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Learn French in Biarritz
Biarritz is a lovely spa resort on the south-western French coast with a reputation for opulence. During the 19th century it was the favourite destination of some of Europe’s most influential people, from royalty and the aristocracy to cinema stars and artists. Today, Biarritz is Europe’s surfing capital; visitors come from around the world to enjoy its excellent beaches and lively waves. This longstanding popularity and legacy of luxury has shaped the city into an exciting and cosmopolitan place noted for its myriad shops and boutiques, its superb eateries, and its vibrant nightlife. Close to the Pyrenees and the quaint border towns and villages in the area, it’s also a great base for nature lovers who want to get out into the countryside during their stay. Whether you come for the sea, the sun, the shops, or the scenery, one thing’s for sure: you’re guaranteed to have an incredible experience when you learn French in Biarritz with us.
Once a small fishing village, Biarritz was ‘put on the map’ during the spa-town boom of the late 18th century. Doctors across Europe recommended visiting the area for its revitalising sea air, its clement weather, and its gorgeous natural surroundings. Over the next century, Biarritz became the hub of high-status people including Napoleon III and his wife Empress Eugenie, Queen Victoria, Tsar Nicholas II, and King Alfonso XIII of Spain, to name but a few. It wasn’t just royalty who fell in love with it; noted author Victor Hugo said of the town: I have not met in the world any place more pleasant and perfect than Biarritz. I have never seen the old Neptune throwing joy and glory with such a force in the old Cybele. All this coast is full of humming. Gascony’s sea grinds, scratches, and stretches on the reefs its never-ending whisper. Friendly population and white cheerful houses, large dunes, fine sand, great caves, and proud sea - Biarritz is amazing.
Hotels and casinos were built on the seafront, gardens were planted, and roads and railings placed to give the town some structure, and Biarritz soon developed into a bustling coastal city. During the 1950s, the sea brought a new set of visitors. Surfing scenes for the hit film The Sun Also Rises were filmed in Biarritz’s waters, giving rise to a stream of Californian tourists desperate to test out the waves. It didn’t take long for word of the excellent surfing conditions here to spread, and the city soon became the undisputed surfing hotspot of Europe - a title it holds to this day. With regular water sports events and competitions to watch or take part in, Biarritz is the go-to destination for sports fans.
This is not just a place for surfers, however. Offering lush green countryside and beautiful views for miles, Biarritz is a lovely spot for a walking holiday. Mostly pedestrianised, the city centre is compact and easy to explore on foot, while its cheap and efficient public transport system allows you to travel further afield and put your language skills into practice with the locals. Meanwhile, the mix of French and Basque influences in this region creates an interesting and diverse atmosphere and gives Biarritz its own unique flair. However you choose to spend your time here, an immersive experience here will give you a deeper insight into the culture and history of France and help you to significantly develop your French ability. After all, there is no better way to learn a language than by living it!
Our school in Biarritz
Our French language school in Biarritz is located on the edge of the city centre, just 5 minutes’ walk from the seafront. The immediate area is packed with shops, boutiques, and eateries which you can explore after your lessons. Popular sites within walking distance of the language centre include the Asiatica Museum, with its interesting collection of Asian art, the impressive 12th-century Eglise Saint-Martin, the Gare du Midi theatre, and the Pierre Forsans public park. Surfers will find the best spots at the Côte des Basques and Grand beaches, which are both just 10 - 20 minutes away from the school.
When you learn French with us, you’ll have lessons in bright, modern business space just off the seafront. The facility is newly renovated and exceptionally well-decorated; it is shared by several local businesses, meaning you’ll be able to interact with native French speakers while at the school. There are 2 classrooms for language students, meaning you’ll be able to get to know your fellow students quickly and benefit from the friendly, personal attention of the teachers. The building also has a communal kitchen where you can prepare drinks and snacks between meals. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the facility, and there is a shower you have access to if you wish to go surfing. There is a bus stop at the end of the street, so you can easily explore the city and the surrounding areas after class.
This language centre is part of a group of schools established over 40 years ago, so it benefits from a wealth of shared experience in teaching international students French. It is a highly certified facility, with Label Qualité FLE accreditation from the French Ministries of Education and Culture. As a member of global quality-control organisations including Campus France and the International Association of Language Centres (IALC), this school offers a high standard of tuition that can be catered to students of all ability levels. As well as these credentials, the facility’s location in a gorgeous seaside resort full of amenities makes it an excellent place for an immersive French experience.
Courses in Biarritz
The core Intensive course at our French school in Biarritz is composed of 20 lessons per week in groups of no more than 12. This small class size allows you to get lots of language practice and receive personalised attention from the teacher, helping you to improve regardless of where you start from. Classes take place between 09:00 and 12:15 Monday to Friday. Before you travel you will submit a written level test which is used to place you in a group with other students of the same starting ability level. This methodology allows all students to progress quickly and naturally.
For a more rigorous language experience, you can select one of the school’s Super-intensive courses. Consisting of 26 or 30 weekly group lessons, these packages give you extra language practice and thus even more opportunity to develop your French skills. Your additional lessons are scheduled around your core timetable and focus on each of the key areas of language learning: speaking, listening, reading, writing, and grammar. Advanced students can also cover cultural and historical topics in their extra sessions. The Super-intensive 26 course is available for academic year programmes.
All group courses also include 2 extra optional workshops per week; these are provided online and cover additional thematic materials or offer opportunities for 1:1 contact with your teacher. You will have access to the online platform for up to 12 weeks after your programme has finished.
If you have no previous experience learning French, you must start your course on a suitable date - please contact us for available start dates for beginners.
If you’re an active person, you can combine your French lessons with Golf or Surfing. The programmes add 5 weekly sessions of your chosen sport to a package of 16 weekly group language classes. These exciting courses are available throughout the year and are open to all students, so even if you have no experience in your chosen sport you can still take part! Sports lessons are given in French by qualified local providers, giving you extra language practice and exposure. Beginners should take care to begin their French lessons on an appropriate date. Equipment is included in the cost of the programme. Rugby, yoga, and pelota are also available to combine with your language classes; please get in touch for further details about these sessions.
If your focus for your immersive course is maximising your development, you should select private tuition. Offering uninterrupted interaction with the teacher and the ability to tailor your lesson content to your exact needs, you’ll find that you make unparalleled improvements with this type of course. It’s especially ideal for those who have a limited time to study, those who feel they need extra support, or those who want to cover specialist topics. As standard, you can book 16 or 20 one-to-one lessons per week, though bespoke packages are available on request. Semi-private tuition is available for two students with the same starting ability travelling together.
Though private classes are extremely beneficial when it comes to language development, they don’t offer the social experience of a group course. Luckily, we have a solution: combine the best parts of both programmes with an Intensive + Private package! You can add 6 or 10 one-to-one classes per week to your core course, giving you the educational benefits of private lessons whilst still allowing you to experience the social nature of group classes. Those selecting the Combined 30 package can use their private lessons to cover Business French or to prepare for a DELF/DALF exam if they prefer.
NOTE: This school uses the Microsoft Teams platform to supplement classroom tuition; you should bring a laptop/tablet with you to access the lesson materials
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Special courses in Biarritz
- Host Family
- Studio Apartment
For a fully immersive language experience, we recommend staying with a local homestay host. All hosts are native French speakers, so you’ll have the chance to practice your French skills throughout your stay, not just in class. When you select this option, you’ll have a private single or twin* bedroom and access to the home’s communal spaces. As standard you’ll share the bathroom with your host(s) and any other students in the home, though some hosts can offer private bathroom access for an additional fee.
Rooms are offered on a breakfast-included or half-board basis (breakfast and dinner); we highly recommend the half-board package as it is not only cost-effective but also gives you guaranteed social time with your host(s) in the evening. A supplement is applied if a special diet is required (i.e. vegan, dairy-free, halal, etc.). Hosts live up to 35 minutes from the school by public transport; if you prefer to be closer, you can reserve lodging within 20 minutes of the school for an added fee. All hosts provide bed linens and towels, which are 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, though you must respect house rules and schedules.
Please note that under-18s must book homestay lodging.
For more independence, you can select a studio apartment. These apartments are suitable for 1 or 2 people* and include a private bathroom, a fully equipped kitchenette (fridge, microwave, and hob), and a living area. The apartments are located around the central area of Biarritz and are generally within walking distance of the school. Studios are offered on a self-catering basis, allowing you to cook for yourself or sample local restaurants as you prefer. Bed linens are included and changed regularly; you should bring your own towels. All studios have Wi-Fi access.
*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.
To complement your language tuition, our school offers a wide range of social and cultural activities in the afternoons, evenings, or at weekends. These activities are designed to give you an insight into life in Biarritz and to help you get to know your classmates. All activities are all held in French, so you’ll be able to maintain your immersion and put your new language skills into practice in real-life scenarios.
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:
- Walking tours around Biarritz
- Trips to the beach
- Yoga classes
- Group games and/or parties#
- Food- and wine-tasting workshops
- Sports like rafting or petanque
- Thalassotherapy sessions
- Trips to the theatre or the cinema
- Half- and full-day excursions to local points of interest including Saint-Jean de Luz, Bayonne, and Espelette
- Plus seasonal activities available in the city
How to get there
Biarritz is served by Biarritz Pays Basque Airport. This international airport is located just 10 minutes from the city by car and is accessible from many worldwide locations.
From here, you can either make your own way to your lodging or we can arrange an airport transfer service for you. If you select this service, a driver will be waiting for you when you land and will take you directly to your accommodation. If you select this service on departure as well, you will be taken back to the airport in time for your departing flight. A transfer service is also available at Biarritz train station.
If you are struggling to find a flight directly into Biarritz, we can arrange transfer services to and from the airports or train stations in San Sebastian, Bilbao, and Bordeaux.
You should arrange to arrive in Biarritz 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 Biarritz
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Student stories on our blog
Biarritz: why you should learn French by the sea!Are you considering learning French in a seaside location? Then look no further than Biarritz! The sea is a gorgeous aquamarine colour, and it's also one of Europe's most popular surf spots. Indeed, if you're a surfer or you're interested in learning how to surf, you can do so at the French school in Biarritz. Did you know Biarritz was where surfing as we know it all started, in 1856? It's an ideal location for surfers throughout the year, including beginners, and this is not surprising when you see how big the waves are. They are definitely the biggest I have ever seen in the south of France. I absolutely adore Biarritz, and have been going back there every year since childhood as I'm lucky enough to have family there! Read more...
Prices for Biarritz
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NOTE: If you are a complete beginner, please choose a suitable start date marked (b)