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Baguettes. Paris. The Eiffel Tower. Chateaus. Berets. Sure, France encompasses all these things. But it also delivers much, much more. As the crown jewel of Europe, France consistently proves to be one of our most popular study abroad destinations, and for good reason. With beautiful countryside, an eclectic arts and music culture, and coastal surf towns, there’s more to France than meets the eye. Go see for yourself.

There is so much more to France than just the magnificent city of Paris. Many host families live in small towns or villages, and each region of France looks and feels different. You will have a chance to become immersed in the world-famous culture, from food and architecture to philosophy and painting. The beautiful countryside stretches from the Atlantic to the Alps and from the English Channel to the Mediterranean Sea. The French are extremely proud of their language, culture, heritage and nation. They are also interested in learning about life in other countries, so you can expect to be asked about the history, customs and government of your country.

Eligibility Requirements

  • You must be 16, 17, or 18
  • Enrolled in an NZ school
  • Language requirements: Beginner – intermediate French

What's included in your experience

  • Airfare
  • Airport Pick-up
  • Host Family Placement
  • Housing
  • Meals
  • School Placement
  • 24/7 Emergency Support
  • Domestic Transport
  • Assistance with Application Process
  • Visa Application Assistance
  • Pre-Departure Orientation
  • Orientations during your time abroad
  • Access to Alumni Network
  • Continuous Support
  • Worldwide Presence
  • 70 Years Experience

What you are responsible for

  • Vaccinations
  • Visa and Passport Fees
  • School Uniform

Language and school

French is the official language in France. Some French knowledge is required for short-term programs (3 months or shorter). If your program lasts for 6 months or a year, you should still brush up on your French in advance and you will have access to an online language learning license a few weeks before the program.

The average day’s high school schedule is likely longer than what you’re used to (beginning around 8:15 am and ending around 5 or 6 pm), but students get a lot of breaks between classes. Wednesdays are usually half days with classes getting out around noon. Some schools might also have class on Saturday mornings. But don’t worry – quality of life and leisure time are high priorities in France. You’ll usually get two weeks of vacation for every six weeks you spend in school.

Leticia Pfeilsticker France 2015-16 image4

Host family and community

You’ll most likely be hosted in a rural area anywhere in France. Your family will probably greet you with a “bise,” a friendly kiss on the cheek, expressing satisfaction and gratitude is appreciated. Expect to be treated like a regular family member, helping with chores and becoming part of the daily routine.

Food is very important to the French. When they are not eating, they enjoy talking about food, which is delicious and prepared with great care. French enjoy a wide variety of cheeses, as well as local specialties like foie gras (liver paté), escargots de Bourgogne(snails), crêpes and cassoulet. French pastries and cheeses are also famous around the world.

Let AFS guide your intercultural adventure

Kick-start your future with AFS and discover who you really are, make new lifetime friendships and immerse yourself in a fascinating intercultural experience.

This programme begins at your home country with a pre-departure orientation and continues with orientations, other supported learning activities and facilitated conversations which will help you maximize your experience, cope with the challenges of navigating a new culture and community as well as gain knowledge, skills, and a global understanding throughout your time abroad, and as you return to your home country. AFS volunteers will be there to support and guide you and your host family the whole way through.

Send us an enquiry