French courses in France are a great opportunity to not only improve your language level among native speakers, but plunge into the culture of France and its daily life. Many programs actively promote cultural immersion regardless of the location. Local language schools are scattered throughout the country — both in the capital and in small and quiet towns.

French is among the ten most popular languages ​​to learn[1]. It is spoken by residents of more than 40 countries. It is the language of diplomacy, art, fashion, gastronomy, and winemaking.

In this article, we will discuss the intricacies behind learning French in France: what programs exist, which school to choose, and how much courses will cost.

Guidance in registering for language courses

UniPage consultants will select language programs based on your goals, interests and budget. We will choose a suitable country, course intensity and help you with the enrollment process. Our clients can get up to 30% discount on language courses.

Official language in the countryFrench
Percentage of French speakers88%
Average cost per week354 USD
Visa processing time5-14 days (in some cases, the application processing time can take up to 30 days or more)
France - General information
region Western Europe
Capital Paris
Language French
Currency Euro
Population 65,806,000
Students 1,400,000
Foreigner students 18.6%
Statistics - Universities
Universities in top 100 2
Universities in top 200 8
Universities in top 500 23
Universities in top 1000 51
Universities in top 5000 163
Cost of living in France
Expenses - USD/Month Min. Med.
Accommodation 265 347
Food 246 449
Transportation 55 183
Communications and utilities 73 95
Clothing 27 102
Sports and leisure 27 96
Total 692 1,272
Accommodation in France USD/Month
Shared room outside of centre 267
Shared room in city centre 350
1 bedroom apartment outside of centre 468
1 bedroom apartment in city centre 602
Location on map

Advantages of language courses in France

  • Affordable tuition prices. Programs cost from 214 USD per week. For comparison: German courses in Germany cost from 257 USD, and English courses in the UK — from 322 USD.
  • Opportunity to learn throughout France. French schools are located not only in large cities such as Paris (~ 2 million) and Marseille (~ 800 thousand), but also in smaller and more affordable ones — Nice (338 thousand) and Montpellier (248 thousand). There, you can learn far from the noise of the city whilst enjoying the rural way of life.
  • Wide range of courses. French schools offer programs with a variety of tasks and formats: you can prepare for the DELF/DALF exam, learn the basics of the language through literature and cinema, walk around Paris and improve your speaking skills, work and learn French in a professional environment, or generally learn the language through cooking classes.
  • Opportunity to recoup the cost of the course. On a long-term visa, students can work up to 20 hours a week or choose a study program that involves work.
  • Study in comfort. France has a mild climate that allows you to study and organize your leisure time in comfortable conditions. It has warm winters (+5 degrees) and cool summers (+17-20 degrees).

Disadvantages of language courses in France

  • High cost of rent and utilities. The average cost of renting a room in a student residence or hotel is 493 USD per month. This amount usually includes utility bills. If you want to rent your own apartment in France, be prepared for even more expenses, especially in large cities. In Paris, for example, a month will cost 858-1,287 USD (depending on the location), plus about 182 USD for utilities[2].
  • High prices in cafes and restaurants. Going to an inexpensive cafe in Paris or Montpellier costs 14-19 USD. If you eat out three times a day, you will spend an average of 48 USD — which is already 338 USD per week.

Cost of language courses in France

CountryCitySchoolProgramCostType
 FranceParisAccord ParisOral Communication Lessons (PM) + 108USDConversation
 FranceParisAccord ParisFrench culture and Civilisation lessons + 108USDHobby+
 FranceParisAccord ParisGrammar and Writting Lessons (PM) + 131USDGeneral
 FranceNiceIH NiceFrench cuisine course + 144USDHobby+
 FranceNiceIH NiceExtensive classes (6 hrs p/wk) + 156USDGeneral
 FranceParisAccord ParisDELF and DALF Lessons (PM) + 167USDExams
 FranceParisAccord ParisSemi-Intensive French Course 'PM 1' + 275USDGeneral
 FranceNiceIH NiceKids club (From 9:00 till 12:00) + 283USDHobby+
 FranceParisLSI ParisAfternoon 10 + 296USDGeneral
 FranceMontpellierAccent FrancaisSpecial program for total beginners (16 wks) + 362USDGeneral

Enroll in a language course with UniPage

There are more than 20 language schools in France, and about 15 types of study programs in different cities of the country. How do you choose the right course and deal with all of the documents for admission?

UniPage cooperates with the best language schools in France. Our experts will select a course in accordance with your goals, budget, and interests. We will choose the city and intensity of the course, helping with the enrollment process. Our partners will provide you with special discounts and offers that are not available upon self-entry.

Types of language courses in France

Type of program

IntensityHours per week

GroupNumber of students per groupMin. language requirements Min. cost per
weekWithout accommodation
General courses2010-12Beginner214 USD
Intensive and semi-intensive French language courses20-2610-14Beginner193 USD
Focused French language courses26-2910-14Beginner375 USD
DELF/DALF exam preparation courses20-2910- 14Intermediate129 USD
Academic courses / Pathway26-306-10Intermediate322 USD
French language courses for professionals20-323-14Beginner643 USD
Study and work208-12Higher Intermediate / Advanced407 USD
French with cooking20-305-10Beginner / Lower Intermediate322 USD
Private lessons3+1Beginner107 USD/lesson
Junior programs1510-16Beginner161 USD

More about each program:

  • General course. A general course allows you to learn French at a relaxed pace for 3-4 hours a day in a group of your level.
  • Intensive French language courses. Intensive courses are alphabetically divided into categories — from A to E, depending on the number of hours (20-35) and lessons (26-46) per week.
  • Focused French language courses. Courses that allow you to focus on a particular aspect of the French language. You can choose a program that helps improve your speaking, grammar, vocabulary, or listening skills.
  • DELF/DALF exam preparation courses. DELF and DALF are international French language exams that differ in difficulty level. Passing these exams is necessary in order to enter a French university or start a career in a company. Without passing the exam, it will not be possible to work in the field of diplomacy, education, and international law. Preparation within the framework of the course can take from 6 to 26 hours a week — it depends on how much time the student is willing to devote to learning.
  • Academic courses. Academic courses prepare students for French-language programs at leading colleges and universities in France. The program includes general language skills (grammar, speaking, and reading) and academic skills (writing essays, critical thinking and argumentation, educational projects). Often, such courses also cover how to apply to universities and what to do to build a successful career in France.
  • Workshops / focused afternoon French lesson. Master classes that are similar in content to focused courses, but involve less language lessons — about 6-9 hours per week.
  • French language courses for professionals. Professional courses are aimed at learning vocabulary in complex areas, such as law or business. You can study both in groups (mini from 3 to 6 people, or classic — up to 14 people), and individually in the morning and evening. The cost depends on the type of group and the intensity of the courses.
  • Study and work. An internship or volunteer program with full concentration in your chosen profession. Students work at partner organizations of the French language school — at hotels, tourist organizations, restaurants, pastry shops, sanatoriums, farms, and vineyards.
  • French with cooking. An unusual program with a practical immersion into French culture. In the evenings, you cook traditional cuisine with your teacher. Usually the course lasts no more than a month, and is suitable for those who have already mastered the basics and want to learn with pleasure and taste.
  • Private lessons. One-on-one lessons. The teacher assesses the needs of the student and develops a program specifically for him, taking into account set goals. Throughout the course, the student receives personal recommendations and feedback.
  • Junior courses. There are two types of programs for children and teenagers: courses and children's camps. The latter, in addition to studying, include recreational activities, accommodation, and meals. The process of teaching children is built on the "Play and Learn" principle — vocabulary is actively replenished by analyzing excerpts from famous films and acting out dialogues. At the same time, much attention is paid to grammar and writing. There are also courses that can be taken by the whole family.

More about the types of language programs

Language courses at French universities

In addition to private schools, French language courses are held at universities. As a rule, these are the same academic courses — only they have a special advantage. If you take language courses at a university and plan to enroll upon completion, you will be exempted from passing the language proficiency exam. However, this does not guarantee admission. Therefore, in order to have more chances, it is better to pass an exam from the school (DELF/DALF or TCF test) and apply to several universities at once.

Features of admission for language schools in France

To be enrolled at a private school, you need to submit an application with the necessary documents, provide passport details, and pay for the course. Some schools require full payment up front, while others require a deposit (on average — 268 USD) to confirm the course booking. After the final payment, you will be sent a confirmation of enrollment to the school, which will be needed for the visa. Enrollment takes place on the first Monday of each month, depending on the program.

If you plan to take language courses at a university (academic courses / university pathway), then you will need the following documents:

You can enroll in academic courses at any time, but schools recommend doing so on the first Monday in September, January, or April.

Almost all courses, with the exception of university/exam preparation and study and work, enroll students of any language level. On the first day of class, students pass an assessment test for knowledge of French. Some schools (especially universities) ask students to take an online test before they arrive in France. According to the results, groups of students of the same approximate level are formed.

It should be noted that the standard version of French is taught at all schools, so you should not be afraid to go to a province for fear of speaking, for example, with a southern accent.

Taking French courses

As a rule, courses at universities offer semester and one-year language programs for foreign students. Classes are held in fairly large groups of 17 to 20 people. Granted, it is often difficult for the teacher to track the individual progress of each student. However, the program itself is directly aimed at academic French, therefore better preparing for admission to French universities.

At private language schools, the number of students ranges from 3 to 14 people per classroom, depending on the program and time of year. Each student receives recommendations from his teacher on a regular basis. The curriculum is designed to meet the goals and desires of the group as a whole and each individual student.

In addition, private schools offer a wide range of French courses for different levels and intensities. They prepare foreign students for international exams — DELF/DALF and TCF — and offer special courses: French + cooking, French + surfing, and other programs with elements of entertainment and immersion into everyday French life.

Teaching methods at French schools also differ depending on the type of institution. At university centers, education is aimed more at introducing a foreign student to the culture, architecture, and history of France. Private language schools, on the contrary, set themselves the goal of removing the language barrier as soon as possible and improving the student's communication skills. In the classroom, students watch excerpts from classic French films in order to better understand speech and pronunciation, read literature in the original language, act out skits, arrange debates, and study documents in order to better navigate their completion. The most interesting aspect is practice in a real context. For example, walking around Paris helps students experience the authentic atmosphere of the city, listen to the speech of the locals, enter into a dialogue, or improve their reading skills by studying sights and descriptions.

Accommodation options while studying in France

Accommodation optionsMealsNumber of people per roomMin. cost per weekAvg.
cost per week
Host familyBreakfast and/or dinner1-2139 USD311 USD
School residenceA room shared with other students in the residence of a language schoolHosted by a student+ breakfast can be purchased at an additional cost1-1032 USD123 USD
Student campusA room at a university campus, available in the summerShared kitchen + neary student canteen1-254 USD161 USD
ApartmentShared accommodation with multiple studentsPaid by the student1-4139 USD557 USD
Hotels and hostelsOptional1-2150 USD563 USD

Some schools require an 86 USD deposit to book accommodation.

Additional expenses

ExpensesMin. costAvg. cost
Embassy consular fee38 USD86 USD
Service fee for each application32 USD32 USD

Medical insuranceMinimal coverage of 32,163 USD

5 USD/week32 USD/week
Study materialsOften already included in the program cost11 USD27 USD
Delivery of an invitation by express mail48 USD123 USD
One-way airport transfer102 USD194 USD
Additional summer accommodation fee32 USD86 USD
Registration fee48 USD102 USD
DELF/DALF exam/TCF150 USD295 USD
Change of program or residence32 USD268 USD

Cost of UniPage services

Visa for language courses in France

A student visa is issued for courses of at least 20 hours per week.

To attend short-term language courses (up to 3 months) in France, a foreign student must apply for a Schengen visa, which allows you to stay in the country for up to 90 days. A visa can be issued by the consulate for one or more entries, depending on the purpose of the visit. You must apply for a Schengen visa at the French visa center in your country. The application is processed in 5-10 business days. If the consulate requests additional documents, the period may be extended up to 30 calendar days. The main condition for obtaining a short-term visa for studying purposes is confirmation from the host country.

Required documents for a short-term Schengen visa

Students must apply for a national visa category D if enrolled in long-term courses. Such a visa allows you to stay in France for a year. The visa can be extended without leaving the country. The application is processed in 5-10 working days, but in some cases it may take several months to receive an answer — this depends on the place of application, the type of visa, and whether or not the visa center requires an in-person interview.

Required documents for a long-term visa

All document copies, except for the passport, must be translated into French and notarized — unless the documents are in English. It is necessary to submit an application to the visa center or consulate in person, since all applicants over the age of 12 are required to submit biometric data (digital photo and fingerprints).

All visa fees are paid in local currency. If you apply at least 3 days before the planned departure, the fee will be two or three times higher, and the consulate does not guarantee an expedited processing of the application.

Schengen visas do not allow for students of short-term programs to find a job in France. You can only work if you have a long-term visa for higher education.
Some students learn French under the work and study program. By participating, they are not only able to compensate for the language course expenses, but even earn extra cash. However, this option is not suitable for those whose language proficiency is below intermediate.

Most popular language schools in France

CountryCitySchool
 FranceNiceIH Nice4.2
154
 FranceMontpellierAccent Francais4.6
441
 FranceParisLSI Paris4.5
101
 FranceParisAccord Paris4.1
294

Accord Language School

Accord Language School — a prestigious language center with two branches in France. In Paris, this is a modern and technological French language school with an interesting teaching methodology: students participate in role-playing games, read books in French, and engage in sight-seeing. After studying, students spend time at museums, watch performances at local theaters, and take part in seminars on French culture.

The second branch of the school is located in Saint Nicholas. There are courses and camp programs offered for children and teenagers. Many game methods are used in teaching, making it easier for children to concentrate and remain interested in learning. The students often sing modern songs to improve their pronunciation, walk around the city, and communicate with the locals. At the same time, they work with textbooks that contain many project assignments on the most popular topics.

The average course cost is 386 USD per week.

LSI Education

LSI Language School is located in the historic city center within walking distance of the Notre Dame Cathedral. In addition to interactive and dynamic classes, LSI offers a social program that helps experience the culture and break down the language barrier. It includes visits to cinema clubs and attractions, dancing to live music, trips to the countryside, cooking traditional French cuisine, and cheese and wine tasting.

Students can either live with a host family or in a student residence with included amenities (rooms for 1-4 people). Another option for learning is to study at your teacher's home. You live and study with a teacher, dine with his family, and constantly use the language in everyday life.

Best cities to learn French

Paris

View of Paris and the Eiffel Tower
View of Paris
Population2138551
Monthly expenses853 USD
Famous landmarksEiffel Tower, Champs-Elysées, Opéra Garnier, Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, Louvre, Montmartre, Versailles, Moulin Rouge, Disneyland

Paris — not only the capital of France, but also of fashion. The city has about 160 museums, 200 art galleries, 100 theaters, over 650 cinemas, and 10000 restaurants.

The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is considered the most popular street — 300 to 500 thousand people visit it daily. Now, there are many commercial centers of the largest automobile companies, travel agencies from different countries, a huge music store, the famous Lido cabaret, and Rasputin — one of the most expensive Russian restaurants. Paris is also home to the famous Opéra Garnier, which was inspired by Gaston Leroux when creating The Phantom of the Opera.

Lyon

Old Lyon
Old Lyon
Population472 317
Monthly expenses638 USD
Famous landmarksOld Lyon, Saint-Jean Cathédrale, Notre-Dame-de-Fourvière Basilica, Tony Garnier City Museum, Croix-Rousse, Gadany Museum, Tête d'Or Park

Lyon — a city in eastern France and the capital of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. The center of Lyon consists of ancient ruins, medieval streets, atmospheric quarters, and is also included in the UNESCO cultural heritage list. The city is known for its gastronomy and cultural life. It was here that the Lumière brothers began the development of the cinematograph.

In December, Lyon hosts the Festival of Light, which is visited annually by up to four million people. On this day, laser shows, light installations, and fireworks are arranged in the city. From Lyon, it is convenient to get to the ski resorts of the French Alps: Grenoble, Courchevel, Annecy, Chambéry and others. The best season for skiing is January-February.

Nice

Nice, Promenade des Anglais, French resort
Promenade des Anglais in Nice
Population338620
Monthly expenses675 USD
Famous landmarksPromenade des Anglais, Cours Saleya Market, Muséna Musée, Matisse Musée, Marc Chagall Museum, Old Town, Château Park

Nice is located on the Côte d'Azur in the southern part of France. This is the main and most famous resort in France, which bears the name of the Greek goddess Nike.

The beaches are the main attraction of Nice. Most of them are free and, at the same time, spotlessly clean. Usually, the beaches are covered in sea pebbles, but near Cape d'Antibes they gradually turn into sand. The Promenade des Anglais is a street that runs along the pebbly beaches and is considered one of the most visited streets in the city.

Nice has a well-preserved, old district with small streets and red roofs. The city is also known for its Cours Saleya Market, which sells fresh flowers and vegetables. The market is located on the seashore, separated by a narrow strip of low buildings made up of restaurants. Previously, these buildings were used to store freshly caught fish.

Montpellier

Peyrou promenade, Montpellier
Peyrou promenade, Montpellier
Population248252
Monthly expenses601 USD
Famous landmarksPeyrou promenade, Place de la Comédie, Saint-Pierre Cathedral, Old town, Church of St. Anne

Montpellier — a city in the south of France, near the Mediterranean coast. The historical part of the city has been preserved here, which stretches from the Peyrou promenade to Place de la Comédie. It resembles a maze of old and cozy streets and squares.

Peyrou promenade is one of the most famous places in Montpellier, located at the highest point of the city. The entrance is opened by the Arc de Triomphe. The embankment itself is adorned with a statue of Louis XIV and the monumental water tower Château d'Eau.

Since the Middle Ages, Montpellier has been famous for its music workshops, which are located near the Conservatory. Now, there are dozens of professional workshops in the city that carry out international orders and manufacture violins, violas, and cellos.

In the autumn, the outdoor market opens during the grape harvest season. A Christmas market is held in December.

UniPage guidance in registering for language courses

Do you want to learn another language, improve your speaking skills or prepare for exams?

UniPage consultants will help you to select language programs based on your goals, interests and budget. We will choose a suitable country, course intensity and assist you with the enrollment process.

Our clients can get up to 30% discount on language courses.