Learn French in France

Learn French in France: Study French in the best language schools in France

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Interested in learning French in Paris, Nice, Lyon, or Bordeaux? This article lists the best language schools to study French in France.

Undoubtedly the best way to perfect your French language skills is to learn French in France. Relocating to France or getting a French visa or French student permit is not as hard as some foreigners think, particularly if they are looking to study in France on an official French course. Once the bureaucracy is sorted, few foreigners complain about having the experience to learn French in Paris, Nice, Lyon or Bordeuax.

The French are understandably keen on using their own language and speaking English can be a roadblock to intergration. There are, however, many language schools in France that offer French language courses at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels to suit a wide range of budgets. There is also more opportunity to find free ways to learn French, for example, doing a language exchange with a French national who wants to learn your language or researching online French lessons.

French language classes vary in price ranges depending on schools, speaking level and the intensity and frequency of classes, among others. There are also various resources to learn French online, via mobile apps, desktop software and online French courses.

This guide provides a list of some of the best French language schools in France for those looking to learn French in Paris, Lyon, Nice, Bordeaux, Marseille, Toulouse, Cannes or Montpellier.

Should you learn French in France?

The main benefit of French language schools in France is the wider choice of French classes compared to back home, from intensive French courses to conversational French lessons and French summer courses, which usually combine visits to France's top sites, museums or markets to evoke learning French in a natural way. Studying French in France is also a great way to pick up the smaller nuances of the French language, such as common French phrases, slang or informal expressions, as far as the French accent or even Parisian street-talk.

In a recent study on the cheapest and the easiest language in the world, French was ranked overall as 10th out of 28 international languages. European languages were typically the most costly to learn, with French costing an average of some EUR 16 (GBP 13.62), behind Dutch (GBP 18.71) and German (GBP 16.02), but cheaper than Italian (GBP 11.67) and Spanish (GBP 10.26). The high cost to study French in France, however, is offset by being one of the easiest languages to learn, requiring an estimated 600 hours, equal to learning Dutch, Spanish or Italian for example, but easier than German (750 hours) and signficantly easier than the 2,200 hours required for Arabic, Madarin, Japanese or Korean. Combining the average cost and hours, the total cost to learn French was estimated at around EUR 9,565 (GBP 8,171).

French language schools in France

Below is a list of some of the best French language schools in France with a national presence, with several locations around the country. Underneath you will also find a list French language schools in Paris, Lyon, Nice, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Cannes and Montpellier.

You can also check which French universities offer French courses or see Expatica's listings of French language schools in France. 

Alliance Francaise

The well-known French language institution Alliance Francaise has branches almost everwhere, both in France and around the world. It is dedicated to promoting French worldwide via classes, cultural activities and French certification. French language classes cover all levels, from complete beginner (level A1) to autonomous (level C1). Intensive French classes for adults and evening classes are offered. They offer different packages with which you can combine your general French class with other classes – such as workshops, personalised packages etc. – at the same time, building a French training course adapted to your needs, availability and objectives.

Locations: Bordeaux, Nice, Paris and St-Malo
Contact: alliancefr.org

Azurlingua

FLE Accredited, the school approaches French language learning from a practical perspective. Its purpose is to teach you to acquire varied knowledge while rapidly developing your communication skills in French. Favouring scenarios of real life and based on a large number of teaching materials (authentic documents, records video, audio, comics, articles press clips and French songs, movie clips and French novels), the teaching method aims to stimulates a desire to continuously learn and express yourself. Teachers are native French speakers and all university graduates. 

Locations: Cannes, Nice, St Tropez
Contact: azurlingua.com

Berlitz

This international school offers French language courses in 28 centres across France in major cities. Teaching can be done privately or in groups, or Berlitz teachers can even come to your office. Course prices vary depending on whether which language you choose.

Locations: Bordeaux, Boulogne-Billancourt, Cergy, Dunkerque, Evry, Grenoble Melan, Le Havre, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Noisy-le-Grand, Paris, Rouen, Saint Germain en Laye, St-Etienne, St-Laurent-Blangy, St-Denis, Strasbourg, Toulouse and Versailles
Contact: berlitz.fr

Eurocentres

Eurocentres offers a wide range of French language courses for students seeking to learn French at different levels. Classes vary from two-week to year-long courses with a maximum class size of 14 students.

Locations: Amboise, La Rochelle and Paris
Contact: eurocentres.com 

France Langue

With six schools around the country, France Langue provides lessons for all levels of general French and specialised French (eg. business, legal, medical), courses for French teachers, and exam preparation (TEF, DELF, TCF). All French teachers hold a university degree and/or a recognised language teaching qualification. This French language learning school also has accreditations with FFL Campus France, IALC (International Association of Language Centres), CSN (accreditation by Northern European countries) and Universite Paris Sorbonne.

Locations: Biarritz, Bordeaux, Nice and Paris
Contact: france-langue.com

Lingoda

Lingoda is an online language school founded in 2012 with the mission of making learning languages easier, more convenient and more affordable. This online school offers language courses with qualified native-speaking teachers. Students from all over the world can learn French, German, English or Spanish and earn language certificates via Lingoda.

Their private and group classes are available 24/7 and tailored to each student's needs, providing maximum flexibility and allowing their teachers and language advisors to work closely with each student to reach the desired target. Students can take a trial class for EUR 0.99 to experience the benefits of online French courses before booking any course.

Contact: lingoda.com

Learn French in Paris

Learn French in Paris

Accord Ecole de Langue

14 Boulevard Poissonnière, 75009 Paris | accord-langues.com

Campus Langues

7 Rue Duvergier, 75019 Paris | campuslangues.com

EF Paris – Séjours linguistiques

5 Avenue de Provence, 75009 Paris | ef.fr

Language Studies Internatioal (LSI)

23 Rue du Renard, 75004 Paris | lsi-paris.fr

L'atelier 9

34 Rue de Trévise, 75009 Paris | latelier9.com

Lutèce Langue

23 Boulevard de Sébastopol, 75001 Paris | lutece-langue.com

Learn French in Lyon

Alpadia Lyon

6 Quai Jules Courmont, 69002 Lyon | alpadia.com

Lyon Bleu International

82 Rue Duguesclin, 69006 Lyon | lyon-bleu.fr

Learn French in Marseille

ADEL Provence

23 Rue Edmond Dantès, 13008 Marseille | adel-provence.com

Easy French Learning Institute

4 Cours Belsunce, 13001 Marseille | easyfrench.net

Learn French in Montpellier

Accent Francais

2 Rue de Verdun, 34000 Montpellier | accentfrancais.com

Ecole Klesse

1 Rue Victoire de la Marne, 34006 Montpellier | ecoleklesse.com

LSF

6 Rue Foch, 34000 Montpellier | lsf-france.com

Learn French in Nice

Centre International d’Antibes

38 Bd. D’Aguillon, 06600 Antibes | cia-france.com

International House

27 Rue Rossini, 06000 Nice | ihnice.com

Learn French in Cannes

Campus International de Cannes

1 Avenue Alexandre Pascal, 06400 Cannes | french-in-cannes.com

Learn French in Bordeaux

Learnin' Bordeaux

2 Rue Paul Camelle, 33100 Bordeaux | learninbordeaux.com

Learn French in Toulouse

Language Onze Toulouse

10 Rue des Arts, 31000 Toulouse | langueonze.com

Study French in France – French language schools in France

Online French lessons

Computer software

Most companies claim to have the best online French lessons for learning quickly and retaining everything. However, since everyone learns differently, it's more important to check that the teaching style matches your learning style, for example, via visual or sound. Below is a list of language software titles to get your started.

  1. Tell Me More French
  2. Fluenz French
  3. Rosetta Stone French
  4. Berlitz French Premier
  5. Instant Immersion French
  6. French Learning Suite
  7. RocketLanguages
  8. Living Language Platinum
  9. Hello-Hello World
  10. Pimsleur Comprehensive
  11. Transparent Language
  12. SmartFrench


Some of courses can get pretty costly, ranging from EUR 32 all the way to EUR 200.

Learn French online

Almost anything you can buy can be found on the internet for free, so don’t be afraid to look around for online French lessons.

The BBC actually has a very innovative product that also includes audio files, a very valuable asset when trying to learn French. Another great resource is Radio Lingua Network, which offers short audio French language learning tutorials, downloadable as podcasts.

You may also want to buy pocket phrasebooks that will help you get around in the day-to-day grind. They won’t be great at in-depth grammar usage and explanations but they will definitely have useful phrases.

It is also handy to have an electronic translator or language app; Google Translate or Word Reference are quite useful free apps, which often include audio and written examples as well.

Click to the top of our guide to learn French in France.


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Updated 2017.

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13 Comments To This Article

  • Laura posted:

    on 19th November 2016, 21:35:45 - Reply

    I agree with Melosi! I studied 5 weeks at SOFI 64 in Biarritz and it was a wonderful experience. This school is not a big one. There were only 6 students in my group, really easy to speak and get attention from the teacher. Learning French was so much fun, I will go back there for sure!
  • melosi posted:

    on 25th September 2016, 11:42:52 - Reply

    This list is very helpful. When I arrived in Paris, I went to Alliance Francaise, one of the most prestigious school because it's well known. But I was very disappointed : a lot of students in the class (16), it was very hard to speak and it' s very expensive. I met someone in the group Franglish who recommended to go to Langue Appart' in the 11th. It was the best decision I made! It' s not as prestigious as Alliance Francaise or France Langue, it's a small school. You feel at home, the atmosphere is great and the teachers are very good and very available. In a few weeks, I could manage basic conversations. So be careful with big schools. Sometimes you just have the feeling you are a money whereas there are small schools where you can fit easily!
  • anna posted:

    on 14th July 2016, 20:39:31 - Reply

    I would like to mention also Live-French.net, it's a French school that works exclusively online. They have excellent teachers, and you get the flexibility you need to schedule your lessons when it suits you.
  • Pourquoipasmary posted:

    on 12th April 2016, 08:23:04 - Reply

    LSF in Montpellier is worth checking out too. I've been studying there for 2 months now and I've been very satisfied with the school so far. It's not easy learning a language when you're an adult but the teaching method at LSF is really outstanding. You can read a little about my experience here. Good luck!

  • AlexiaFlo posted:

    on 8th December 2015, 11:44:19 - Reply

    Just came back from 3 months in beautiful Paris, what worked best for me: a few hours in one of the not so expensive schools for theory and constructing good basis (http://www.parislangues.com/french-courses/general-french-class/ for myself) get involved in clubs you like and meet people, can't do best to improve your speaking skills. Learn, enjoy activities and meet people, what more do you need ? ;)

  • Susy posted:

    on 22nd August 2015, 07:05:45 - Reply

    The information you provided is extremely helpful:). Thank you!
  • PeachySanchez posted:

    on 7th June 2015, 19:18:50 - Reply

    Yes, I heard that before. If you're planning on going to France, do not rely too much on English. My family is planning a trip for December so I enrolled in http://preply.com/en/french-by-skype to learn French via Skype. I know I wouldn't be an expert yet by then but at least I will be able to bring a few phrases I can use for emergencies.

  • Julia posted:

    on 28th May 2015, 21:16:09 - Reply

    I took Berlitz course until level 5 and it was enough to understand what people say and to communicate during daily tasks.

  • best ski school in alp posted:

    on 17th October 2014, 15:10:05 - Reply

    You are almost right, individual teachers have really is a great privilege. However, in education there not that education which account it should be exchanges as well as shares and especially in a healthy environment, quiet or your mind opens to all assimilate easily. Certainly, the chamonix site offers different kinds of mountain from which you could learn skiing, discover a world of which you have never experienced before, make a journey that exceeds the reality (in the mountains), and the most important activities make exchanges in terms of languages, see even learn the french during your activities.
    http://www.aelm-chamonix.com/#!french-and-alpine-adventure/c1lft
  • Shanon posted:

    on 28th January 2014, 14:38:52 - Reply

    I agree! Private teacher are much better, cheaper and very flexible. I improved my french with a fantastic teacher - recommended by friends in Paris. Her lessons matched my needs. Mine was wonderful but there are plenty of others. Her contact: Marie Laure, mlsiat@yahoo.fr
  • Andre posted:

    on 4th January 2014, 17:37:28 - Reply

    I took individual french lessons in Paris - see the website here - www.learnfrenchinparis.eu - good hourly rate and a very customised approach to my needs of learning French. I was working as software developer and I needed to bring my speaking and writing French to a level that allowed me to handle my tasks better in the company I was working.
  • Lynn posted:

    on 4th April 2013, 13:31:17 - Reply

    I've been learning French via Skype for 6 months with Learn French at home. http://www.learnfrenchathome.com. I can honestly say I have been extremely satisfied with all the lessons I have received. I have found the whole experience very positive.
  • David Goodfellow posted:

    on 7th January 2013, 23:40:59 - Reply

    It is not necessary to learn French with a private business. For example, I am going to Universite Nice Sophia Antipolis and their language courses work out at €4,60 an hour, a fraction of the private schools. There is no age limit (I am 65, UK citizen). In addition the instructors are University trained and not fresh from school on a working holiday!