France: French Language & Culture

Language Training

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.






Physical Activity


Program Description

Embark on a creative journey through French language, culture, and art in Paris and other charming quintessential French cities in the north. Take in the art at galleries and world-renowned museums such as the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay. Develop your art appreciation and photography skills through workshops and projects under the guidance of professional photographers and local artists. Explore the “City of Light” through your camera lens as you learn about photo composition and practice your darkroom skills by developing photos and creating your very own photogram.

During your homestay in Brittany, France’s northernmost region, you will have continuous opportunities to enhance your language skills and knowledge of French culture. Take French 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 class and a crêpe making lesson. Take day trips to nearby places of interest, such as breathtaking Mont Saint Michel.

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


Program Availability:

Not Yet Enrolling


French (at least one year)

Sample Itinerary

    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 teacher, 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


    • 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


    • 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


    Please note: 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 above.

Itinerary is subject to change.

Past Group Leaders

  • Mark Anthony Arceño

    Philippine-born and Metro-Detroit-raised, Mark Anthony Arceño graduated from Albion College in 2010 with a BA in French and international studies and concentrations in ethnic studies and public policy and service. He studied and conducted independent research throughout South Africa with SIT Study Abroad’s Cape Town: Multiculturalism and Social Change program and studied in Paris and interned in Fontenay-sous-Bois Cedex. Additionally, Mark Anthony’s undergraduate coursework brought him to Noisy-le-Roi, France, New Orleans, and Québec. He has been studying French for the past 16 years, and 2014 marked his third summer leading an Experiment program to France.

    Currently, Mark Anthony is a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology at The Ohio State University, and he authors a food and culture blog based on the notion of “learning through food.” His principal research focus is the intersection of food, place, and identity, with an emphasis on local/regional French gastronomies and cultures. Prior to OSU, Mark Anthony was the program coordinator in the Office of Multi-Cultural Student Affairs at Denison University. Mark Anthony also enjoys movies, photography, and tennis.

  • Rajai Bimbo

    A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Rajai Bimbo graduated from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, in 2004 with a BA in anthropology and sociology. While at DePauw, Rajai studied abroad in Paris, France, and in Bamako, Mali. In 2004, Rajai joined the United States Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa, where he served two years as a community health agent and teaching assistant at a school for children with disabilities. Later, he returned to Greencastle in the position of study abroad advisor, where he spent four years advising hundreds of students for long- and short-term experiences abroad. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in language education in France. In his free time, Rajai enjoys unicycling, contemporary dance, sign language, and theatre.

  • Lauren Hull

    A graduate of Wake Forest University, Lauren Hull majored in economics with a focus in international development and a second major in French. After four years in North Carolina, she received her BA in the spring of 2013, and she set off for France to teach English as a foreign language. Originally from the plains of the Midwest in St. Louis, Missouri, Lauren developed a desire to travel from a young age. She has lived and learned in Europe and Africa, specifically in France and in Cameroon, where she studied abroad with SIT. A former camp counselor, Lauren enjoys all outdoor activities including hiking, climbing, and especially running.

  • Kelly O'Brien

    Born and raised in Niagara Falls, New York, Kelly O’Brien graduated from Fordham University in 2013 with a BA in American studies and minors in French and philosophy. Following graduation, she went to Montréal, Canada, on a Fulbright research grant to study the transnational subculture of graffiti and street art. Kelly is an alumnus of the SIT Study Abroad Language, Community, and Social Change program in Toulouse, France. She has also lived in Connemara, Ireland, as part of Fulbright Ireland’s Summer Gaeltacht Award program and traveled in Germany, Italy, Greece, Spain, and the Czech Republic. A current resident of Chicago, Kelly now divides her time between tutoring high school students and working at the University of Chicago. When she’s not interviewing graffiti artists or learning a language, Kelly loves scouting out new and local cuisine, going to the theater, riding her bike, and photographing the world around her.

  • Taylor Saia

    Born and raised outside of Philadelphia, “The City of Brotherly Love,” Taylor Saia grew up in a loving, rambunctious family of seven. He graduated magna cum laude from American University in Washington, DC, in 2013 with a BS in business administration and French. Recently, he completed a Fulbright in Indonesia, where he served as a cultural ambassador on behalf of the US Department of State and taught high school English. He has previously instructed ESL in France and math in Washington, DC; has interned at National Geographic; and has led a fabulous Experiment in International Living program in France that focused on French cooking and culinary traditions. Currently, Taylor lives in New York City and works as a market researcher where he spends his days analyzing social media data, making pretty charts, and discovering some of the craziest hashtags you’ve ever seen. Whether in a recreational or professional context, his experiences in international education and integrated communications have bolstered his passion for listening to people and making meaningful impacts on their lives.

    Taylor first became fascinated by the art of travel after a trip to France in high school, which inspired him to return to the French Riviera to live and teach for a year. His excitement for exploration and foreign cultures has since propelled him to journey widely through Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. In addition to his enthusiasm for international adventure and service, Taylor enjoys singing, playing ukulele, and people-watching on the New York subway.

  • Nancy Strom

    A two-time Experiment leader to France, Nancy has a rich teaching and traveling background. After college, Nancy spent three years in Paris living with a host family, studying French and art history. She then studied in Germany, lived briefly in Spain, was a student-teacher in Mexico, volunteered in Guatemala, and, many summers, returned to Paris to teach. With her experience studying languages and living in other cultures, and a master’s in language education from SIT Graduate Institute, Nancy has committed her career to helping her adult ESL students with English and cultural competency skills, coordinating college-level ESL programs and teaching literacy classes.

    In addition to her teaching career, Nancy’s lifelong passion has been to research Paris, study art, and spend time in Paris museums. She enjoys cooking, especially French, Mediterranean, and Vietnamese cuisines, and she assists in professional cooking classes. Nancy is married, has two children (ages 18 and 21), and lives in Seattle.

Student Voices

  • Cooking at Paul Bocuse Institute was a amazing experience. Before The Experiment, I did not know how to cook, but I believe I learned how to prepare, cook, and decorate meals at a high level. The most important advice I have for future Experimenters is to watch your surroundings and to get off your phone, the reason why is because you have a amazing opportunity to travel abroad and experience the beauty of France.

  • I just can’t even explain how wonderful the cooking experience was. It was hard work but we were able to make wonderful and beautiful creations. And we got to taste the best food I’ve ever tasted in my life. It’s not everyday you get to eat food cooked by a world famous chef at a Michelin star restaurant.

  • I was given the opportunity to also take classes at the Institut Paul Bocuse, learn more culinary termed language in a class setting, and still get to visit many of the touristic cites France has to offer

  • The language classes were so very different from what I was accustomed to at home. At home, we learn vocabulary and grammar that is of course important, but not as useful in France. In these language classes, we went over the phrases and words that we would need to function in a French family, but are not normally in a textbook. This really prepared me to live in the home stay. I discovered so many types of cheeses that I had never before heard about. My favorite activity of Saint Rome de Dolan was canoeing in Les Gorges du Tarn, an incredibly beautiful canyon near Saint Rome de Dolan. It was definitely the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Traveling through the crystal-clear water at the bottom of gigantic cliffs was simply breathtaking. The only thing I regret was not having a waterproof camera with me so that I could have taken pictures! This time in Saint Rome de Dolan prepared us perfectly to speak French constantly during out upcoming homestay.