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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
- Intensive (20)
- Intensive + Golf (25)
- Intensive + Private Lessons (26)
- Intensive + Surfing (25)
- Super Intensive (26)
- Super Intensive (30)
- Private Lessons (15)
- Private Lessons (20)
- DELF Exam Prep (30)
- Family Course (14-17 yrs) (20)
- Family Course (14-17 yrs) (24)
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 your starting level. Classes take place either in the morning or the afternoon; your timetable is dependent on your starting French ability and the number of other students of each level. Your schedule can therefore only be confirmed on your first day once all students have arrived. Morning classes take place 10:30 - 12:30 on Mondays and 09:00 - 12:30 Tuesday to Friday, while afternoon classes take place between 14:00 and 17:30 each weekday.
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, and writing. Advanced students can also cover cultural and historical topics in their extra sessions. The Super-intensive 26 course is available for academic year programmes.
If you have no previous experience of French, you must start your course on a set date - please contact us for available start dates for beginners.
To maximise your opportunities for language practice, select private tuition. Offering maximum interaction with the teacher and the chance to tailor the content of your lessons to your exact needs, you’ll find that you make unparalleled improvement 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 15 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 available on 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 extra language practice and teacher interaction afforded by private lessons whilst still allowing you to experience the social side of group tuition. 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.
If you’re an active person, you can add 5 weekly sports sessions to your French tuition on our school’s French & Golf and French & Surfing programmes. These exciting courses are available between March and November 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, so they give 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.
Are you looking for an exciting and rewarding family holiday? If so, then our school’s family course will be ideal for you. Children aged 14 to 17 attend specialised junior lessons in the morning; parents can either enjoy some free time or attend a standard Intensive 20 course in the morning, too. In the afternoon, you’ll be free to explore Biarritz together as a family. What better way to make the most out of your summer?!
Our teachers’ course is the perfect refresher for French tutors. The programme takes place over two weeks in summer and consists of 26 weekly French lessons. The classes will improve both your language skills and your teaching techniques in time for the new school year to begin in September. You’ll need to have at least B2 starting ability in order to be eligible for this course.
On the first day of class, you should arrive at the school at 08:30. You’ll have already taken a level test prior to arrival, which is used to assess your starting ability and place you in a group that’s most suitable for that level. You will have a short oral assessment on arrival to verify the results of this test before having your class placement and lesson schedule confirmed. This methodology provides students with the best possible opportunity to improve their language skills, regardless of their starting French level.
After your lessons, 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 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 either 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. Please note that a supplement is applied if a special diet is required (i.e. vegan, dairy-free, halal, etc; does not include vegetarian diets). 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, but 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 right next door to the school. 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. Since you’ll be stayng on the school complex, you’ll be centrally located and just 10 minutes’ walk from the beach. Studios are offered on a self-catering basis, allowing you to cook for yourself or sample local restaurants as you prefer. Bed linens and towels are included and changed regularly; laundry is available on-site for an additional fee. Studios have Wi-Fi access, and you’ll be able to use the school swimming pool and gardens during your stay.
*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.
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