Frequently asked questions

You will find below the answers to questions you may have about courses, registration and accommodation in France Langue.

Important documents

For a worry-free stay, remember to check all your administrative papers ahead of time (ID card, passport, visa, residence permit or titre de séjour, etc.) because official paperwork can take a long time to process. The documents you require will depend on your country of origin.

European Union members only need a valid ID card to enter and study in France.

Non-members of the European Union must have a valid passport (check that this will remain valid during your entire stay) and a visa. The visa enables you to enter the country and request your residence permit, called a titre de séjour in France.


How can I get a French visa?

If your country isn’t a member of the European Union, the classic visa (otherwise known as a tourist visa) will be sufficient for any stay under 3 months. A student visa can only be obtained once you have registered with a school or university. The price of a student visa depends on the length of your stay. Visa requests must be addressed to the French consulate or embassy in your country. Processing times vary, but you’ll need at least a month to obtain a student visa. You will have to include several official documents with your visa application: we suggest that you check the list of documents required on the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

More information here :

Warning: once you are in France on a classic/tourist visa and you want a student visa, you will have to return to your home country to request one.

What is a French long stay « student » visa?

If you aren’t European and you’re planning to stay longer than 3 months, you must request a long stay student visa. In order to obtain this visa, you will need to provide your passport, a registration certificate from the school you are registered with (this must be a course of at least 20 classes/week), and justify that you have sufficient financial resources for one year, as well as have a French bank account. If you are a student over the age of 28, you will need to prove that you are covered for health and civil insurance, as you won’t be covered by the French social security system.

Expect to wait between 2 to 4 weeks for a response. That’s why it’s important to start on your official paperwork as soon as your school confirms your registration.

The period of validity for this visa must not exceed 1 year. However, you may renew this visa after your first year of study if you provide the necessary documents (proof of attendance and registration certificate).

How can I obtain a residence permit in France?

Once you are in France, you’ll need your visa to obtain a students’ residence permit (called a ‘titre de séjour’ in France) from the police headquarters. This takes around 2 months minimum. Since 2003, European Union members have not required a residence permit.

An interns’ residence permit is available for foreign students wishing to do an internship with a French company, within the framework of an official Internship Agreement (‘convention de stage’). France Langue has company internships available throughout the year.

More information about internships proposed by France Langue.

How can I renew my student visa?

If you are a student in France and you would like to extend your student visa, you simply need to register with France Langue. We will give you a registration certificate that you can then present at police headquarters (Préfecture de police).

If you are already a France Langue student, you can renew your registration. We will then give you a new registration certificate and proof of your attendance (showing that you have attended classes at France Langue) for presentation at police headquarters (Préfecture de police).

Special situations: au pair student needing a visa or a placement agreement (for the DDTE - Department of Work and Employment)

To organise your stay in France, we strongly recommend that you seek information from the various French authorities like the Au Pair placement agencies, French consulate, Department of Work and Employment (Direction Départementale du Travail et de l’Emploi), and the police headquarters (Préfecture de police).

If you are a European au pair student, you do not need a visa.

If you are a non-European au pair student, you will need to request a visa from the French consulate in your country. A registration (or pre-registration) certificate from a French educational institution is required.

To obtain this certificate, you must be an au pair and registered for a French course (Au Pair Programme). After receiving the payment deposit for this course (50% of the term price + registration fees), you will receive your pre-registration certificates, which you can then give to the French consulate.

Register for an Au Pair Programme


When can I begin my course?

Complete beginner levels must start their French course on a fixed date (for weekly and term courses). A new session starts every 4 weeks (every 3 weeks at our Paris Opera school).

Other levels may begin on any given Monday for weekly General French courses. For longer courses, students begin on fixed dates.

How long is my course?

You decide how long your French course will be, based on your availability and your objectives. The minimum course length is 1 week.

We recommend that beginner students register for at least 4 weeks if they want to see real progress with their French.

What’s the latest date I can register?

We recommend that you reserve at least 3 weeks before the course starts. However, we accept registrations throughout the year, on a first-come, first-served basis.

How many students are in a class?

All the General French courses (weekly group courses) are limited to 12 students (10 students at France Langue Paris Opera).

Long-Term courses and Au pair courses are limited to 18 students (12 students for Paris Opera).

We carry out level testing to ensure that students in a group share the same level. For this reason there are occasionally one or two extra students in a class.

Where do the students come from?

Each year, we welcome students from all over the world (Europe, North America, Asia, etc.)

What level of French do I need to register for classes?

You don’t need to have any French at all: we offer courses for absolute beginners (A1.1) all the way up to advanced speakers (C1).

See levels

How do you assess levels in French?

When you register you receive a free level test by email.

An oral test - carried out by telephone or in person on the first day of class - is also used to evaluate your level in French.

Do you have francophone teachers?

Yes, all our teachers are francophone who are qualified to teach French as a Foreign Language.

More information on teaching staff here.

What’s the minimum age to study at France Langue?

You must be at least 17 to study French at France Langue.

We do have a junior programme at France Langue Biarritz for students aged 14 – 17.

What is the students’ average age?

The average age is 35 (18 for au pair programme), but we have a lot of young students (particularly during the summer) and seniors throughout the year.

Can I change the dates of my classes or take a holiday?

This is only possible if you have opted for a weekly course. Your place is booked for your chosen course as soon as your payment has gone through. You may delay your start date on condition that you inform us 10 days in advance and that places are available for the dates you want. Please note that the certificate of attendance does not cover absences from class.

What should I bring on the first day of class?

We ask that you bring an ID card or passport as well as an ID-type photo for your student card. You will also need a notebook, a pen and a dictionary.

Is the teaching material included in the price of the course?

Yes. Our teachers will provide you with the material in class.

For certain programmes we ask that you purchase a French manual.

Will I receive anything at the end of my course?

At the end of your course you can get a French language certificate that shows your level and the number of course hours you have done. You may receive a final report if you request one a week before you leave.

What happens if I miss a class?

If you miss a class, it will not be replaced, nor will you be reimbursed. If you are seriously ill, you may be eligible for reimbursement upon presentation of a note from your doctor. 

If you are repeatedly absent, your place on the course is not guaranteed. You will not receive a proof of attendance certificate. However, you may be able to join another class depending on your level.


How can I register?

Register by completing the registration form on our website or in person, Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 5:30pm, no appointment necessary.

Registration form

Do I need a visa to come to France?

You can find out the information you need regarding visas from the French consulate in your country, or from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. 

You’ll find more information in the Important Documents section.

How can I get a registration certificate?

Students whose home countries are not part of the European Union, and who are planning to stay 3 months or more in France, must register for a General French course (20, 26 or 30 classes / week).

Once we have received 100% of your tuition fees, we will send you a pre-enrolment certificate for you to present to the French consulate.

Once you have arrived in France, and when the balance of payment has been received, we will issue a second certificate that you will give to the police headquarters (préfecture de police).

How can I obtain a registration certificate for an Au pair programme?

Registration for our Au Pair Programme will enable you to receive a pre-registration certificate of 10 hours/week (you must be an au pair to take this course).

Once we have received your deposit (50% of the first term + registration fee), we will issue a pre-registration certificate to help you with your paperwork at the French consulate in your country. This certificate will also be needed for paperwork at the DDTE (Department of Work and Employment) and at the your au pair placement agency.

Once you have arrived in France and we have received the balance of payment, we will issue a registration certificate for the paperwork you’ll have to do at the police headquarters.

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept payment by the following methods: credit card (Visa, Master Card), cheque in Euros, cash or travellers cheques.

A bank transfer is also acceptable, although any fees are your responsibility.

Address: BNP PARIBAS IDF OUEST (02552)
Bank No: 30004
Sort code: 02552
Account No: 00011175559
Key: 07
IBAN: FR76 3000 4025 5200 0111 7555 907


How old do I have to be to stay with a host family ?

You must be at least age 18 to request housing.

Students who are minors (at least 17 years old), must stay with a host family, on full or half board.

What is the latest I can put in a request ?

We ask that you make a reservation at least 3 weeks before the beginning of classes (4 weeks during the summer).

When are arrivals and departures for accommodations ?

If you are staying with a host family, arrivals are on Sunday and departures are on Saturday.

For accommodations in an apartment, hotel or residence hall, arrivals and departures generally happen on the weekend.

More info about accommodation.

Will anyone pick me up from the airport or train station?

For study abroad packages at France Langue Bordeaux or Biarritz, the host families handle airport transfers. If you aren’t staying with a host family, but in another type of accommodation, you will not be picked up at the airport. This means you will have to arrange your own transfers by bus, taxi or tram from the airport or station.

If you are taking a course with France Langue in Paris (Opera or Victor Hugo),  in Nice or in Martinique, airport/station transfers are available. They can be arranged for an additional charge through France Langue.

More information on airport/station transfers.


Is France Langue a recognised exam centre ?

France Langue Paris Opera is an exam centre for the TCF and the TEF (open to all, mandatory exams).

France Langue Nice is a recognised exam centre for the TCF (open to all, mandatory exams) and the TCF for applications for French nationality.

France Langue Bordeaux is a recognised exam centre for the TCF (open to all, mandatory exams).

More info on exam registration and dates in France Langue.

What exams can I prepare for at France Langue ?

France Langue schools offer exam preparation courses year round. Prepare for official or general French exams like the DELF, the DALF, the TCF and the TEF. All of our programmes are designed within the context of the European Commission’s Common European Framework of Reference (CECR) for language learning. Our exam preparation courses prepare you for French as foreign language exams.

The France Langue Paris Victor Hugo School also holds preparation classes for French Professional Diplomas (Business French, Tourism and Hospitality French, Legal French and more).

General information

When is the school open ?

France Langue schools are open all year

Are there classes on public holidays ?

No classes are held on French public holidays, nor will they be rescheduled.

Are there classes during the Christmas holidays ?

Only the France Langue Notre-Dame School holds classes during the Christmas holidays.

Schools at Paris Opera, Nice, Bordeaux, Biarritz and Martinique do not hold classes during Christmas break.

Please check according to your courses, the schools open during the Christmas holidays

Are the activities free ?

At France Langue, we have a special team that organises cultural and sports activities year round. There are both free activities and activities that require a fee, but you will always have something to do during your study abroad trip with France Langue !

See the activities on offer

Sports activities at France Langue Biarritz

How do the surfing classes work ?

Surfing courses are handled by the surfing school Hastea. Surfing classes are held Monday to Friday, either afternoon or evening (depending on the weather / tides). The meeting point is on the Côte de Basques beach at Biarritz, or on the Corsaires beach at Anglet. A shuttle bus is organised by the school for the classes at Anglet.

What happens if the weather is bad ?

In the case of bad weather, surfing classes are cancelled and rescheduled for later in the week or on the weekend. This is to ensure student safety.

What equipment do I need for surfing classes ?

The Hastea surfing school provides your surfing equipment (wetsuit, surfboard). You’ll need to bring your own beachwear (swimsuit, sun block, towel).
NB: You should bring your beachwear on the Monday, the first day of classes.

How do the golf classes work ?

Golf courses are handled by the golf pros at European Golf. Golf classes are held Monday to Friday, from 2pm to 4pm. The meeting point is at the school ; a driver will pick you up around 1:45pm.

What equipment do I need for golf classes ?

European Golf will lend you all the golf equipment. You should bring a hat and sun block to protect yourself from the sun, and a bottle of water.