Experience a French college in France – 14-18 years – 1 month to 1 academic year

Our college programme in France is aimed at all motivated students aged 14-18 who want to enjoy a unique and unforgettable experience.

You will spend 1 semester or 1 academic year (or 1 or 2 months if you prefer a shorter stay) at a French secondary school while sharing the life of your host family. This programme offers true linguistic and cultural immersion in the heart of French life.

Destination highlights

  • A rich historical and cultural heritage
  • Discovery of a renowned school system
  • Great geographical diversity
  • The opportunity to choose your region
  • 3 fun on-site excursions
  • An optional French language course
  • Warm and involved host families

Why France?

France is Europe’ s largest country, with an exceptional diversity of landscapes and culture. Each region has its own charm, gastronomy and cultural assets. From Paris to the Alps via Lyon, from Normandy to Brittany, from Bordeaux to the Pyrenees, whether you are in the heart of the Massif Central, you will meet a people proud of their culture and always eager to show off the beauty and peculiarities of their region.

Internships can take place anywhere in France, usually in small towns, where families have more time and space to welcome young foreigners.

If you prefer to choose your region, an urban area, a particular school, class or sport, that is also possible with our Premium programme.

Classic programme for secondary schools

Internships can take place anywhere in France, usually in small towns or more rural areas, where families have more time and space to welcome young foreign students.

If you have preferences, please let us know. We will pass them on to our partner and do our best to meet them, although we cannot guarantee it.

Premium programme for secondary schools

This Premium programme allows students to make 1 or 2 choices from the following list, in order of priority (to be specified at the time of registration). The 1st and/or 2nd choice is guaranteed.

  • Preferred region
  • Placement in an urban area (city and suburbs)
  • Placement adapted to students with special dietary requirements or allergies
  • Specific activity (sports, music)
  • Specific school, class, subject or department.

Regions to choose from

  • Occitanie: regions of Toulouse, Castres, Montpellier, Nîmes, Sète
  • Aquitaine: regions of Bordeaux, Bassin d’Arcachon, Bayonne, La Rochelle
  • Brittany, Loire region, Normandy: regions of Rennes, Saint-Malo, Vannes, Nantes, Rouen, Caen
  • Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes: regions of Lyon, Valence, Montélimar, Clermont-Ferrand
  • Grand-Est: regions of Nancy, Metz, Strasbourg, Reims, Troyes
  • Paris: Paris and its suburbs

Note: in case of a specific request for a particular public school, tuition fees are extra.

French language course option

A 2 or 3-week language course in Saint-Malo (in August) or Paris (in January) is offered before the programmes start. This course is highly recommended for students who want to improve their language level before starting their course, in order to facilitate their integration.

“Optional “Fun excursions

3 excursions are offered to foreign students during the year. These excursions are accompanied by group leaders.

OctoberParis and Disneyland: a stay of 4 days and 3 nights with full board and accommodation in a residence. Visit to the main sights of the French capital (Eiffel Tower, cruise on the Seine, Louvre Museum, Montmartre and the Latin Quarter, Notre-Dame de Paris, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées, shopping at Galeries Lafayette) and entrance to Disneyland Resort Paris.

FebruarySkiing in the Alps: one week’s stay (6 nights) on a full board basis at a residence in Châtel (Haute-Savoie). Ski equipment is provided on site and students are accompanied by instructors. Open to beginners. Recreational activities, tasting of local specialities and snowball fights are also on the programme!

JuneCôte d’Azur: a week-long trip (6 nights) at the end of the school year. Discover Nice, Cannes, Saint-Tropez, Monaco, etc.

Transport, organised activities and full-board accommodation (except for Côte d’Azur, which is half-board) are included in the programme.

Note: These excursions are subject to a sufficient number of participants. Please contact us for prices.

Schools can be public or private. Placement depends on where the host family lives and the schools the family’s children attend or have attended.

The choice of class is made by the headmaster based on your academic career, your level of French and the number of places available at the time of placement.

Students enter secondary school from the age of 11. From 11 to 14 they attend collège (class 6ème to 3ème), from 15 to 18 they attend lycée (class 2ème to terminale).

At the end of 1ème and terminale, pupils take the various exams for the baccalauréat, which is a requirement for further study in higher education.

Classes generally last from Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm or 6pm. The academic pace is fast-paced, with an average of 32 hours of classes per week plus hours of personal work. In most subjects, teachers give homework , which is marked.

All subjects are compulsory.

The subjects

  • In3rd (14-15 years) and 2nd (15-16 years), the following subjects are generally taught: French literature, foreign languages, history, geography, mathematics, economics and natural sciences
  • In 1ère (16-17 years), in addition to the compulsory subjects, pupils choose 3 special subjects from the following range:
    • Art
    • Biology-ecology
    • History-geography, geopolitics and political science
    • Humanities, literature and philosophy
    • Foreign languages, literature and cultures
    • Literature and ancient languages and cultures
    • Mathematics
    • Computer science and computer science
    • Physics and chemistry
    • Life and earth sciences
    • Engineering sciences
    • Economic and social sciences
  • In Term (17-18 years), pupils continue with only 2 of their specialised subjects

In France, schools offer very few extracurricular activities. Therefore, pupils participate in activities and sports outside the school environment.

tableau des équivalences

Host families are either volunteers (Classic programme) or receive a small financial allowance (Premium programme), but whichever programme is chosen, they want to welcome young foreigners and share their culture and way of life with them. After being selected based on a home interview and references, the family plays an active role in choosing the young person they will host.

The families usually live in small towns or rural areas. But wherever you are placed, your stay is a chance to take part in a real French experience in a warm and welcoming family.

You will be accommodated in a single room or a shared room, depending on the family. In the latter case, you may share your room with a child of the family or with a student of another nationality no more than 2 years older than you.

Meals are included on a full-board basis: during school periods, midday meals are taken in the school canteen.

During your stay in France,you will receivehelp and support from a local correspondent. This person will prepare your stay, select your host family and arrange your school registration.

He or she will be there to answer all your questions and solve any minor problems. She will also be there to intervene if there are any problems with the host family, or just to make sure everything goes smoothly. She will be your main contact during your stay.

  • You must be between 14 and 18 years old, and not yet of age before departure
  • Have a level of French that allows you to communicate and exchange ideas: at least 2 years of study of the language.
  • Have good study results in the last two years (average of at least C, no more than one non-validated subject per year)
  • Demonstrate the motivation, maturity, adaptability and open-mindedness that are the keys to a successful stay.

Do you meet the eligibility requirements?

  1. Then fill in the pre-registration form as soon as possible.
  2. Once we receive it, we will send you a preliminary confirmation, including the total cost of the stay, a request for payment of €100 (for the language test and motivational interview), and the full registration package. We will also ask you to send us a copy of your school reports for the past 2 years.
  3. You will then be invited for the language test and interview at our offices in Brussels or Paris. The cost of this interview must be paid upon receipt of confirmation and is non-refundable, but can be deducted from the balance of your stay if you are finally enrolled and accepted into the programme. Part 1 of the application form must be completed and brought to the interview.
  4. We will confirm the result no later than 8 days after the interview.
  5. If the interview is positive, we will ask you to pay a deposit of 25% of the total cost of your stay (with a minimum of €1,500) and complete all parts of your application, including letters of recommendation from your teachers and other information we need to study your application on site. Once your application is complete and we have received payment of the deposit, we will forward it to our partner.
  6. Final admission to the programme will be given by our partner.
  7. As soon as your application is accepted, our partner will start searching and selecting a host family and school.

The complete application form must be sent to us by the following dates

Residence starting in September :

  • 01/05 (for EU citizens)
  • 15/04 (for students requiring a visa)

Stay starting in January

  • 01/10 (for EU citizens)
  • 15/09 (for students requiring a visa)

For stays of less than 3 months: the complete application must be received at least 3 months before departure.

After these dates, enrolments are still possible on request and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The “late enrolment” surcharge will be applied (see prices).

Travel

Arrival airport/station: depending on your host region. The airport or station of arrival will be communicated to you at the time of booking.

Visa

Citizens of the European Union do not need a visa to enter France. Citizens of other countries (such as the United States, Brazil, Japan, Korea, etc.) can stay in France for a period of three months without a visa.

If the programme lasts longer than 90 days (3 months), you must come to France with a long-stay visa for the entire duration of your stay. However, you may be given a provisional visa and may have to apply for a visa extension at the nearest prefecture during your first three months in France. Discuss this with your local correspondent as soon as you arrive.

If you turn 18 during your stay, you must apply for a residence permit at the nearest prefecture. They will ask you for several documents, including an official translation of your birth certificate. If you have not brought these, ask your parents for them as soon as you arrive in France so that you can get them in time.

All costs involved in these procedures are the student’s responsibility.

Health/accident/repatriation and public liability insurance is mandatory for this type of stay. A certificate will be requested when you submit your application.

Langues Vivantes offers you a complete insurance package adapted to youth stays abroad, see Insurance and guarantees

Dates 2023-2024

School calendar :

  • School year: 04/09/23 – 05/07/24
  • 1st semester: 04/09/23 – 24/11/23
  • 2nd school year: 08/01/24 – between 22/04/24 and 06/05/24 depending on the region
  • 3rd school year : between 22/04/24 and 06/05/24 – 05/07/24

School holidays :

  • All Saints: 21/10/23 – 06/11/23
  • Christmas : 23/12/23 – 08/01/24
  • Winter: 2 weeks between 10/02/24 and 11/03/24 depending on the region
  • Spring : 2 weeks between 06/04/24 and 20/04/24 depending on the region

Dates 2023-2024

Arrival – end of August

  • School year: 30/08/24-13/06/25
  • 3 months: 30/08/2024 – 29/11/2024
  • 4 months: 30/08/2024 – 20/12/2024
  • 6 months: 30/08/2024 – 28/02/2025

Arrival – January

  • 3 months: 06/01/2025 – 28/03/2025
  • 4 months: 06/01/2025 – 25/04/2025
  • 6 months: 06/01/2025 – 28/03/2025

School holidays :

  • All Saints: 19/10/24 – 04/11/24
  • Christmas: 21/12/24 – 06/01/25
  • Winter: 2 weeks between 08/02/25 and 10/03/25 depending on the region
  • Spring: 2 weeks between 05/04/25 and 05/05/25 depending on the region
  • Summer: 05/07/25 to 01/09

Optional French course:

Saint-Malo (August)*

  • 2 and 3 weeks: dates to be confirmed

Paris (January)

  • 2 weeks: dates to be confirmed

The course includes: 15 hours of French lessons (introduction to the French way of life and school system, vocabulary, literature and civilisation), 2 cultural activities per week and accommodation with a host family, in a shared or single room with full board (packed lunch).

Fees 2024-2025

WPCS 42.0.1
Classic program, course, homestay, full board
1 month 2.345
2 months 3.595
3 months 4.495
4 months 4.695
6 months 5.795
10 months 7.995
Premium program, course, homestay, full board (Except Paris)
3 months 5.625
4 months 6.295
6 months 8.195
10 months 11.995
Premium program, course, homestay, full board (Paris)
3 months 5.995
4 months 6.995
6 months 8.995
10 months 12.995
Supplements
Return transfer (optional) 200
St Malo French course (2 weeks in august) 1.395
St Malo French course (3 weeks in august) 1.725
Paris French course (2 weeks in january) 1.725

Late registration fee: €300

The above prices include:

  • French level test and interview
  • Registration formalities for lyceum or college
  • Selection of a host family
  • Accommodation with a host family, full board (lunch is taken in the school canteen during the week)
  • Assistance, support and follow-up by the local correspondent and our local partner throughout the stay
  • An orientation session in the host region at the beginning of the stay (only for stays starting in September and January)
  • Transfer on arrival (designated airport or train station) to final destination
  • Language of life assistance for parents
  • School results (per semester) and attendance certificate

Not included:

  • Return trip to the designated airport/train station
  • Books and school supplies (from €300 to €350)
  • School fees for public schools (premium programme only, if the participant requests a specific school)
  • Local transport
  • Pocket money and personal expenses, including phone and internet charges, school computer or tablet rental if needed (count on €250/300 per month)
  • Transfer back
  • Any visa fees (for non-EU citizens only)
  • Compulsory health and public liability insurance
  • Any additional costs related to Covid (e.g. quarantine, tests, etc.)

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