8 Best Study Abroad Programs in France in 2018

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Some run good study abroad programs in France, others run AMAZING study abroad programs in France. Which will YOU rely on, not only as an investment in your safety, convenience, and learning, but also as the organization you’ll look back on someday and think, “Studying in France was the best experience of my life.” 

Even though France is one of the best study abroad destinations in Europe in 2018, you have to take your study abroad plans a step further and figure out who you’re going to study with.

Gif of the eiffel tower

Say oui oui to studying in France in 2018

You might not realize it, but choosing between schools and programs in France is a pretty darn big decision. Since we’re on YOUR team, we wanted to make your decision process a little easier for you. Here are the best France study abroad programs in 2018 according to our community of intrepid, meaningful travelers like you.

What makes the “best” study abroad programs in France?

As you start to drill down on all of your study abroad program options in France, there are a few key details you need to pay attention to in order to assess the quality of the experience. Regardless of reviews, ratings, and other qualitative data, you have to find the right program for YOU. Just like you would never dare give that sushi restaurant that’s so popular on Yelp five stars, so too might your needs, opinions, and goals vary from those who’ve left reviews of their study abroad experiences.

Start sussing out your options (here’s how to actually pick a study abroad program if you want a shortcut), and while doing so, pay attention to these factors:

  • What reviews and other alumni have to say about their experiences. Again, your needs might not be theirs, but you can give some level of credibility to the “horse’s mouths.” Consider their feedback as you discern your options for college study abroad programs in France. 
  • Clarity and availability of information. If you have to hunt down basic program details, there might be something fishy going on.
  • Organizational partnerships—most are partnered or work with other respected national, local, or international organizations. 
  • Resources for alumni, like how to put your experience on your resume!
  • Demonstrated respect and care for local culture, environment, individuals. You can get a feel for this in the photos and language they use to market themselves. 
  • Level of support and assistance. Do they email you back promptly? 
  • Respect within your field of study. Consider a program that makes people that you look up to go “Wow.” 
Gif of plane traveling

Vive le France!

GoAbroad’s 2018 round up

1. IES Abroad Nantes - French Language Immersion & Area Studies—9.6 rating

IES Abroad logo

“France study abroad programs like this one is really an excellent way to experience France with full language immersion. All classes are in French and speaking in French in the center is a requirement. A large variety of classes is offered, from French cuisine to the history or France and the United Nations. The staff is fantastic and extremely helpful. The city of Nantes itself is fantastic: there's lots of things to see and do and I regret not exploring the city more. My experience with IES Abroad and in Nantes is unparalleled with any other and I'm very fortunate to have had this opportunity.” — IES Abroad alum

  • Where? Nantes
  • When? Semester
  • Why? Our French Language Immersion & Area Studies Program has two important goals: to improve your written and verbal proficiency in French through language and area studies courses and to introduce you to contemporary France and its role in the European Union. A beautiful city on the Loire River, Nantes is the perfect place to perfect your French. IES Abroad courses are taught in French by native French faculty. You also have access to the university libraries, computer labs, cafeterias, and sports facilities, and you are welcome to join student clubs.
  • More program info

More IES Abroad programs in France: 

2. Athena Study Abroad in Paris, France—9.6 rating

Athena Study Abroad logo

“This experience has opened up my eyes to how amazing the world is and has motivated me to keep exploring it. I chose Athena Abroad because the cost was pretty good and I liked how friendly and helpful the staff was trying to get me started. We had an awesome advisor, very helpful and knowledgeable. Very friendly and always willing to go an extra mile to make sure everyone had everything they needed. It was a great course that taught me a lot. My art history teacher gave me a new respect and appreciation for all types of art and architecture. This really inspired me to want to see the rest of the world and and compare different styles of different cultures.” —Athena Paris alum

  • Where? Paris
  • When? Semester, year, summer
  • Why? The Paris, France program focuses on the interaction of students with their surroundings-the city of Paris itself. Classes do not only take place in traditional classrooms, but also venture out to prominent aspects of Parisian culture, such as the Louvre or even walking the streets to learn about Paris' architecture and history. This close knit program focuses on the student experience. Field trips included in the cost of the program take students throughout Paris and beyond! 
  • More program info

3.  ISA Study Abroad in Paris, France—9.4 rating

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“Studying abroad in Paris was always a goal of mine. My experience in France was unforgettable and surprisingly easy-going thanks to ISA. From pre-departure to the very end of my stay in Paris, the staff could not have been more helpful... The ISA Paris staff were extremely knowledgeable with introducing the do's and don'ts that were custom in the city. The office was always welcoming and they were happy to assist in any way possible from exchanging currency to finding a cool place to eat… Traveling around France and organizing a going-away dinner were only a few of the many things ISA provided that contributed to the best experience of my life and I would do it all again in a heartbeat.” —AIFS alum 

  • Where? Paris
  • When? Semester, summer, year
  • Why? You’ll get the chance to attend French culture and language classes based on your language proficiency level! Other than classes at a French university or study abroad schools in France, you will receive French tutorial from our on-site staff. Sessions, as well as other activities, take place in our office in the Latin Quarter, across the Seine River from the Notre Dame Cathedral. Enjoy full access to our facilities, amenities, and resources; ensuring you have everything you need while in Paris.
  • More program info

More ISA programs in France:

4. USAC in Lyon - French Language & European Studies—9.2 rating

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“Imagine strolling along a river, almond croissant in hand, on your way to class. That was me, just a few short months ago. I always dreamed of living in France, fully immersing myself in the language and culture. USAC made that happen for me. I studied abroad in Lyon, France for five months in the spring of 2017. I had never heard of Lyon before, but after one interest meeting, I was on board… French professors at the university taught the majority of my classes, and my classmates were international students from countries in North & South America, Asia, and Africa…”  —USAC Lyon alum

  • Where? Lyon
  • When? Semester
  • Why? Study in Lyon to learn and live in one of the most attractive cities in France, creating a fresh combination of the bustle of a large, European city and the simplicity of French tradition. The Lyon program offers an intensive language approach at Université Lumière Lyon 2 (University of Lyon 2), where you will be able to earn up to 15 credits of French in one semester. Depending on your language level, you will choose electives in culture, political science, cinema, economics, or literature taught specifically for USAC students. The university itself also offers the opportunity to enroll in courses with French students, taught in either English or French.
  • More program info

More USAC programs in France:

5. AIFS Study Abroad in Cannes: Summer—9.1 rating

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“Cannes is an amazing experience. Classes are all in french and you are to speak in french all day. The city life is good and the beach life is great as well. AIFS is super easy to work with and super helpful.” —AIFS alum

  • Where? Cannes
  • When? Summer
  • Why? AIFS is one of the largest, most distinguished, and most respected cultural organizations in the world with excellent options for study abroad schools in France. AIFS is a leading provider of study abroad programs with comprehensive fees, including tuition and housing, with USD 800,000 in scholarship and grant funding available each year. Our programs include meal plans, tours and excursions, insurance, and 24-hour emergency service.
  • More program info

Other AIFS programs in France:

6. API at the Cours de Civilisation Francaise de la Sorbonne—9.0 rating

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“When I was looking to study abroad my Sophomore year, I was looking for a program that I could both afford and benefit from the most. I chose API because the program includes a lot of different things that made my experience smoother--they find housing, gave us a monthly CROUS stipend and a metro pass. I was able to study at the Sorbonne. The classes were fun and I also learned a lot--win/win. Not to mention the excursions--amazing! I would recommend this program to anyone looking for a great time abroad!” —API France alum 

  • Where? Paris
  • When? Summer, semester, year
  • Why? Receive more than an introduction to la vie Française and live within the famed city of lights and love. This program is ideal for the student who longs for the romance of Paris, strives for intellectually stimulating academics, and believes they would enjoy the fast pace of this culturally dynamic worldly city. The exceptional value, quality academics, and a full-time on-site support staff, as well as a variety of excursions to introduce each student to various cultural regions of France, truly set API apart.
  • More program info

More API Abroad programs in France

7. CIEE Liberal Arts in Rennes, France—9.0 rating

CIEE logo

“Absolutely wonderful staff and intensive language study. Pricey, though. The host family was incredibly accommodating and have invited me back.The program catered to my specific needs and was quite helpful when I needed medical attention.” —CIEE Rennes alum 

  • Where? Rennes
  • When? Semester, academic year
  • Why? Join 60,000 students in one of France’s most beautiful cities, just two hours west of Paris by train, where you’ll learn the distinct Celtic traditions particular to this beautiful, unspoiled region from the inside, and further your academic requirements. We offer six levels of French language instruction, so whether you’re a beginner or intermediate student, you'll find a program in Rennes that meets your interests and abilities. Plus, choose from courses including French cinema, history, economics, and literature. At the Université de Rennes II, you’ll attend a soirée interculturelle, where you’ll meet a diverse group of French students who may become your lifelong friends!
  • More program info

More CIEE programs in France:

8. CISabroad Semester in Aix-en-Provence—8.4 rating

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“Everyone says this, but study abroad is a life changing experience. And an experience like that you want to be with people who will make it the best possible. That's what I found here. From the professors and administrators to the other students and my host, these people have helped shape me in a positive way. One of the hardest things for me was balancing exploring other places and exploring the place you're living. Don't forget that even when the place you're staying becomes familiar, it's still exciting.” — CISabroad alum

  • Where? Aix-en-Provence
  • When? Semester
  • Why? The mission of CISabroad is to foster the development of more engaged world citizens, by providing educational programs that are innovative, promote global awareness, encourage personal growth, and broaden students' academic perspectives.
  • More program info

Other CISabroad programs in France:

More resources for study abroad in France

If none of these programs are quite what you’re looking for, take a gander through our entire France study abroad program directory. There are filters a-plenty, allowing you to zero-in on the program that matches all of your interests.

Overwhelmed by the options? We get it. Our Online Advisors are here to save the day. Just tell us what you’re looking for, and we’ll do your homework for you / send you a handful of specific recommendations to your preferences. Easy peesy!

Boy and girl taking selfie at the louvre

Don’t wait another day to start living your best life abroad!

Pro tip: One of the most important steps to figuring out which study abroad programs in France are right for you in France—that many students unfortunately skip—is identifying your WHY(s). Why are you studying abroad? Why study abroad in France in the first place? To learn a language, to travel tons, to make friends from all over the world, to take classes with experts in your field of study? Know your goals, then use them to influence the France study abroad programs you’re considering.

And last but not least, since we all know studying abroad comes at a cost, we put together this guide of how to pay for study abroad. Scholarships, loans, financial aid, and some good ol’ fashioned savings should do the trick. 

Study abroad in France in 2018!

It’s seriously the most delightful thing you can do this year, especially if you choose one of these top-notch, top-shelf, top-dog programs. À bientôt!

Browse more study abroad programs in France

Topic:  Top Picks