A visit to France conjures up visions of the Eiffel Tower, flaky croissants, and world-class museums - but what makes France the perfect place for you to study abroad? The combination of culture, history and modern amenities make it a great option for study abroad during high school. You can see the sights and step out of your comfort zone in the City of Lights or enjoy a more rustic setting in the French countryside. No matter which you choose, you are sure to come back speaking more of the French language and with a new appreciation for globetrotting. Having fun and learning sure beats sitting at home for the summer! Feeling extra adventurous? You can study abroad for an entire school year!
- Language: The official language of France is French, the second most studied language in the world after English.
- Popular Destinations: Paris is one of the most popular destinations in France, but you don't want to miss out on the French Riviera, Provence, or the Loire Valley. Interested in skiing? Head over to the eastern Alps.
- Cost of Living: Along with 15 other countries in Europe, France's currency is the Euro (€). The exchange rate varies but is typically about $1 = €1.30. Keep in mind your expenses will include housing, food, transportation, books and supplies. A year abroad can cost around $11,000 - your costs may be more or less depending on the length of your stay and your program.
- Activities: France abounds with a variety of activities! Visit the Eiffel Tower, tour Paris, catch a soccer game, visit the many museums, soak up the culture at a coffee shop, consider going to the opera or a concert, head to the beaches, visit a chateau or explore Provence.
- Fun Fact: Did you know? France is the number one tourist destination in the world!
There are a variety of programs available for study abroad while in High School - you can do an exchange or service learning program, language immersion, study specific subjects, a summer program, a semester-long program or you can spend a whole year abroad! With the variety of options available, you can customize your studies to fit your needs.
- Semester Program: Spending a semester at a French High School can be fun but is also fairly demanding - a typical school day starts around 8:15 a.m. and ends around 5 p.m. For a program like this, you must be an expert at speaking French.
- Immersion Program: A language immersion program is perfect if you want to increase your French language skills while learning about the culture of France. These programs usually offer both formal training and a rich cultural experience to help you build your language skills.
- Volunteer Program: While any study abroad option will be great, if you love to volunteer and want to give back during your time overseas, a Service Learning program might be just what you want. During these programs, students are able to learn the language and culture while giving back to the community.
Planning Your Trip
Some programs may require you to be fluent in French. You may be asked to submit a transcript, written application, recommendations from teachers, an essay, conduct a video or phone interview and supply health records prior to admission to the program. In addition, programs may have a minimum and/or maximum age.
When you do an exchange program or summer exchange you may have the opportunity to live with a French family. Other programs may offer dormitory style accommodations. Both options are popular and the type of accommodations offered with your program should be in the program description.
The costs will vary based on your program and the length of your stay. An average cost, without flights is around $3,000 - $6,000+ a semester. There may be grants or scholarships available to help alleviate some of the program costs. You can check online for scholarships, many programs offer some type of scholarship or financial aid.
Top 5 Reasons to Study Abroad in France
- Did I mention the food? Croissants, baguettes, crepes, Crème brûlée, macaroons and so much more! The food alone is worth the trip.
- You'll learn so much! Planning to major in French or work for a large company? No matter what your future plans, being fluent in a second language makes you stand out from the crowd.
- Want to go to college? Having a study abroad experience in France will not only give you fodder for those entrance essays, it'll make the admissions officers take notice too!
- Earn academic credit - yes, really! You get academic credit for exploring France and meeting new friends. How cool is that?
- You will be inspired by the many diverse activities that France offers - art, fashion, cuisine, famous landmarks, beaches, culture... what's not to love?