France

French Language & Culture

Advance your French language through classes and cultural immersion. Find inspiration while visiting the world’s most celebrated art museums in Paris and go on a quest to capture the city’s charm under the guidance of a French photographer.

  • Art

  • Certificate

  • Culinary

  • Language

WHY STUDY LANGUAGE IN FRANCE?

Embark on a creative journey through French language, culture, and art as you experience Paris and Brittany in the north, as well as Nantes, a creative and amazing city that cultivates astonishment. In Paris, take in the art at galleries and world-renowned museums such as the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay. Develop your photography skills and art appreciation through workshops and projects with formal direction from professional photographers or local artists. Learn about photo composition and explore The City of Light through the lens and practice your darkroom skills by developing and sizing photos and creating your own photogram.

During your homestay in Brittany, you will have continual opportunities to enhance your French language skills and knowledge of French culture. Take classes with a local teacher while immersing yourself in la vie quotidienne, or daily life, of a French family. Delight in the regional food and try your hand at making some favorites through a cooking and crêpe making lesson. Take day trips to nearby places of interest, such as breathtaking Mont Saint Michel. After your homestay, get the opportunity to explore a new area including a visit to Nantes, a city which keeps reinventing itself, renowned for its vitality, culture and also named European Green Capital in 2013.

You will rendezvous in Paris to reflect on your journey and capture some final snapshots.

Note: Prior knowledge of photography is not required, but participants should bring a working digital camera.

LEARN BY DOING

The Experiment’s programs are designed to build skills that will help you succeed. In France, you will learn:

TECHNICAL SKILLS

  • French language
  • Photography

INTERPERSONAL SKILLS

  • Time management
  • Intercultural communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Adaptability
  • Relationship-building

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

  • Temperatures and humidity can be high in France during the summer.
  • Students will explore urban life on foot (lots of walking!) and learn to navigate the public transit system.
  • While French cuisine is centered on meat and cheese, vegetarians and vegans can find alternatives.
  • Access to the internet is limited and internet speeds and connectivity vary.
  • The diverse personal and social identities of participants may, in part, shape their experience abroad. In-country partners will discuss cultural norms and the local context during orientation. Please read our approach to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for further information. All students will have a safe space within the program spaces and with the local staff and group leaders.

AT A GLANCE

Program Availability

Filling

Program Date

Jul 2 - Jul 30

Prerequisite

French (at least one year)

Program Fee

TBD

Group Airfare Cost

TBD

WHAT'S INCLUDED
  • Lodging
  • Meals
  • All program activities
  • In-country transportation
  • Health insurance
  • Experienced group leaders
My experience with The Experiment was more than anything that I could have imagined. I returned home as a more confident, independent individual and I highly recommend that anyone and everyone should take part in this program. Not only did I learn about a new culture, I met the most incredible people and had the time of my life. Going on this trip showed me that I am capable of anything and made me want to study abroad in college. No matter which topic you chose, you will come home a different person!

Sample Itinerary

This itinerary is only a sample and is subject to change. Because of factors such as group size and availability of in-country offerings such as festivals, your experience — including sites visited and the number of days spent in each location — may differ somewhat from the one presented below.

View Itinerary Details

Day 1-5

Orientation in Paris

  • Learn about the history and culture of France as you visit famous sites and museums throughout the city, such as the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and the Arc de Triomphe.
  • Get to know other members of your group during activities and group discussions.
  • Navigate the capital city and its famed metro as you explore diverse neighborhoods and practice your French language skills with the locals and shop clerks.
  • Sample French cuisine in street-side cafés, shop for picnic ingredients at open-air markets and boulangeries, and visit chocolate shops to sample a variety of treats and specialties.
  • With the guidance of local arts teachers, explore Paris’s many museums and art institutes that make it a treasure trove for classic pieces and modern cutting-edge modernity.
  • Walk the inspiring Parisian streets with your art teacher in pursuit of the perfect photos to capture the City of Light.

During the orientation period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.

Days 6-20

Homestay

  • Become fully immersed in the daily life of a French family and community as you share meals and family activities with your hosts.
  • Explore your host community and the surrounding area with organized outings and a tour of the city.
  • Attend French language classes in the mornings then practice what you learned in the community on outings with your teachers and with your homestay family.
  • Take a crêpe making class or cooking class with a local chef. Learn about regional food specialties and recipes as you share meals and swap recipes with your hosts.

During this period, you will stay in the home of a family. Sample host communities: St. Malo, Pierrelatte, Les Baux-de-Provence.

Days 22-25

Excursion

  • Travel with your group to nearby places of interest to discover the French countryside and other picturesque local towns.
  • Explore different cities to gain fresh insight into another region and explore the nuances of local French life.

During this period, you and your group will stay in a hotel.

Day 26-27

Program Reflection and Wrap-up in Paris

  • Enjoy a final Parisian meal and farewell with your group.
  • Reflect with your group on your experiences during the program.

During the reflection period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel or hostel.

Day 28

Departure

Experienced Group Leaders

The Experiment’s group leaders go through a rigorous selection process and have extensive experience with youth education, local expertise in the country or region of their program, language abilities, knowledge in their program theme, travel logistics and management know-how, and experience with health, safety and risk management.

LEADER HIGHLIGHT

Lia Bendix

Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Education: University of Colorado
Experience in: France, Italy

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Lia Bendix was born, raised, and currently lives in Cleveland, Ohio. She grew up attending AFS meetings with her grandmother and loved meeting all the foreign exchange students. She spent her junior year of high school in Italy and studied abroad in France and Mali during college. She enjoys traveling to new countries, experiencing the culture, and identifying her favorite foods in every one (hint: the more cheese or carb-focused, the better). Lia holds a degree in French and francophone studies from Carleton College, and in choral music education from the University of Colorado. She has held a vast number of job titles, including but not limited to: AmeriCorps volunteer with College Possible, English teacher, ice cream scooper, sandwich maker, camp counselor, gift basket assembler, research assistant, choir director, elementary school music teacher, and Experiment leader (France 2016 and 2019, Italy 2017). Lia currently works as a Financial Aid Specialist with College Now Greater Cleveland and teaches virtual French and Italian classes on the side. In her spare time, she enjoys making sassy cross-stitch samplers, doing crosswords with friends via Skype, playing guitar, and cooking new recipes.

Program experts

Experiment programs are led by accomplished and experienced faculty and staff who typically live in the country of study. Program leaders are responsible for instructional content, classroom and field experiences, and daily program operations.

Hélène Alix Mourrier

Hélène Alix Mourrier is a graphic designer & artist, committed to queer identities. It was during a complete course in applied arts in Etienne from 2006 to 2011 that she committed to transidentities, and carried out OPÉ-TRANS, in collaboration with the association OUTrans, a project relating to the various operations feminizing and masculinizing for trans* people. In 2012, she joined the Beaux-Arts de Paris, and specialized in ceramics, installation, and performances. At the same time, Hélène responds to graphic design orders for feminist circles and collaborators and belongs to several collectives fighting for LGBTQI + people.

In 2018, she completed her course by following the Ateliers des Horizons training course at the Magasin de Grenoble. Hélène now teaches graphic and editorial design, while continuing her transdisciplinary practice, and is part of the inclusive typographic research collective Bye Bye Binary. She made her first short film in 2021: HERMAN @ S (Les Adelphes).

From 2014 to 2018, Hélène worked with CEI & The Experiment to teach plastic art to young people in Paris, Arles and Aix-en-Provence. The program focused on the discovery of Impressionism and contemporary photography.