A Guide To High School Programs Abroad in France
Traveling to France through a high school program abroad can bethe transformative experience of your high school career. From the mighty Alps in the east over sprawling vineyards to the cliffs of Normandy in the west, the French countryside will not cease to inspire you with its magnificence. But what truly makes France a must visit destination is the culture, centrally influential and world renowned for its art, food, literature, and thought. Within this backdrop, a high school program abroad in France will prove to be an enriching growth experience beyond measure.
Some high school programs in France will take you throughout various locations across the countryside, so you will not have to choose just one French city to settle down in. These exploration programs can be a great way to experience many different aspects of the country while learning all about French life and culture from a variety of viewpoints.
If you instead choose a program rooted in one city,Paris is the obvious first choice for many. France’s capital is the largest urban area in the European Union, a leading global city with immense influence in culture, economics, and politics, and, most important of all, the home of France’s greatest football club, Paris Saint-Germain.
The opportunities to study in France reach much deeper than Paris though. Cities such as Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, and Nice are some of the other most popular destinations in the country. It is possible to live in any of these places for an extended period of time through a high school program in France, and each offers a smaller, less globalized feel than Paris.
These are only naming a few of the possible locations for high school program in France, but really the whole country is wide open because there are so many high school programs available in France. Delve through all the possible locations and do your research carefully before deciding which program, in which place, feels like your perfect match.
High school study abroad programs in France tend to be focused on learning about various aspects of French history, art, and culture. Many are structured to include classroom lessons mixed with interactive field trips to local museums, shows, and monuments. High school study abroad programs in France are often directed toward either a general education in the French culture or a more specialized focus of French culture, such as in cooking, music, or architecture.
Many high school programs in France also incorporate French language learning into the curriculum. While it is possible to join a high school program in France without any prior knowledge of the language, students of French will find the experience an incredibly valuable asset to their language acquisition. Learning French in a classroom setting can only get you so far – supplementing this by actually surrounding yourself in the language will exponentially improve your ability.
Most high school programs in France are offered over the summer and last from one to eight weeks (typically adventure programs which take you to many different places are shorter than academic programs grounded in one location). Those who are particularly ambitious can also live in France for a full semester or academic year as part of an exchange program at an international school. This, however, will take a much greater degree of planning with your home school than a summer program!
France is a wealthy country and so costs of living, especially in big cities, such as Paris, can run up to be quite expensive for high school students. Transportation expenses and program fees will also add to the costs of high school programs in France.
However, affordability need not be a concern if you truly have your mind set on traveling to France. Through there are a large variety of scholarship opportunities out there, so there is funding available for almost every student to help cover the costs.
Many high school students who travel to France choose to live in a home stay because of the opportunities this offers for total cultural immersion and language practice (plus the home cooked meals are sure nothing to complain about either!). Some high school programs in France will alternatively offer students the opportunity to live in dormitory style housing, depending on the location and structure of the program. Either way students will be under steady supervision, so safety need not be a major concern.
Students coming from within the European Union will not have to apply for a visa to study abroad in France. The situation beyond Europe varies – students from most Western countries only will need a visa if they plan on staying for longer than three months, while students from many other countries may have to apply for a visa prior to entry.
Participating in a high school program in France will open your eyes to a different culture, create lasting memories with new friends from around the world, and look great on your college applications to boot. Language and cultural immersion will certainly be a challenge to work through, but by adapting to your new surroundings you will grow and mature in ways which will have your peers’ heads turning. A great adventure awaits you, all that is left to do is get out there and make it happen!
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