Nice is a metropolitan paradise found on the Côte d'Azur (Blue Coast) in the southern region of France and the largest city on the French Riviera. It is situated in a beautiful location, with endless beaches and azure-blue sea set against a mountainous backdrop.
Between classes, enjoy sunbathing by the sea, exploring historical places and attractions, museums, local markets, and restaurants with delicious local specialties and wine. After class, unwind and practice your French conversation while immersing yourself in Nice’s rich nightlife.
Beyond its initial striking beauty, it is also a city of people and arts; of celebrations and parties; of long and rich history and of commerce and business.
Whatever your interests are, this urban classic in the French Mediterranean has so much to offer and is a wonderful place to immerse yourself during your study of the French language. Nice is a special and magical place that will offer any traveler an unforgettable and memorable experience steeped in rich history, colorful seaside character, and of course la langue d'amour: French!
This page has everything you'll need to get started. Read our expert guide to finding a French language school in Nice. Then read reviews and choose a language school from the list below. You'll be well on your way to French fluency!
Photo credit: Kristoffer Trolle.
French people love their language and are proud to speak what many have called the “most beautiful language in the world!” But don’t be put off by stereotypes of perfectionism -- once you hit the streets of Nice, you’ll find your French skills growing every day as strangers correct your “la” to “le” and you become totally immersed in French.
However, if wandering the streets and practicing your ever-improving cappuccino ordering skills isn’t enough, Nice is full of French language courses to suit the needs, budgets, and time constraints of any student.
Many private schools offer group and private classes with cultural immersion that include visiting places of attractions, French cuisine, winery classes etc. Some schools offer internships. A few private schools to consider in your search are International House and Alliance Français (which also offers preparation for DELF/DALF exams). Private schools are an ideal option for those interested in specializing their French studies, such as medical or business French, and generally have smaller class sizes than a public university.
The Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis (UNice) and Université du Sud - Toulon-Var (USTV) are public institutions that offer French language courses for foreigners, and direct student exchange programs with many other universities.
This option is great for students interested in spending a longer amount of time in Nice and possibly complimenting their French studies with other courses. Students or young professionals from EU countries could also consider studying at one of these universities through the Erasmus+ program.
- Population: About 450,000; the 5th most populous city in France
- Average cost of living: 1 bedroom apartment: 650 Euros; meal out 11 Euros; beer 4.50 Euros (numbeo)
- Visa: A student visa is needed for any stay longer than 90 days for non E.U. / E.E.C passport holders. Begin the process before departure.
- Popular attractions: Luxury hotel Negresco that is situated on the embankment “Promenades des Anglais” has famous pink dome on the top that has been forged at the manufactory of Gustave Eiffel. In the quarter of old Nice on the sunny street Cours Soleya there is flowers market and a market of regional products. The street is full of shops, boutiques and a fish market at this quarter where you can find all different kinds of fish of the region.
- Founded in: Nice was founded by Greeks in IV century BC. It gotten its name after Greek goddess of Victory Nike. Through the ages, the town has changed hands many times. For years it was a dominion of Savoy and belonged to Italy. And only in 1860 Nice became a part of France.
- The Food: France is known for its food, but be sure to try specialities of Nice!
Culture and Immersion
Aside from sunbathing at the many beaches of Nice, this French city is really unique when it comes to architectural heritage, museums, amusement and outdoor promenade. There are so many things to see and to do. You will never get bored here!
Don’t Leave without Seeing These Nice Sights! Promenades des Anglais is one of the most visited by tourists places in the world and is also called “The symbol of Nice”. Along the embankment you can see elegant villas and residences in Rococo style, luxury hotels and entertainment centers, restaurants and bars.
The quarter of old Nice is a historic quarter that feels like a medieval village. You can feel how time stops here. Explore narrow streets curve between old buildings with red-tile roofs, small restaurants and open-markets.
Feel the influence Italy had on Nice in the Italian piazza with lots of sculptures, a fountain, and cute cafes and restaurants to enjoy good meal and relax at. For museum buffs, take a stop at the Museum of Matisse with the biggest collection of artists works and the Museum of Marc Chagall.
Festivals and Celebrations
The main winter event of Côte d'Azur is annual winter carnival in Nice that usually takes place in between of first of February to fifth of March and lasts 2 weeks. It takes place day and night, with entertainment provided by over 1,000 musicians, and dancers from all over the world.
Seafood is abundant comparable inexpensive in Nice. There are a lot of restaurants that offer enormous plates of delicious sea food cuisine. Also, don’t forget to try one of Nice’s specialties like Socca, a flat leaven bread; Pissaladière, a savory pizza-like tart; the classic Niçoise Salad; and Farcis which refers to hollowed out and stuffed vegetables. Enjoy any of these with a glass of Rose wine, a cheap summer staple to any meal in Nice.
The French government offers a large number of scholarships each year to international students. These are normally advertised on the websites of French embassies and consulates around the world.
- AIFS (American Institute of Foreign Study) annually awards more than $250,000 in scholarships for students who submit applications and demonstrate high academic achievements. They are only for undergraduate students. Each semester AIFS offers up to forty scholarships of $ 1,000 to students.
- Dr. Carlos E. Castañeda Memorial Scholarship for American students.This partial financial aid scholarship is given to American students (U.S. citizens or U.S. residents) who wish to study abroad and are already accepted into a study abroad program organized by ISA (International Studies Abroad). There are forty two grants per year; recipients are given $750 to $2,500.
The cost of living in Nice is comparable to other European cities of its size. Language courses vary but students can generally expect to pay around 500 euros for a group course. Apartments cost around 650 euro to 1200 euro. Some Residence hôtelière (hotel style residences) also offer affordable accommodation for students who wish to stay for a couple of months. For example, Lamy Residence a single room for 670 euros if residents agree to stay for at least three months. A dinner for two in a nice restaurant will cost around 40-50 euro. A one way ticket in local public transportation costs 1.50 euro, and 30.00 euro for a monthly pass.
Students are legally allowed to work up to 19.5 hours per week during the semester, and full-time during the holiday period. International students are also eligible for student jobs at universities and other public institutions of higher education. Students are hired to provide the following services: assisting incoming students; helping disabled students; providing tutoring; providing IT support and assistance; coordinating and staffing cultural, athletic, and social events; working in the career center; and supporting their institution's promotional efforts. Student employment contracts are offered for a period not to exceed 12 months. The terms and conditions of employment specified in the contract are adapted to the requirements of each student's program so as to ensure academic success while also offering work experience.
Alternatively, becoming an Au Pair is very popular option for making money in France. In you like kids you can find a family in Nice that will provide you with place of staying and food and exchange for babysitting service. It’s also excellent opportunity to practice French with family members.