Student Exchange Programs in France

Experience French culture and language

Spend your student exchange program in a world filled with incredible history, cuisine, culture & fashion

Become an exchange student in France, the fascinating nation in Western Europe that, year after year, keeps attracting the highest number of tourists of all countries in the whole world. It is easy to understand what brings people here. France is a vast country with plenty of things to offer. Historical sites, monuments, and castles are seen throughout the country, all with a story to tell about its impressive history. Together with the iconic Parisian lifestyle, glamorous Côte d’Azur, as well as the amazing French cuisine and fashion, they are attributes making it impossible to get tired of this country.

As with all of our student exchange programs, SCCE will work closely with our French affiliates to place you with a host family that will share your hobbies and interests. As an exchange student in France, you will live life as a local and not just a tourist. By staying with a caring family and studying at a local high school, you will gain insight into the French culture and lifestyle. An immersion in France also gives you the chance to finetune your language skills and develop your confidence significantly.

Bienvenue en France!

Quick facts

Age of students: 14–17 years

Departure: September, January, October, November, December

Language requirements: None, but basic French knowledge is preferred

Visa: Yes, subject to length of program

Area request: Yes

Soft Landing Camp: Yes, in Paris

School day: Normally from 8.30 to 17.00

Subjects: There are both compulsory subjects and electives

Programs: Classic High School

Views from France

Our Student Exchange Programs

In France, we offer Classic High School programs including 6 weeks, 2, 2.5, 3 months, Academic Semester & Year programs.

Read more about our Classic High School in France.

Area requests in France

Brittany, Normandy or Occitanie in the south? You can choose where you want to spend your exchange program in France on our Academic Semester & Year programs.

Check out our area requests and secure your spot today.  

The experience of a lifetime

Travelling on an exchange year is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that shapes your future. Check out this short guide to planning your year in France. Then book a free consultation with us to make that plan a reality. 

About high school in France

There are two different types of schools in France depending on age, known as ‘Collège’ (middle school) and ‘Lycée’ (senior school).

The French education system supports independent learning, and classes generally run all day with a two-hour lunch break. All lessons will be taught in French so this will be a challenge initially. School uniforms are not required so students have more freedom of choosing what to wear each day. Exchange students are assigned a timetable with a variety of subjects, enabling them to try something new. Students at some schools also attend on Saturday.

Enquire now

Subjects and school activities

You will be placed in the program and grade that suits your previous knowledge, education, and age. The core subjects for local students are Mathematics, Geography, History and French. In addition to the fixed curriculum, there are several elective classes including multiple foreign languages, arts and information technology. Most exchange students will have set subjects, however there may be an option, depending on the length of the exchange. Mathematics, French, History, Geography, as well as a second language (English, German or Spanish), are often mandatory subjects.

The schools in France usually do not offer extra activities but we encourage students to get involved in sports, extra-curricular and activities available in the local community.

Enquire now

Semesters and breaks

In France, a typical school year begins in early September and ends in late June. Students often have a one or two-week long break around All Saint’s Day, over Christmas, and in February. The school holidays are a wonderful opportunity to spend time with the host family, their relatives, and new friends in the local community.

Enquire now

Your spare time in France

France offers students a captivating environment for a first-hand education of French culture and language. The French patriotism, present in the country’s refined leisure, philosophy and arts, comes alive for students at every turn. Enjoy croissants, sip coffee in a café, and just embrace everything that the French culture has to offer.

How your spare time will depend on where in the country you will live, your host family’s lifestyle, and of course – your own personal interests. Be proactive and get involved with your host family as best as you can… the more you put into your exchange, the more you will get out of it. French people spend a lot of time with their relatives and friends, and if they live in the city, they often appreciate going to the countryside on the weekends. This connection will improve your language skills, but it may also help you see various parts of France connect with new people.

Sports and activities

It is common among French teenagers to play instruments such as piano, guitar, drums, and violin. Music is a great way to engage with others, and well worth joining a musical group is this is of interest.

Soccer (football) is the most popular sport in France and a lot of the teenagers practice in their spare time, either in clubs or with friends. If you are keen to join a sports club, there will plenty of opportunities in your town. Staying active is an excellent way of meeting people and immersing into your new community.

Enquire now

Staying with a French host family

Living with a French host family will provide true immersion into their life, culture and community. You will experience the French culture beyond its typical stereotypes and become part of a kind and caring family. Host family placements are all over France, and may be in a regional centre, or a quaint little village. Our French host families come in all shapes and sizes and are looking forward to welcoming you into their home.

The famous French food culture

The French are known for their culture and food, particularly their delicious baguettes, croissants, and you will try all kinds of delicious “fromage” during your exchange program. On special occasions, dinner can last for hours, where the French enjoy courses discussions. Your host family are as curious about you and the food culture from your country. Introduce them to some typical food from home or make them a Pavlova! They will appreciate it as much as you will appreciate being served delicious crêpes, pain au chocolate, and creamy quiches during your time in the country.

About our host families

About high school in France

There are two different types of schools in France depending on age, known as ‘Collège’ (middle school) and ‘Lycée’ (senior school).

The French education system supports independent learning, and classes generally run all day with a two-hour lunch break. All lessons will be taught in French so this will be a challenge initially. School uniforms are not required so students have more freedom of choosing what to wear each day. Exchange students are assigned a timetable with a variety of subjects, enabling them to try something new. Students at some schools also attend on Saturday.

Enquire now
banner-img

Subjects and school activities

You will be placed in the program and grade that suits your previous knowledge, education, and age. The core subjects for local students are Mathematics, Geography, History and French. In addition to the fixed curriculum, there are several elective classes including multiple foreign languages, arts and information technology. Most exchange students will have set subjects, however there may be an option, depending on the length of the exchange. Mathematics, French, History, Geography, as well as a second language (English, German or Spanish), are often mandatory subjects.

The schools in France usually do not offer extra activities but we encourage students to get involved in sports, extra-curricular and activities available in the local community.

Enquire now
banner-img

Semesters and breaks

In France, a typical school year begins in early September and ends in late June. Students often have a one or two-week long break around All Saint’s Day, over Christmas, and in February. The school holidays are a wonderful opportunity to spend time with the host family, their relatives, and new friends in the local community.

Enquire now
banner-img

Your spare time in France

France offers students a captivating environment for a first-hand education of French culture and language. The French patriotism, present in the country’s refined leisure, philosophy and arts, comes alive for students at every turn. Enjoy croissants, sip coffee in a café, and just embrace everything that the French culture has to offer.

How your spare time will depend on where in the country you will live, your host family’s lifestyle, and of course – your own personal interests. Be proactive and get involved with your host family as best as you can… the more you put into your exchange, the more you will get out of it. French people spend a lot of time with their relatives and friends, and if they live in the city, they often appreciate going to the countryside on the weekends. This connection will improve your language skills, but it may also help you see various parts of France connect with new people.

Sports and activities

It is common among French teenagers to play instruments such as piano, guitar, drums, and violin. Music is a great way to engage with others, and well worth joining a musical group is this is of interest.

Soccer (football) is the most popular sport in France and a lot of the teenagers practice in their spare time, either in clubs or with friends. If you are keen to join a sports club, there will plenty of opportunities in your town. Staying active is an excellent way of meeting people and immersing into your new community.

Enquire now
banner-img

Staying with a French host family

Living with a French host family will provide true immersion into their life, culture and community. You will experience the French culture beyond its typical stereotypes and become part of a kind and caring family. Host family placements are all over France, and may be in a regional centre, or a quaint little village. Our French host families come in all shapes and sizes and are looking forward to welcoming you into their home.

The famous French food culture

The French are known for their culture and food, particularly their delicious baguettes, croissants, and you will try all kinds of delicious “fromage” during your exchange program. On special occasions, dinner can last for hours, where the French enjoy courses discussions. Your host family are as curious about you and the food culture from your country. Introduce them to some typical food from home or make them a Pavlova! They will appreciate it as much as you will appreciate being served delicious crêpes, pain au chocolate, and creamy quiches during your time in the country.

About our host families
banner-img

Soft Landing Camp in Paris

If you apply for a Semester or an Academic Year, your high school adventure will start at the Soft Landing Camp in Paris *. For four days, you will have the opportunity to discover the beautiful capital as well as getting prepared for your new life in France.  

Together with other Southern Cross Cultural Exchange students from both Australia/New Zealand and other countries, you will have a great start to your exchange experience.  

*Please note: this is available for our September arrivals

Hear from our exchange students in France

Foo IN reims

Foo shares her “Top ten tips for exchange students”.

Read her blog story here.

Max in Paris

Max shares his view and tips about his student exchange in Paris.

Read his story here.

Enquire now

The best way to prepare for your exchange program is to join an Information Session Webinar.
Please click here to register and then complete your details below and we will be in touch to answer your questions.

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