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Learn French in Aix en Provence
Picturesque Aix-en-Provence is the cultural capital of France’s southern Provence region. Surrounded by stunning mountains and rolling green hills hiding quaint villages, the city’s breath-taking beauty attracts both French and international tourists, making it an ideal location for an immersive language course. Dubbed ‘The City of a Thousand Fountains’, Aix is classically Provençal: interesting and historic architecture, narrow meandering streets lined with lush gardens, and bustling street markets under bright blue Mediterranean skies. This former Roman spa town is now a vibrant university city with attractions for visitors of all ages and interests to enjoy. When you learn French in Aix-en-Provence, you’ll discover why so many artists and influential people have been drawn here over the centuries; you can also sample delicious local delicacies in its atmospheric eateries and learn more about the unique cultural identity of the region, which blends traditional French and rural Occitan influences. There’s no better way to study a language than to live it, so what are you waiting for?!
The roots of Aix go back to the 2ndcentury BC, when Roman consul Sextius Calvinus established a military settlement in the area. The location was chosen for its wealth of hot springs, giving rise to the name Aquae Sextiae - ‘Sextius’ Waters’ - from which ‘Aix’ is derived. As the Roman Empire stretched over France, the settlement developed first into a bustling town and then into a key metropolis. Aix and the surrounding areas were particularly noted for their wine production, a legacy which is still seen today in the hundreds of vineyards adorning the countryside. After the Romans left France, Aix remained an important city, and by the 12th century it was the capital of Provence.
During the Middle Ages, Aix was an educational and creative hub. Its university has produced, over the centuries, Nobel Laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners, heads of state and government officials, as well as noted scientists, artists, and lawyers. Today, Aix-Marseilles and its sister establishments Sciences Po Aix and the University of the Mediterranean welcome thousands of students each year; this youthful population has contributed to the city’s dynamic atmosphere. From lively bars and music venues to international restaurants to funky independent boutiques and a wide range of well-known brands, there’s plenty to enjoy in this city. What’s more, with a compact and pedestrianised centre, it’s not hard to experience all that Aix has to offer.
As well as the attractions in the city itself, many come to Aix because it’s the perfect base for exploring the sublime Provençal countryside. A famous landmark close to the city is Montagne Sainte-Victoire, an impressive rock ridge which juts up over 1,000 metres from the earth and which offers incredible views for those brave enough to climb it. The mountain has been immortalised by artists including Cézanne - perhaps Aix’s most famous son - and Picasso, and it’s not hard to see why. As the sun sets and casts a golden glow over the limestone, the majesty of nature unfolds before you. You can easily get to the rock from the city; taxis regularly make the 30-minute journey, while the surrounding villages - arguably some of the most attractive in the region - are accessible via Aix’s efficient bus system. If you prefer to explore more locally, bicycles are available to rent and offer a cheap and easy way of getting around, whether you stay in the centre or venture into the outer areas. However you spend your time in Aix-en-Provence, you’re guaranteed to have an authentic and immersive French experience in this beautiful city.
Our school in Aix en Provence
Our French language school in Aix-en-Provence is located to the east of the city centre, close to two beautiful public parks. Popular sites including the Granet Museum with its extensive art and sculpture collection, and the Théâtre du Jeu de Paume - one of the locations used for the annual Festival International d’Art Lyrique - are just 10 minutes’ walk away. The Centre Ville, or historic centre, is a further 5 minutes away. Here you can stroll through narrow, meandering streets discovering hidden courtyards, ornate fountains, and the interesting boutiques and eateries which pepper the area. A little further out but definitely worth a visit is the former studio of renowned artist Cézanne, which is around 10 minutes out of the city by bus.
When you learn French in Aix-en-Provence with us, you’ll have your language lessons in a lovely town house with 14 air-conditioned classrooms and its own lovely private gardens. The facility is wheelchair-accessible and has a library with multi-media resources and a self-study centre, both of which will help you make the most of your language course. Computers are available for completing homework, surfing the web, or getting in touch with friends and family back home. The building also has vending machines serving snacks and hot drinks to keep you refreshed during your lessons. Since it’s so close to the city centre, you’ll be ideally placed to enjoy your time in Aix when you study here.
This school has Qualité FLE accreditation from the French Ministry of Education and is a member of global quality-control organisations including Eaquals and the International Association of Language Centres (IALC). We can therefore guarantee that the tuition offered here is of a very high standard. Its courses are also recognised by the governments of Germany and Sweden and are thus eligible for Bildungsurlaub and CSN funding. Being so close to such an interesting and beautiful city centre, the school is a popular choice for many of our students.
Courses in Aix en Provence
The core programme offered at our school in Aix-en-Provence is the Intensive course, which consists of 20 group lessons per week. Classes take place between 09:00 and 12:30 each weekday in groups of up to 10 students. This small class size means you’ll benefit from lots of language practice and highly personalised attention from the teacher, giving you optimum conditions to improve your French ability. Trimester packages of 8, 16, and 24 weeks are available for students with A2 - B1 starting ability level.
If you have no previous experience of French, you must start your course on a set start date - please contact us for available start dates for beginners.
If you want a more rigorous study experience, you can attend the school’s Super-intensive course, which adds 10 weekly mini-group workshops to the core Intensive programme. Your extra lessons are held twice a week between 14:00 and 16:45 in groups of no more than 6. In these workshops, you’ll strengthen your language skills through additional practice and learn more about French civilisation and culture which will, in turn, aid your language studies. Please note that this programme is not available to complete beginners.
The best way to maximise your opportunities for development is to book private tuition. As standard, you’ll have 20 one-to-one classes per week, though bespoke packages are available on request. In these sessions you’ll have unlimited interaction with the teacher and the chance to tailor the content of your lessons to your own needs. This means that private tuition is great for those who feel they need extra support with their studies or who want to cover specific topics during their time in Aix. However you use these lessons, you’ll find that you make unparalleled improvement on a private course!
Though one-to-one lessons are extremely beneficial in terms of language development, they don’t offer the social experience provided by group classes. Fortunately, you can combine the best of both courses with an Intensive + Private programme! By adding 4, 6, or 8 one-to-one classes per week to your core group course, you’ll receive the extra practice afforded by private lessons whilst still experiencing the social side of group tuition. Students who want to sit a DELF/DALF exam to formally demonstrate their language ability can book a Combined 26 course and use their private lessons to prepare for their test.
If you’re learning French because of an interest in the French way of life, our school offers a selection of excellent Language & Activity programmes for you to choose from. French & Cookery combines the core Intensive course with at least 5 gastronomy-related activities per week. These include tasting local foods and wines, lessons on the history of Provençal cuisine, trips to local food markets, and practical cookery workshops. On this course, you’ll learn food-related vocabulary, the importance of cooking to French culture, and recipes for classic French dishes. French & Excursions, meanwhile, adds at least 5 weekly excursions within Aix and around the wider Provence area. This course will teach you about the cultural heritage of both the city and the region via product-tasting workshops, tours of various areas, cultural lectures, and visits to sites including Cézanne’s studio and towns along the Mediterranean coast.
The above 2-week courses are available for students with at least basic French ability level (A1) and have set start dates throughout the year. Other available Language & Activity courses include French & Art, French & Walking, French & Photography, French & Painting, French & Horse-riding, French & Yoga, and French & Golf. The activity sessions are provided by local partners in the city; please contact us for further details.
If you’re learning French for your job or you plan to work with a French company, our Business French course is the ideal way to prepare. Through 30 weekly mini-group lessons in classes of no more than 4, you’ll learn business-related terminology, formal written French, and more about the culture of French-speaking companies. Since your lessons are given in such small groups, you’ll receive lots of attention from the teacher and will find that you make rapid improvements. This course is suitable for students with B1 or higher French ability level, so is not available for beginners.
If you’re a French tutor looking for a refresher course, you can select this school’s teachers’ programme. Combining 10 weekly pedagogy-focused workshops with the core Intensive course, you’ll strengthen your language skills and improve your French teaching practices through focused tasks and group activities. This programme will put you in an excellent position to begin the new school year with improved skills and techniques. You’ll need to have at least B2 French level in order to follow this course.
On the first day of your course, you should arrive at the school at 08:30. After registering, you will sit oral and written French tests; there are used to assess your starting language ability and place you in a group that’s most suitable for that level. This methodology provides you with the best possible opportunity to improve your language skills, regardless of your starting level. After class, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in the school’s activity programme. At the end of your course, you’ll receive a certificate of achievement which can be used to demonstrate the French ability level you have reached during your time at the school.
Don’t see what you’re looking for? Contact us today to see if we can arrange a bespoke package for you!
Special courses in Aix en Provence
The best way to maximise the benefits of your immersive language experience is to stay with a local homestay host. All hosts are native French speakers who offer the opportunity to practice your French skills outside the classroom. Hosts live up to 20 minutes from the school by public transport; they offer private single or twin* bedrooms and access to the home’s communal spaces including the lounge and bathroom(s). Rooms are offered on the following meal packages: self-catering, with kitchen access for cooking your daily meals; breakfast-included, with no kitchen access (available for 1 - 3 weeks); or half-board, which includes breakfast and dinner each day and no kitchen access. We highly recommend the half-board option, as it is not only cost-effective but also gives you guaranteed social time with your host(s) in the evening, thus maximum language practice. Whichever option you select, bed linens and towels will be provided by your host(s) and changed regularly; your host(s) will either do your laundry for you or let you use the home’s facilities once a week. Most hosts offer Wi-Fi access, but you should advise us at the time of booking if this a requirement for you. You will have your own key to come and go as you please, but you must respect house rules and schedules.
*Twin rooms are only available to students travelling together. If you select a shared room but are travelling alone, you will be swapped to a single room.
As well as high-quality immersive language lessons, our school offers a wide range of social and cultural activities in the afternoons, evenings, and at weekends. These activities are held in French, so they will complement your tuition by maintaining your immersion and allowing you to put your newly developed language skills into practice in real-life scenarios. They will also teach you about French history and culture, give you hands-on experience of life in Aix, and help you to get to know your classmates.
Many activities are available free of charge, though some may incur an additional fee to cover entrance and/or transportation costs. The exact schedule changes throughout the year but may include:
- Guided walking tours of the city
- Visits to local attractions like Aix Cathedral, Place l’Hôtel de Ville, and the Granet Museum
- Aperitifs with your class
- Petanque competitions
- Extra language workshops
- Hiking in the countryside
- Food- and wine-tasting sessions
- Cookery classes
- Half- and full-day excursions to local points of interest like Marseilles, Cassis and the calanques, Avignon, and les Baux
- Plus seasonal activities available in the city
How to get there
The closest airport to Aix-en-Provence is Marseilles Provence Airport, which is around 30 minutes from the city by car. The next-closest international airport is Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, which is approximately 2-hours’ drive away. Both airports are accessible from many worldwide locations.
Regular shuttle buses into Aix are available at both airports. Alternatively, we can arrange a private transfer service on arrival and/or departure on request from various locations.
You should arrange to arrive in Aix-en-Provence on the Sunday before your course starts and to depart on the Saturday after it finishes. We may be able to arrange extra nights on arrival and/or departure for you if needed.
Location of our school in Aix en Provence
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Student reviews & feedback
Student stories on our blog
My week in Aix…As far as the course is concerned, the lecturers in Aix were very, very good and also very, very helpful. The lessons were of a very high standard and also very enjoyable! The school itself is very pleasant, not too big, in a good area and it’s easy to get to and from everywhere. My classmates were really great and I already miss them... I want to thank the school for a wonderful week! As regards my host family, all I can say is…what a lovely experience! I couldn't have hoped for better! The lady took me to the centre of town to help me book tickets for the rest of the trip, showed me everything, shops, places of interest and spent an afternoon with me in town! Read more...
Prices for Aix en Provence
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