Bienvenue en France!
Study abroad in France will give you a chance to live and study in one of the world’s most creatively charged countries. Immerse yourself in a culture that inspired Monet to paint, Bridgette Bardot to act, and Edith Piaf to sing, and learn to speak French like a local during your semester or academic year abroad. As an exchange student in France, you will soak in the French way of life through full language and cultural immersion, allowing you to gain a new perspective during your academic adventure abroad.
Who fits best on this program?
- You LOVE the French language and are committed to speaking it every day
- You can’t wait to immerse yourself in a specific region with unique architecture, food, history, and landscape
- You’re ready to be academically challenged
- You like the idea of tasting all 365 (up to 400) kinds of cheeses
Here’s the quick overview:
- Host family accommodation provides a full language & culture immersion experience
- Must have 2 years of French language experience
- You can choose between 1 or 2-months, trimester, semester or academic year length programs
- Start dates available in spring or fall
*Video courtesy of France.fr
Application Deadline: March 15th
- Trimester: September – November
- Semester: September – January
- Academic Year: September – June
*You will depart middle of August if you are required to participate in the 2-week language intensive course
Arrival and Departure
All students are required to book flights on their own. An airport transfer upon arrival is included in the cost of the program. You will be provided your exact arrival and departure dates after acceptance, as well as the exact timeframes you should arrive/depart, so that you can start to search for possible flights. Prior approval of a proposed itinerary is required before you purchase any flights.
Costs & Inclusions
Packaged into the Price:
- Airport pickup upon arrival
- Host family accommodation and 2 meals per day during the week, 3 meals per day during the weekend
- Comprehensive medical/accident insurance
- Local arrival orientation with your assigned local coordinator
- Certificate of Completion upon successful completion of the program for use on college applications.
- $1,500 Application Fee due by the program deadline to formally apply
- $5,000 Commitment Payment due 14 days after acceptance
- Remaining balance is due 16 weeks prior to your start date. If your program starts within 16 weeks of acceptance, the remaining program balance payment will be due at the same time as the commitment payment.
Please note there is a non-negotiable $450 late application fee for any applications received after the stated application deadline.
So, what about credits?
Your host school abroad will not provide high school credit. All credit must be granted through your home school in the U.S. or Canada. All U.S./Canadian schools have different policies.
In France, we cannot guarantee your host school will provide you an official transcript. If your school will not, some host schools will provide documentation, letters, and any other materials you require upon request. You must have good behavior, attendance, and performance in order for the school to fulfill this request.
Then, you should take this documentation back to your home school as proof of your participation in the program. Your home school is responsible for awarding you credit for this program or not.
Before You Go Abroad
You should meet with your U.S./Canadian high school before you leave and share the general curriculum guidelines for France with your guidance counselor and/or teachers.
Because the curriculum will vary by school and we cannot guarantee you’ll take any specific classes, it is important that you arrange the required classes required for your graduation, such as U.S. History, before or after your time abroad.
You will be provided information about the general curriculum for your age level in France, but you will not know your course schedule until after you arrive in country and start attending school.
Once You’re Abroad
Again, it is the student’s responsibility to request evaluation of academic performance or transcripts from the host school. Please keep in mind that the grading system in France is different than the US, and some host schools will not grant grades or transcripts as it is too difficult to evaluate your work due to the language barrier. If your host school is able to award you grades, they won’t be an exact match to what you would get in the US.
What to know about attending a French high school:
- Since early 2019, most public high schools have become more specialized. Some are more scientifically oriented, while other are more focused on humanities. We place students in high schools that are the most efficient option and easiest in terms of public transportation from your host family.
- We cannot guarantee enrollment in a specific specialized high school, but we can take your preferences. It is always up to the local high school board to accept the international student.
- There are 3 trimesters (3 month grading periods) per school year, starting in September.
- Most French state schools are now operating on a four day week with Wednesday remaining free and school on Saturdays, but it depends on the lycée. Students can go to school on Wednesday and/or Saturday depending on the policies of the particular school.
- A school day in France generally begins at 8:00 am, at noon there is a 1 1⁄2 to 2-hour lunch break, and the day ends at 5:00 or 6:00 pm. (The actual start and finish times will vary according to each local school.)
- You’ll have Physical Education 2-4 hours a week. Some schools will also offer special sports clubs.
- Academics are the focus of the program. We encourage students to become involved in hobbies and sports, but you’ll find that teens in France have less autonomy in general than other countries. Social life happens more often within the classroom rather than outside of school.
There are three grade levels in the French high school or lycée:
- Classe de Seconde (10th grade, 15-16 y. old)
Students in this grade have a set curriculum and do not choose any electives.
- Classe de Première (11th grade, 16-17 y. old)
Students in this grade have compulsory subjects and choose three electives.
- Classe de Terminale (12th grade, 17-18 y. old)
Students in this grade have compulsory subjects and choose two electives.
Support and Services:
- Visa Assistance in applying for the visa ahead of arrival, including visa paperwork and extensive directions and support.
- Extensive pre-departure advice and support from your US-based program manager. They will be with you from your first inquiry, all the way through preparing to leave and your arrival in France.
- Support from in-country staff upon arrival to France.
- Online pre-departure cultural and logistical orientation before you leave.
- 24-hour in-country and emergency support for the duration of the program, including 24-hour emergency phone numbers to reach a program manager at any time.
Additional Expenses to Budget For:
- International airfare to/from France
- Weekday lunches at school
- Personal spending money for extracurricular activities, entertainment, public transportation, cell phone bills, toiletries, etc.
- Optional weekend excursions or school trips
- Excursions, outings, or meals out with your host family. (You should be prepared to pay your portion.)
- Any additional foods purchased due to dietary restrictions or preferences
- The required 2-week French language intensive if you have less than 2 years of French (~$1500-2000 USD)
- Any extra French lessons or academic tutoring
In researching a study abroad program, you have already shown you are a leader and open-minded in your academic pursuits. These are just a few of the traits that our exchange students possess. You’re motivated to immerse yourself in another culture and flexible enough to live outside your comfort zone. You should also:
- Be between 14 and 18 years of age (at the time of travel)
- Be from the United States or Canada
- Possess a high school cumulative GPA of at least 2.75/4.0
- Be in great mental* and physical health
- Have a genuine interest in becoming a part of your host family and community
- Have at least 2 years of French language instruction**
- Fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before departure
*What does it mean to be in good mental health?
Moving to a new culture and staying in unfamiliar surroundings without your normal support structure can be very stressful, even to a well-adjusted student. Sending a student with pre-existing conditions on a long-term exchange program could exacerbate whatever challenges the student was previously facing. In order to ensure the safety of our participants, we must be rigorous in our pre-screening of all high school abroad applicants.
Therefore, we may not be able to accept students who have struggled with any kind of mental illness, specifically within the last 2 years and/or are reliant on medication to address their existing mental health condition. Each student will be addressed on a case-by-case basis and ultimately it is the in-country partner who holds the right to accept or decline a student based on their individual policy.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Eating disorders
- Chronic debilitating migraines
- Bipolar Disorder
All students who currently experience one or more of these conditions will be required to submit an addendum to the terms and conditions as well as a letter of support from their current mental health specialist. If the student’s mental health issue has been managed (post-medication) for over 2 years, we will still require a note from his/her relevant practitioner (psychologist, therapist, psychiatrist, etc) as part of the application process. We encourage you to discuss your specific situation with us directly, before securing these documents.
Please note that students who have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD will not be guaranteed any academic accommodations plans by the host school abroad.
**What if I haven’t studied French for at least 2 years?
If you have less than 2 years of French language instruction, no worries! You’re still eligible for the program. You will automatically be enrolled in a mandatory 2-week French intensive at the beginning of your program. The cost of this program (~$1500-2000) will be added to your total fee. Check out the Activities & Excursions tab for more information!
Additionally, you will be responsible for any additional costs if we require you to take additional French classes prior to or during your exchange.