The best five cities in which to learn French in France
Learning a foreign language often means, at some point, travelling abroad to study in the relevant country or enjoy its culture.
This is an essential part of the process for young people and adults who are looking for linguistic immersion to help them improve their skills and increase their confidence.
Every part of France offers advantages that might appeal to very different audiences. Climate, food and cost of living are some of the key factors that need to be taken into consideration. So, which are the best cities where you can learn French in France? Do the most stunning towns and cities on the French Riviera appear on the list? Should you be guided by objective criteria, or focus on individual preferences?
Antibes, the best place to learn French in France
Where’s the best place to study French in France? If you’re looking for the perfect location in which to learn French, then you can’t beat Antibes! Situated at the heart of the French Riviera, you’ll love its 25 kilometres of beach and 300 hours of sunshine a year. The friendly town, which is famous for the Sophia Antipolis technology park with its cutting-edge businesses, is well suited to studying. The region also offers a wealth of employment opportunities, an advantage for anyone hoping to move to France one day. If you choose to stay with a host family, you’ll be able to develop your speaking skills by chatting every day about the things French people care about.
Once classes are over, there are so many activities to choose from: you can visit the Picasso museum or the old town, take a stroll along the coastal path to Cap d’Antibes, admire the yachts in Port Vauban, discover Fort Carré, and more. At the Centre International d’Antibes, a French-language school in the South of France, lessons for juniors are held on campus during the summer. Throughout the rest of the day, teenagers and children engage in sports and cultural activities, supervised by competent, energetic staff.
Cannes: learn French in the capital of cinema
What to say about the renowned world capital of cinema, which is famous for its Croisette promenade, street art, luxury hotels and red carpet? Ideally located around 7 km from Antibes and 30 km from Nice, Cannes is immediately appealing. After class, a visit to the town’s historical district, Le Suquet, is a must. While Cannes is a cosmopolitan city, don’t let that distract you from your language learning goals: when you’re with your friends or out and about, get into the habit of speaking only in French, not English! In summer, junior students will enjoy the fantastic city-centre setting of the Carnot campus and benefit from our teachers’ active approach to education. The city is excellently served by a city bus network as well as regional trains that link all of the towns and cities on the French Riviera, from Ventimiglia to Saint-Raphaël. Take advantage of your time in the city to visit the cinema. Watching the original version of a French film is a great exercise, and a way to share the French passion for cinema.
Learn French in Paris
Paris is among the most frequently visited cities in France and for good reason: the atmosphere on the wide avenues designed by George-Eugène Haussmann, the artists of Montmartre, the promenades along the River Seine and the charm of Saint-Germain-des-Prés are all worth the trip on their own. Why do so many people find the capital the perfect location in which to learn French? No doubt because Paris, the ultimate city of romance, allows for a full linguistic and cultural immersion.
It is a distillation of everything that France has to offer. There’s a huge selection when it comes to dining: grab a bite in a café or brasserie, or head for a Michelin-starred restaurant. Of course, the challenge of finding an affordable place to stay in the City of Light may put some people off, but it would be a shame to deprive yourself of all these cultural treasures. On the practical side, the Paris Passlib’, a city pass available in a variety of options, offers access to activities at great prices (cruises, guided tours, bike rental, etc.).
Nice: the perfect city in which to improve your French
The first time you visit Nice, you’ll be amazed by its legendary light and the stunning colour of the Mediterranean. Adult learners will appreciate the city’s cultural heritage and its architecture, which is reminiscent of Garibaldi’s Italy. The nearby international airport and numerous tram lines make it an easy place to get to and get around.
After summer classes in Nice, you’ll be able to make some friends since this university city is one of the liveliest in France with nearly 40,000 students. If you choose to stay with a host family, you’ll quickly improve your skills and get to know the local culture.
Learn French in Biarritz
Biarritz is a great choice because it’s one of the best places in France to learn French and is the perfect option for combining free time and studies. As Europe’s surfing capital, it’s sure to be popular with both young people and adults. Horse riding, tennis, skateboarding, Basque pelota and diving are other activities that are popular in the region – it’s a location that’s made for anyone who loves nature or sport!
French lessons for juniors are held during the morning in a summer camp, with small class sizes so that it’s easier for learners to practise. Afternoons are devoted either to intensive classes to help develop speaking skills, or outdoor activities (excursions, visits to museums, beach volleyball, etc.). As for food, allow yourself to be tempted by some tapas, the small plates so familiar on the other side of the Pyrenees that are also a feature of local dining in this region.
Jean-Luc PICHON - 01/07/2021
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