Deciding where to study French in France is difficult – because there is so much choice!
France is a big, beautiful country which can offer almost everything you might want. There are busy Mediterranean resorts with warm seas, or Atlantic Western coasts perfect for body-boarding. There are fields filled with sunflowers in summer, or vegetables and wheat further north. France is dotted with tiny villages and country towns, and every region has at least one city with its own character, local food and culture. And lots of those offer French courses.
The best way to learn French in France is to make the most of this and become part of the community wherever you study. So how will you make the choice?
Where to study French in France: think about you
What kind of person are you? What kind of student are you? Where do you feel happy?
You might be the kind of person who will enjoy any of the top destinations to improve your French. Or you might be the kind of person who is only really happy in certain surroundings.
So start by asking yourself some questions. Be honest with yourself – this is an important decision!
- Do I like living in a big city or would I prefer somewhere quieter?
- Why do I want to study French in France? Do I want to prepare for French examinations, improve my language skills for my career, be able to study in a French university or specialist school? Or am I motivated by personal development or to experience living in a different country?
- Would I prefer to study in a small school or a large one?
- Do I want to party a lot, or do I prefer to have some quieter time as well as socialising?
- How much French culture do I want to enjoy? What type of culture do I most want to experience? Food? Museums? Historic buildings? Music, theatre and cinema?
- Do I want to be somewhere where I can walk in the countryside or visit the beach?
- Do I want to live in a residence or with a French host family?
- What’s my budget? Do I need to think about cities that offer better value for money?
- Do I want to travel around France or more widely in Europe while I’m studying?
Your answers to all of these questions will help you choose where to study French in France.
What are the top destinations in France to study French?
So, you’ve got more of an idea about what surroundings you need to study French in France and pass your French examinations! The next thing is to think about the top destinations to improve your French.
Before you do this, remember that Paris is by far the biggest city in France. Depending on how you measure the population, it has approximately 10 million residents. The next biggest is Lyon, with around 1.5 million residents. Here in Rouen, we have about 450,000 residents in the city centre, and we think we’re a perfect size for everything!
Let’s look at some of the top destinations to improve your French
Paris Think about France and you think about the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and Montmartre. Paris is a city for lovers, for intellectuals, for tourists and for people in a hurry. But it may also be the toughest place in France for you to improve your French, as you’re more likely to find people who speak your own language to you. It’s also not going to be the most cost-effective option.
Everyone should visit Paris and practice their French there. But for most people who want to learn French in France, the best option might be to find a destination to improve your French where you can visit Paris without too much difficulty.
Lyon is France’s third-largest city, south of Paris and not far from the Swiss border. There are plenty of students here because of the university and it’s relaxed and friendly. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Nice is on the Mediterranean coast close to the Italian border and one of the most-visited cities in France, getting around four million tourists through the airport each year.
Marseille is the largest city on the Mediterranean coast and France’s busiest port – it’s also France’s third-largest city in area.
Montpellier is just inland of the Mediterranean in the south of France. Around a third of the population are students from the three universities and other higher education institutions.
Biarritz became famous as a spa destination and then one of Europe’s premier tourist resorts in the 19th and 20th centuries. Biarritz is on the Atlantic coast and became the first surfing resort in Europe, and is close to the border with Spain.
Toulouse is called The Pink City because of the bricks used to build many of its buildings. It is France’s fourth-biggest city, and the university has the country’s fourth-largest university campus. It is the centre of the European aerospace industry and has two UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Rouen is obviously our favourite place to study French in France – because that’s where French in Normandy, our school, is based!
Why do we think Rouen is a good place to study? Here are a few reasons:
- Perfect size (around half a million people) so it’s small and friendly with lots of French speakers to talk to
- Amazing architecture and history – there’s the Cathedral, a 14th-century clock and the castle as well as lots of museums and a colourful history
- Food! Rouen is in Normandy which has some of France’s best cheeses and regional dishes
- Great transport links to the rest of France and Europe. Rouen is just 1.5 hours from the centre of Paris
- French in Normandy – our school has years of expertise in helping students study French in France and pass French examinations.
So how will you choose where to study French?
It’s a great choice to make – but only you can make it.
There are some great French courses in France and lots of top destinations to improve your French.
Remember, that the best French courses for you might not be the best for everyone. If you want to succeed, and perhaps pass French examinations, you need to think about what kind of place will suit you best.
It’s important to consider what kind of place will be best for you, what your budget is – and what the school is like.
Do you need more help to decide where to study French?
We’re happy to help. We offer French preparation courses for DELF and DALF and TCF/TEF, or can simply help you improve your language skills.
Contact us if you’d like any more information about what we offer and how we can meet your needs, whether you want help to decide on the best place for you to study French in France, more information about your French level, or the most useful French examination for you.
Have you ever done French language exam before? Do you have an advanced French test coming up? Like DELF and DALF? Do you know how to prepare for these exams? Are you looking for the top tips for a French DELF and DALF exam? Then this article is for you. As here we will discuss some of the excellent and proven tips for advanced French tests.
Top Tips for Advanced French Tests
- French Courses: DELF stands for (Diploma in French Language Studies), and DALF stands for Diploma in Advanced French, and there are two levels: C1 and C2. These two tests are most important for all students because they are internationally recognized. If you want to prepare for these exams, then join a French course at a French language school. It will improve your knowledge and skills for the test preparation. Your teacher will help you to learn new essential points of grammar easily.
- Exam Practice: The most successful way of preparation for an advanced test like DALF C1 is exam practice. But your type of practice must be right. Just doing old exam questions over and over again is not enough. You should also go with online tests. After each test, take some rest and try to analyze what went wrong. Even think about how you can remove your current errors in your next attempt.
- Translation Technique: This is a beneficial and exciting technique for test study. It has five simple steps. Here you can go with those.
- Translate any French text or audio into English.
- Read it precisely and wait a day or so.
- Now write that text or audio into your own French words and phrases.
- Translate your written text into French by a tool.
- Now compare your text with the original text.
This technique will enable you to remember the words and phrases of this test more efficiently for future speaking and writing tasks. It will also give you an idea of your choice of words/grammar.
- Train Your Ears: Make your ears habitual of fast French speech to make yourself well prepared for the top French tests. Many times students are unable to understand the meaning of words when someone speaks fast. So you need to train your ears to recognize words and phrases in fast speech. For this task, you can hear a speech then write what you hear. After the completion of speech compare what you wrote against a transcript. It will train your ears for fast French speech, questions, video, and audio.
- Improve Pronunciation: Right pronunciation is always important whether you want to learn French or want to qualify a French test. The reason, it helps the examiners to understand you more easily. Right pronunciation can influence his opinions on your verbal French ability. So always practice the pronunciation of tricky words and phrases by the online dictionary that has audio files. First, listen to the word and try to speak in the same way. For the accurate pronunciation, you have to utter those words several times. You can make a list of words for which you are struggling with pronounce problem. Practice these words regularly for better performance.
- Don’t forget Grammar: The best way to remember the grammar of any language is practice it by using. You can take help of any online tutor if you are unable to find out your grammar mistakes. You can also join a French grammar course. Besides this, you can find several French grammar exercises online. Try to solve them, and they also provide answers to their practices.
おなかのお祭り (La fête du ventre)
La fête du ventre（フェット・デュ・ヴォントル）というのを日本語に直訳すると、「おなかのお祭り」となります。
ノルマンディーホタテ祭り（La fête de la Coquilles St Jacques）
エトルタ、フェカンへのエクスカーション（Sortie à Etretat et Fécamp）
フォワール・サン・ロマン（La Foire Saint Romain ）- 巨大移動遊園地
My name is Sonya, I am 25 years old and I am from Russia. At the moment, I am doing an internship in France at «French in Normandy» as Marketing Assistant. Today I will tell you about my impressions of life in Rouen and of my work experience at the school. I really hope it will be useful for those of you who are planning a trip to France to learn the French language (to travel / to get a higher education / to work / just on holiday – underline as appropriate), but haven’t chosen the destination yet.
So, why choose Rouen? And why «French in Normandy»?
First things first…
How did I come to do my internship here?
The internship is the final stage of my studies for a Master’s degree in France (I am studying foreign languages applied to international project management at the University of Western Brittany in Brest). The sphere of international education has always attracted me because it combines several activity areas really that really interest me – tourism, education and working with foreign languages. That is why I decided that an internship at a language school would be perfect for me.
I learnt about «French in Normandy» from the language centres catalogue of Campus France. I sent my CV to several language schools, and it was «French in Normandy» that I got the first reply from within a very short time (which was a pleasant surprise as it is not very typical of France). Besides, there were some other important “pros”: only positive students’ opinions on the Internet (I didn’t find a single negative or even neutral reference!), an elegant and informative multilingual website, and pages on several popular social networking services. I believe that all these show that the school really cares both about its reputation, its potential clients and employees and keeps up with the times. And it is actually due to the combination of all these factors and challenging and exciting work that I was really happy to receive an internship offer from «French in Normandy».
And yes… There was one more argument for – Rouen and Normandy.
For the first time, I visited Normandy and Rouen in the autumn of last year having no idea that very soon I would come back for 4.5 months. My first impression of the city was that of the gothic cathedral Notre-Dame de Rouen which is absolutely amazing. And it is no wonder: the cathedral is so high that its spires are almost lost in the clouds, and if you come closer, its lacy architecture with numerous details simply takes your breath away (later I learnt that this style is called “Flamboyant”). I pass by the cathedral at least once a week and every time I can’t help but admire its magnificence (no matter how pompous it sounds).
The historical centre of the city strikes by the combination of splendid gothic and fairytale medieval
architecture with its wooden-frame houses and stone-block pavements. I think it’s no use listing all the sights of Rouen – you can find their description in many travel guides and on many websites. I will only say that it is a city filled with history – the city of Joan of Arc, Gustave Flaubert, Pierre Corneille and Claude Monet (by the way, the Museum of Fine Arts of Rouen possesses the second largest collection of impressionists after that of the famous Musée d’Orsay in Paris).
In general, the cultural life of Rouen is very dynamic – there are always some events going on: various festivals, exhibitions, concerts… I think that the city can be interesting for people of different ages. On the one hand, it is quite safe and calm, on the other – Rouen is the city of students as it hosts several educational institutions: the University of Rouen, a business school, an engineering school, and some others. A lot of foreign students come within Erasmus and other exchange programmes, or just to learn French. I think that the variety of discos and bars will also appeal to young people. By the way, at one of the bars, «La Taverne de Thor», there are weekly “language exchange meetings” that are a wonderful way to meet new people and to practice French, English or other foreign languages.
And of course, a question of great concern (especially for girls): what about shopping? Don’t worry – the shopping in Rouen suits every taste and budget: there is everything from luxury brands to flea markets, and from antique shops to well-known mass market stores. As for me, I really appreciate the abundance of local designers’ small shops in the city centre – the prices are not that low, of course, but not sky-high either, and in addition you can find some really lovely and unusual stuff.
In Rouen you will find a great variety of cafés and restaurants that will meet your every need, since Normandy is justly famous for its cuisine and the high quality of food products. The most famous Norman specialities are, of course, various cheeses: Camambert, Neuchatel, Pont-l’Évêque… – and also delicious dairy products (cream, butter), appetizing apple pies, the freshest seafood, and local spirits – cider and Calvados. By the way, if you want to feel like a real Frenchman, buy products not in supermarkets, but in small private shops (“boulangerie”, “épicerie”, “boucherie”, etc., at least bread – in a boulangerie for sure!) or at the Sunday markets in the city centre where the seller and the producer are usually one and the same person. As for national cuisines, the choice is also huge – I am almost sure that you will find a café or a restaurant specializing in the cuisine of your country (I found a Russian restaurant with real Russian food!).
As you can see, Rouen has all the advantages of a big city. But at the same time, everything is very close: all the major sights and entertainments are either within walking distance or several minutes’ trip by bus or by underground. Besides, the prices are much lower than in the capital. I think that the latter is especially important for students planning to stay in France for quite a long time.
It is no secret, however, that most people associate France first of all with Paris. An important advantage of Rouen is that you can easily get to the capital in 1-1.5 hours – there are direct high-speed trains and buses to Paris. Moreover, it is convenient to travel from Rouen to other countries: it is situated almost at the same distance from Brussels and London, and there is a great number of low-cost airlines flying from the airport of Beauvais which is half-way between Rouen and Paris.
Finally, Rouen is a perfect departure point for journeys all over Normandy – one of the most beautiful and picturesque regions of France. I won’t mention all the places worth visiting – they are really too many. Here are just some of them that, in my opinion, deserve special attention:
- Le Mont-Saint-Michel – a real architectural and natural miracle;
- Honfleur – one of the most beautiful little towns in Normandy;
- Caen – the city of William the Conqueror with a wonderful castle;
- Etretat – a small town famous for its beautiful “postcard” views of sea cliffs that Claude Monet embodied on his paintings;
- Giverny – the memorial house of Claude Monet and picturesque gardens.
I think that if you are going to France to study French and you are facing a difficult task of finding the right language school, Rouen and Normandy will be an important argument for choosing “French in Normandy”. However, it is obvious that for those whose first priority is studies just a wonderful geographical location is not enough – some other reasons are necessary. So…
Internship in France: Why «French in Normandy»?
You can find a lot of information about the school’s numerous advantages on its website and in its brochures. That is why I will probably say nothing new here. But today, having spent 4 months at school as an intern, seeing its everyday life “from the inside”, talking to my colleagues, I can say with confidence that “French in Normandy” – is first of all a really excellent quality of teaching the French language and a highly professional and enthusiastic teachers’ team.
The school uses an innovative communicative teaching approach aimed at inciting students to use the language primarily for oral communication – to speak, to speak and to speak again… Numerous after-class activities and clubs that are free for students (cinema club, theatre club, reading club, etc.), as well as the accommodation in a French family recommended by the school, are also intended to reach this objective. At “French in Normandy”, French is used as the language of day-to-day communication with the students of all levels (only as an exception, the school’s employees can sometimes switch to English or some other language to explain some important administrative issues).
The high quality of teaching the French language at school is confirmed by the fact that “French in Normandy” is accredited by the French government (which also facilitates the process of getting the French visa for those students who need it). Moreover, the school is the winner of numerous prizes in its sector. For 5 years on end, “French in Normandy” was acclaimed Best French Language School by “Study Travel Magazine” (the only periodical making and publishing the ratings of language schools), and several times – by the website Education Stars.com (the equivalent of Tripadvisor in the sphere of educational tourism) – according to students’ opinions.
I can also say that the warm family atmosphere and individual approach to every student are not just words from advertising booklets. All these are to a great extent made possible thanks to a small group size (not more than 10 students per group) and also to the fact that all the school’s teachers and employees have good knowledge of the basics of psychology and do their best to make the students feel comfortable both at school and outside – as it is obvious that without cheerful mind and positive thinking good communication, and therefore progress in language learning, is impossible.
In my opinion, the most important advantages of the school are the following:
- The duration of each lesson is 60 minutes (not 45 like a lot of schools offer);
- Classes start every Monday for all the levels and all the types of programmes;
- The school offers preparation courses for internationally recognized DELF/DALF exams;
- «French in Normandy» offers a wide range of accommodation options, including home stay, student residence, hotels, youth hostel, etc.;
- The school organizes an orientation tour of Rouen for all new students on the first day of their classes;
- «French in Normandy» is open all the year round except for the 2 weeks of Christmas holidays, and lessons are never lost on public holidays – they are made up during the remaining days of the same week;
- You can benefit from the airport transfer service offered by the school;
- Reading and watching movies in French can help you to make a rapid progress in the study of the language. The school disposes of a small, but really nice library with books, magazines and DVDs.
What can I say in conclusion? I suppose only one thing.
Welcome to Rouen!
And welcome to «French in Normandy»!
Quelle a été votre impression sur les jardins de Giverny et la maison de Claude Monet ?
UNESCO Sites in Normandy, France
Normandy has 8 UNESCO recognitions including Mont Saint Michel, Bayeux, Le Havre, the Tatou islands, Alençon lace, the Etretat cliffs, Rouen Seine Valley and regional gastronomy and many prestigious French “Art and History” label villages that are cited as being amongst the most beautiful in France. Have you visited any UNESCO sites in Normandy?
In addition to the world-renowned UNESCO sites, Normandy has so much to offer including many beautiful villages and historic beaches. Students of French in Normandy can easily access many of these must-see sights in Normandy by train. FIN also organizes many weekend activities to these places throughout the year.
29 Must-See Sights in Normandy
Champ de Bataille
Le Bec Hellouin
Bagnoles de l’Orne
Mont Saint Michel
Rouen Seine Valley
Many French “Art and History” label villages…
Haras du Pin
La Suisse Normande
Summer has arrived in Rouen and French in Normandy can propose many great sightseeing activities and events in Normandy to enjoy while you are studying French with us!
Promenade nocturne Mont St Michel www.mont-st-michel.monuments-nationaux.fr
Juillet et août Les clés de Bagnoles Les vendredis les arts de la rue www.bagnolesdelorne.com
Juin –Septembre Fresque Monumentale Mémorial de Caen www.mémorial-caen.fr
Juillet et août Les mercredi de la réserve Visites nature guidées dans le vaste parc des boucles de seine www.pnr-seine-normande.com
Juillet et août Les Nocturales Abbaye de Jumièges www.abbaye dejumieges.fr
14 juin au 23 août Bayeux Cathédrale Les Lumières de la Liberté www.bayeux-bessin-tourisme.com
Dimanche 17 août La vie à la ferme www.ouche-normandie.fr
3 au 10 août Les médiévales Château de Crèvecœur www.chateaudecrevecoeur.com
juillet Les Terraces du jeudi Tous les jeudi du mois de juillet à Rouen Les Musicales de Normandie www.lesmusicales-normandie.com
13 au 17 août Vimoutiers Son et lumière sur les 70 ans du bombardement de la ville
Fin Juillet au début août Festival autour d’un piano Château de Carrouges www.paysdalencontourisme.com
2 juillet au 39 août Lire à la Plage www.seinemaritime.fr
Aller à la mer pour UN EURO ! www.regionhautenormandie.fr
20 au 23 août Festival de la Musique ancienne Arques La Bataille www.academie-bach.fr
CAEN Visite guidée spéciale 70 ans Tous les mercredis
11 juillet au 2 Novembre Giverny Musée des Impressionnistes Exposition : Bruxelles une capitale impressionniste www.mdig.fr
22 au 28 septembre Championnat du Monde du Kayak Polo- 27 nations en compétition Thury Harcourt www.thuryharcourtcanoe2014.com Kayak Clun de Thury Harcourt http://www.kcth.fr/
Nous vous souhaitons de bonnes vacances! A bientôt à Rouen!
French in Normandy, Rouen has just added another title to their name !
Voted ‘Star French Language School’ for 5 consecutive years from 2008 to 2012 in the STM Awards the school has just been voted ‘Best French Language School 2013’ by students on the Educationstars website. French in Normandy, a small family run French Language school received an incredible 94.87% satisfaction rate and not only took the Best French Language School title but came in third place worldwide beating many large and well known Englsih language schools !
« We are totaly delighted to add the Educationstars Best French Language School title to our UED award of Best French Language School 2013. It is a tremendous boost to the staff and recognises their dedication and professionalism» said French in Normandy’s Eleri Maitland.
French in Normandy has the French Government Qualité fle label and after their 5 STM victories is the only French Language School to date to have been awarded Superstar status. French in Normandy will be hosting the 2015 IALC Workshop.
French in Normandy and Accent Français offer:
A joint program which allows students to know 2 regions of North and South France and 2 authentic cities: Rouen and Montpellier!
Rouen, the birthplace of impressionism and historical capital of the Normandy (Joan of Arc, Flaubert, Victor Hugo and many treasures of architecture).
Montpellier, an experience under the Mediterranean sun in a college town and a region that grouped many heritage sites of UNESCO (Carcassonne, St Guilhem, Nimes, Avignon, etc …).
Program: 20 lessons from Monday to Friday
To learn and practice the language through grammar, vocabulary and expressions of everyday life. The methods are based on communication and specific needs.
To make the most of your stay, a selection of activities and excursions are offered in each school.
Rouen: Guided tour of the historic center, Mont St Michel, Monet’s House at Giverny gardens AND Basilica of Lisieux, Bayeux Tapestry, Normandy landing beaches of the Second World War the fishing port of Honfleur.
Montpellier: Guided tour of the historical center of Nîmes AND visit the famous Pont du Gard, Carcassonne and its ramparts, Saint Guilhem, Barcelona, Marseille, Roquefort (cheese tasting).
Accent Français and French in Normandy offer a rich program of weekly activities and excursions such as afternoon cooking, wine tasting, dancing lessons traditional visits to local markets and castles, painting classes for painting including Monet!
Do not forget to plan a weekend trip to Paris from Normandy and Montpellier!
Duration: 4 weeks
Accommodation: host family with half board (breakfast and dinner)
Price: € 1,824
The price includes the course, fees, tests, materials and certificates.