchange program! We've extended the deadline to March 25th. Open to all French-learning university graduate or undergraduate students who live or go to school in KY. Click here for the application!

Sister City relationship

Louisville’s long-standing ties to France date back to the arrival of French explorer La Salle in the 17th century, and even the city’s name commemorates Louis XVI and French aid during the American Revolution.

Louisville and Montpellier began their formal Sister City relationship in 1954, thanks to international study opportunities created and coordinated by Dr. Brodschi of the University of Louisville and Dr. Aimes of l’Université de Montpellier. This relationship predates President Eisenhower’s creation of People-to-People diplomacy, the entire Sister Cities movement, and has one of the oldest and continuous exchange programs in the country! In the past 60+ years, Montpellier and Louisville have participated in many conferences, symposia, and exchanges.

The Montpellier Committee and the University of Louisville collaborate on two exchange programs throughout the year:
  • Montpellier-Louisville Intercultural Exchange (internal link to: Programs - Montpellier-Louisville Intercultural Exchange)
  • Montpellier Yearlong Exchange (internal link to: Programs - Montpellier Yearlong Exchange)

Opportunity for Students!

If you are a college student in Kentucky and are interested in the summer exchange program in Montpellier, please contact us at [email protected]!

Existing partnerships & Links

History & Culture

As with much of Europe’s Mediterranean coast, the region was influenced by many civilizations including the Romans, Greeks, Celts, and Phoenicians. However, Montpellier, unlike other big cities in the region, was not founded until after antiquity. The city, founded in 985, became prominent because of its strategic location as a trading center near the Mediterranean Coast in South-Central France.

Montpellier is home to a modern university, which also contains the oldest medical school in continuous existence in the western world. The university draws people from all over the world, giving the city a distinct international atmosphere. While Montpellier is very much a university town, half of the population is under the age of 34, the city is also a cultural hub.

With several museums, theatres and historic sites, the city is a popular tourist destination. Montpellier’s Place de la Comedie is a grand pedestrian and sidewalk cafe area facing the beautiful old city theatre. Wine is the traditional product of the region. However, Medical equipment and state-of-the-art technical products are also manufactured here. AND Montpellier is the home to ten string instrument workshops, one of the largest centers for this industry in the world!

Fast Facts
  • Population: 457,839
  • Language: French
  • Mayor: Philippe Saurel

National Holidays
  • New Year’s Day (January 1st)
  • Good Friday – Easter Sunday - Easter Monday
  • Labor Day (May 1st)
  • Victory in Europe Day (May 8th)
  • Ascension Day (May 10th)
  • Whit Monday (May 21st)
  • Bastille Day/Fête Nationale (July 14th)
  • Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15th)
  • Saint Roch Day (August 16th)
  • All Saints Day (November 1st)
  • Armistice Day (November 11th)
  • Christmas Day (December 25th)

Highlights/Tourist Attractions

  • History: Musée de la Pharmacia, Faculté de Médecine, Flaugergues Château
  • Sightseeing: la Place de la Comédie, Arc de Triomphe and the Place Royale du Peyrou
  • Art Museums: Fabre Museum, Musée d’Arts Brut
  • Parks & Walks: Montpellier Botanical Garden, Méric Park
  • Religious buildings: St. Peter’s Cathedral

Interested in visiting Montpellier? These are helpful links:

To learn more about how you can take part in and support this international partnership:
Please email us! Montpellier Sister Cities Committee - [email protected]