Ever dreamed of cycling down a cobblestone street with a fresh baguette in your basket? If that’s you, then you’re bound to feel at home in France’s quaint countryside and charming, historic cities. French culture is world-renowned for its artistic, architectural, and culinary achievements. These influences will broaden the cultural horizons of any high school student studying abroad in France!

Studying at a local high school in France will immerse you in the French language and customs. What you learn during the day will sink in at night when you go home to your host family and community. You’ll be much more than a tourist snapping quick photos of the Eiffel Tower. You’ll eat, drink, and breathe French culture as an exchange student. You’ll study the French language in its birthplace. France is an ideal place to discover a new culture and rewrite your high school experience.

Things to Know About France

French people are generally hospitable, and most will be interested in learning about you and your culture. Food is at the heart of French culture, and you really will see locals strolling down the street with a baguette under their arms. You’re unlikely to find many berets, though.

France is a historically Catholic country. So, you’ll discover some of the most astounding churches in the world, even in the smallest, most remote villages. However, in modern culture, laïcité (secularism) is highly valued, and the government bans French students from wearing overtly religious symbols to school.

Your High School in France

Students often attend a public lycée (10th-12th grade) or collège (9th grade) depending on your age, but you could also be enrolled in a private school. France has 3 different specializations at most lycée for the equivalent of 11th and 12th grades. They are (L) arts, humanities, and languages; (S) natural sciences and math; and (ES) social science, economics, and history.

These specializations would only be your focus, not the entirety of your class schedule. You’ll still take a broad range of classes. While specific classes and specializations cannot be guaranteed, we do everything we can to let students concentrate on the most interesting subjects.

The average day’s 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 lycées 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.

Your Accommodation while Studying Abroad in France

AFSers have lived in communities all throughout France when studying abroad in high school, but you’ll most likely find yourself in a rural area. You’ll get a feel for the French countryside, where the people tend to be friendlier and more relaxed than those in the city. Your host family could live anywhere from the Alps to the Mediterranean Sea. No matter where you’re placed, there will be something amazing to see!

Program duration

September 2024 – July 2025