years-experience access-alumni-network airfare airport-pick-up assistance-with-application-process community-service-placement continuous-support cultural-trips domestic-transport emergency-support field-trips global-competence-certificate grade-transcripts host-family-placement housing individual-contact-person internship-placement language-instruction meals medical-insurance orientations-during-your-time-abroad other pre-departure-orientation product-materials re-entry-orientation school-dipolma school-materials school-placement school-transport school-uniform stipend teaching-materials vaccinations visa-and-passport-fees visa-application-assistance world-wide-presence

Study Abroad at a High School in France

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 and more will broaden the cultural horizons of any high school student studying abroad in France!

Eligibility Requirements

Current high school students are eligible. Specific age requirements may apply; contact AFS for more details.
Must be in good academic standing (recommended GPA of 2.5 or above).
French language skills preferred, but not required.

By studying at a local high school in France, you’ll be immersed in 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. As an exchange student, you’ll eat, drink, and breathe French culture. 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.

FRA-HS-Arc-de-Triomphe-Paris-France

Things to know before you go abroad to 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 French students are banned by the government from wearing overtly religious symbols to school.

FRA-HS-afs-students-in-france

Your High School in France

You will receive early access to Rosetta Stone before departure to reduce the language barrier upon your arrival in France. You’ll probably 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 subjects that most interest them.

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.

FRA-HS-village-in-france

Accommodation

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!

FRA-HS-french-cheese-1

Your Family in France

France tends to have large and active local AFS chapters. Staff and volunteers, who are very involved, plan fun local and regional events, like weekend trips to Paris! At these events, you’ll make lasting connections with international exchange students from other AFS countries around the world, AFS Alumni, and more.

Like anywhere in the world, all families in France are different. But, no matter who they are, your host family will probably greet you with a bise, a friendly kiss on the cheek. Then, once you’re settled into your new home, you can expect to be treated like a regular family member, helping with chores and becoming part of the daily routine. As so many AFSers explain, it’s not just a trip; it’s a second life, home, and family.

What's Included

  • 70+ years of experience delivering high-quality programs through a worldwide network of 50,000 dedicated volunteers
  • Accommodations with a vetted host family
  • Round-trip international airfare for the designated program dates
  • School enrollment fees
  • Worldwide, 24-hour emergency assistance
  • Access to an in-country support team and network, as well as our Participant Support Department based here in the U.S.
  • Orientations and intercultural education before and during your program
  • Secondary medical coverage
  • Visa support and guidance
  • Inclusion in a worldwide returnee and alumni network of over 1,000,000 people
Head-Graphic2

Returning Home

“Life-changing” is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad. “Transformed” is another one.
When you return home from high school in France, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and developed the confidence and resilience to accomplish anything you set out to do.
That transformation isn’t only visible to you, though – others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers. Second language fluency, intercultural competence, creativity, and critical reasoning will help you succeed, whatever path you take. “Life-changing” means it’s only the beginning.
It’s not just an adventure abroad; it’s a whole new reality. The perspectives and personal connections you gained will stay with you and likely draw you back to the second home you found in France.

In fact, our alumni reviews have made AFS one of the top-rated organizations in the study abroad industry.

A new you awaits.

Apply for High School Study Abroad in France!

GET STARTED