Where and why to study French in France
The ninth-most-spoken language in the world, French is used daily by approximately 200 million people and is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. As an important tool for business and politics, French is not only the official language of France but also of Belgium, Luxembourg, Monaco, Haiti, Burkina Faso, and many other countries and territories. The Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) estimates that by 2050 the language will be spoken by upwards of 750 million people, mostly due to fast-growing French-speaking populations in sub-Saharan Africa, and will be prevalent on all continents.
Last year, France was the fourth-most-popular study abroad destination for U.S. college students, but studying abroad does not necessarily lead to fluency. The best route for language learning is immersion, and through programs in France or francophone Quebec, students can directly explore the history and culture of the language while having a truly immersive experience.
From the sophisticated cultural milieu of Paris to the fragrant lavender fields of Aix-en-Provence, the snowcapped French Alps to the sunny French Riviera beaches, there’s nowhere quite like France for language learning. CEA’s four French destinations — Paris, Aix-en-Provence, French Alps/Grenoble, and the French Riviera/Antibes – offer the ideal cultural and language immersion experience for college students at all levels of French proficiency, from beginner to advanced. Students choose courses to meet their academic and career interests at CEA Centers and partner universities, such as the Sorbonne, Institut Catholique de Paris, Aix-Marseille Université, Université Stendhal, and Centre International d’Antibes. CEA’s accredited academic programs are designed to take full advantage of their surroundings, turning the cities into living classrooms and adding real-world context to lessons learned in class. CEA offers seamless support at each step of the study abroad process for an international education experience students will never forget.
IAU College, a nonprofit educational institution founded in 1957, offers semester, summer, and academic-year study abroad programs in Aix-en-Provence, France, as well as summer programs in Barcelona and Valencia, Spain. Students may also participate in multicountry January-term traveling seminars throughout Europe and the Mediterranean, including Spain, France, Greece, Turkey, Great Britain, and Morocco. A wide variety of fine arts, humanities, business (AACSB accredited), language and social science courses are available in English, French, and Spanish. Direct-enroll opportunities exist for IAU students in Paris (Université de Paris-Sorbonne — Paris IV) and Aix-en-Provence (Université d’Aix-Marseille). IAU also welcomes faculty-led programs from U.S. institutions and offers a Resident Fellows program at its Aix-en-Provence site for U.S. faculty on sabbatical. Internships, homestays, study tours, and field studies for specific courses/programs are also available.
Sorbonne Summer Study Programs
Students experience “a summer like no other” with Summer Study Programs at the Sorbonne University in Paris, France. Students can choose to take college-credit French or noncredit French enrichment classes, join the French Immersion Program, and experience all that the world-renowned Sorbonne University has to offer. High school students ages 15–18 can also choose from a wide variety of enrichment classes taught in English in flm study, architecture, fashion, drawing, among other offerings. Students see Paris through the eyes of a local, while taking either our three- or five-week programs beginning in early July. Whether it is day trips to the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, or Paris Catacombs, or events like watching the Tour de France, Bastille Day festivities, or moonlight cruises down the Seine, students will get an opportunity to experience the greatest city on Earth. Students venture outside the city for weekend trips to Versailles, Disneyland Paris, Loire Valley, and Amsterdam.
Eurocentres — Language Learning Worldwide
Eurocentres offers courses at three different destinations in France — the fashion metropolis Paris, the coastal town La Rochelle, or the idyllic French town Amboise. Courses are offered for all levels, so total beginners or advanced French speakers alike will find the right course at Eurocentres. The Eurocentres Success System guarantees progress and helps students reach their individual goals. Aside from the language course, a broad range of leisure activities such as cooking classes, fashion courses, and wine tastings are offered, which enables students to get to know the country and its culture. Host families ensure a welcoming and comfortable environment and bring further cultural insights. However, apartments or hotel rooms are available as well.
ISEFE is a university institute specializing in the teaching of French as a foreign language. It is the only school of its type in the Savoie region, teaching adults from non-francophone countries. The institute offers courses year-long including summer courses. All year long, ISEFE organizes intensive courses on demand for students, young women training to be au pairs, technicians, and those seeking to acquire the French language for their specialties. Students can look forward to social interaction, relaxation, sport, cultural enrichment, discovery of the region, and acquisition of vocabulary in real-life situations. ISEFE is a center for DELF, DALF, TCF and TEF.
Since 1975, CERAN has been organizing intensive residential French courses in complete immersion in France and Belgium. CERAN Provence (in Avignon) and CERAN Belgium (in Spa) offer weekly super-intensive residential courses to adults or young adults (18+) in charming historical buildings. CERAN Juniors Paris and CERAN Juniors Belgium welcome students aged nine to 18 during summer for intensive French courses combined with sports and leisure activities, as well as excursions during weekends. These courses are organized in the most prestigious boarding schools. More than 3,000 students hailing from 90 nations attend CERAN’s schools every year for a full-immersion experience from breakfast to bedtime.
The American University of Paris
Students at the American University of Paris practice the French language beyond the walls of a university: ordering their daily croissants and coffee at a local café, picnicking with friends along the Seine, exploring the historic neighborhoods of Paris with classmates, and speaking with locals in the very streets they walk to school. AUP’s carefully crafted summer programs offer rigorous instruction in the French language — reviewing grammar and vocabulary, improving pronunciation — while allowing a firsthand introduction to French culture both inside and outside the classroom. Accredited by Middle States, courses taken at AUP can be applied toward one of over 20 bachelors programs AUP offers or transferred to other universities.
Alliance Française Paris Ile-de-France
For over a century, Alliance Française has been the leading cultural network, with 850 establishments in 136 countries, and is dedicated to spreading the French language and francophone cultures across the world. As the leading center for teaching French as a foreign language in France, Alliance Française Paris Ile-de-France offers dynamic French classes at all language levels and a large range of French diplomas and certifications to nearly 10,000 students from 160 nationalities every year. Located in the heart of Paris, the school is equipped with smart-boards, and a multimedia resource center, and organizes over 15 free cultural activities per month. An accommodation service facilitates students’ living arrangements. Students can select group classes, private lessons, and/or workshops, depending on their aims. Classes start each Monday.
Teenagers Abroad camps are the perfect way for teenagers to enjoy safe, effective, immersive, and cultural French-learning experiences. Teenagers Abroad offers French language camps in three exciting cities in France — Paris, Nice, and Montpellier. Students will benefit from group classes that emphasize the importance of collaborative discussion, with cultural activities and excursions every day after school. Teenagers Abroad takes students beyond the classroom and encourages them to practice their French language skills as they participate in cultural activities with other international students. By mixing language classes and cultural experiences, Teenagers Abroad camps get students excited about learning French. Students grow and improve at an accelerated pace thanks to these dynamic and intensive programs.
Alliance Française de Lyon (AFL) — Center for UNESCO
Located in the second-most-popular student city in France, capital of Gastronomy and registered UNESCO world heritage site, the Alliance Française in Lyon (AFL) belongs to an international network of over 800 Alliances Française worldwide. Offering high-quality French courses all year long, at every level and for all purposes, AFL also provides accommodation and proposes a large range of cultural and touristic activities. AFL became the first Alliance Française with a certification “Center for UNESCO” in 2013, thus integrating into a network of 3,800 centers worldwide with the mission of promoting nonviolence and peace, respect and tolerance of the world cultures. At AFL, the discovery of French culture, of French-speaking cultures, and of the values of UNESCO is inherent to the teaching, particularly through visits into cultural and ceremonial institutions in Lyon. Every year, AFL welcomes more than 2,500 students from about 130 countries. The school presents an atmosphere of exceptional teaching and intercultural dialogue.
ISE – Intercultural Student Experiences
Intercultural Student Experiences (ISE) has more than 40 years of experience coordinating educational travel programs to France that immerse students in the language and culture and help them launch a lifelong interest in becoming global citizens. Students learn firsthand about French history and culture, use their language in real-world situations, and engage in la vie française with an authentic family stay. ISE’s immersion programs in France offer much more than a typical tour. Students will walk along the narrow pedestrian streets of medieval cities and imagine what life was like centuries ago. They’ll visit museums in the towns that inspired Van Gogh and Monet. Immersed in la vie provençale en famille, students will experience what daily life is like in the South of France. After building relationships to last a lifetime, the TGV whisks them away to Paris to compare what big-city life is like in France. Students will feel their hearts swell as they feast their eyes on such well-known sights
as la Tour Eiffel, le Musée du Lovure, et l’Arc de Triomphe.
International House — Nice
International House Nice, located in the heart of this sought-after resort city in France, is a French school with a brilliant reputation and a vast range of courses and activities. Part of a global network of 150 schools in 50 countries and currently celebrating its 30th birthday, IH Nice’s aim is to ensure that their students develop and hone their spoken French. While learning French is undoubtedly the students’ focus, they are equally encouraged to take part in weekly excursions to nearby towns such as Cannes and Monaco, thereby taking advantage of the beautiful surroundings and exciting French culture. In addition to classes, in which there are a maximum of ten students, they also offer various accommodation options, from living with a host family to staying in a shared apartment.
GEO (Global Education Oregon) in Angers
GEO’s center in Angers is designed for French majors and minors, as well as students with no prior language experience who are interested in learning French and more about French culture, politics, and society. This program also appeals to students from many disciplines, with courses in history, sociology, political science, French culture, and civilization. Students will study at the international language institute (CIDEF) of the Université Catholique de l’Ouest located near the city center, taking courses with U.S. and other international students. Students will live with French families. Angers, home to a castle and churches dating back to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, is a lively university community of more than 30,000 students. A full-time site director is on site year round to assist students participating in GEO’s French Immersion programs.
Middlebury Schools Abroad
The Middlebury–C.V. Starr School in France offers the opportunity to study in a full-immersion environment. Undergraduates at an advanced level of French may spend a semester or year in Paris, Bordeaux, or Poitiers under the Middlebury Language Pledge, a commitment to use French as their only language of communication. They take courses in a wide range of disciplines alongside local students at one of Middlebury’s many host universities, and students in Paris may take some of their courses at the School in France’s headquarters, the Centre Madeleine. All students engage in at least one extracurricular activity, such as an internship or volunteer work, as a way to integrate into the host community. Throughout the program, they develop their language skills through authentic and meaningful interactions with their French peers. Students needing additional coursework to meet the language prerequisites may attend Middlebury’s summer Language Schools.
CAVILAM – Alliance Française
The CAVILAM (Centre d’Approches Vivantes des Langues et des Médias) established in 1964, has become a global benchmark with an international reputation for its exceptional technological resources and innovative approach to teaching French. Representing a crossroads for world cultures in the heart of France, every year nearly 5,000 students from over 120 nationalities come to Vichy to have a real French-immersion experience. Since 2008, the institute has retained uninterruptedly the label “Qualité FLE” given by the French Ministry of National Education, receiving the highest score, 15 out of 15, on every criterion audited. In 2012, CAVILAM joined the world-renowned cultural network Alliance Française, becoming CAVILAM–Alliance Française and one of the most important French institutes in the world. Students enjoy an unforgettable stay as they explore the region’s castles, enigmatic villages, and outstanding natural attractions to discover what vivez l’aventure du Française is all about.
Institut de Touraine
Institut de Touraine, one of the oldest language schools in France, only one hour south of Paris by TGV, is located in Tours, a beautiful town with 300,000 inhabitants in the Loire Valley, famous for its castles, gastronomy, and wines. Offering a wide range of French language courses for students aged 16+, covering all levels, open all year, the institute is pedagogically supervised by the University of Tours. High-quality courses, accommodation in strictly selected host families or residences, and an attractive activity and excursion program offer a total immersion into French language and culture. Since it was founded in 1912, the Institut de Touraine has developed a solid experience in teaching. It provides high-quality courses to students, teachers of French, businessmen, and people who want to attend a French university. The Institut de Touraine has 30 teachers, which guarantees seriousness and proper monitoring for students and promotes program coherency. Training sessions range from one week to one year according to specific need. Courses are organized into levels, complying with the Common European Framework of References for Languages. From a general curriculum to specialized courses including training sessions for teachers, courses can adapt to whatever students’ needs may be. The institute is also a certified exam center and offers students the possibility to take the major French exams DELF, DALF and TEF.
French Window is a new-concept French language center in Nantes, a cosmopolitan city close to the Atlantic Coast in western France, located on the Loire River. They provide short, thematic French language-study courses from beginner to advanced levels for adults and teenagers focusing on the art of living, gastronomy, heritage and culture. The programs are an alternative to standard language course offerings and are based on an interactive way of language learning outdoors by meeting locals during workshops, visits, and games. Lessons are taught in small groups — usually with an average of six participants — for an authentic and convivial atmosphere. French Window stimulates immersion into culture and offers experience-based language learning through real-life situations, because the best way to learn a language is to live it.
Greenheart Travel’s Teen Summer Language Camps offer students the chance to learn a second language through classroom instruction and full immersion during an unforgettable summer program abroad. By attending Greenheart Travel’s 2-week language camp in Paris, France, students can accelerate their language skills and deepen their understanding of the French culture. In addition to the Paris destination, 2-4 week programs are also offered in Argentina, China, Costa Rica, Germany, Italy and Spain. Greenheart Travel is a nonprofit cultural exchange organization that is personally invested in changing lives, advancing careers, and creating leaders through traveling abroad.
Languages Abroad has over 25 years of experience offering successful, customizable, language immersion courses to adults. People interested in learning French in France can study at one (or all) of their three accredited schools in Paris, Nice and Tours. Languages Abroad’s programs are all about options! Their schools offer private and group lessons; students choose how many lessons they take a week; and accommodation choices include immersive homestays, apartments and hotels. Those who prefer private tutoring and/or want to live somewhere else in France can participate in our unique Live & Learn program in which students live and study in the home of their own private teacher. Students who register for the Language Traveller Program on the other hand, study in all three cities (Paris, Nice, and Tours) over three months. In this way, students will get an even more balanced language learning experience as they discover the regional differences in both culture and language across France.
SPI Study Abroad
SPI Study Abroad’s immersion programs combine high-quality language instruction, inspiring global leadership experiences, volunteer service projects, and exciting travel excursions where language and culture come to life! Studying abroad will be a defining educational experience – it is a journey that will transform students into being global thinkers with an international perspective putting them ahead of their peers. SPI’s programs are designed to provide full cultural and language immersion for students by placing them in safe and easy-to-manage cities with caring homestay families. Students gain self-confidence, independence, and maturity, as well as increased fluency in a foreign language — skills that enrich their lives forever. Founded in 1996, SPI Study Abroad offers college credit high school study abroad programs in France, as well as Spain, Italy, Costa Rica, and China.
Alpine French School
Alpine French School in the French Alps is a unique language school offering quality French classes combined with extra-curricular activities. Combine learning French with adventure activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking and climbing. We also offer a wide range of other French Courses. See our website for more info, videos, photos and pricing. Alpine French school takes pride in fun interactive French classes taught by native speakers in a relaxed environment. Since 2003 their dynamic team has been offering quality French courses with a difference! Students can choose to stay with host families, or in apartments, residences and hotels. The school’s established partnership scheme with the local community allows students to partake in a cultural activity programme to complete the immersion experience.