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Rating  4.2/5

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

2 classrooms
Student lounge
Communal kitchen for preparing drinks and snacks
Course materials included
Certified Label Qualité FLE centre
Member of IALC and Campus France
Wi-Fi throughout the building
Approved for CSN and Bildungsurlaub programmes (various states)

Photos

The school
Learning French
Learning on the terrace
Onsite swimming pool

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.

Location: Centre Ville, Biarritz
Nearest convenience store: 400 m
Nearest café: 300 m
Nearest metro stop: N/A
Distance from train station: 2.9 km
Nearest bus stop: 53 m (Lichtenberger)
Distance from airport: 3.5 km (Biarritz Pays Basque Airport)

Courses in Biarritz

Available courses

  • 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

Accommodation

Available accommodation

  • 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.

Activities

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

    Sample activity programme

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

Course

4.2 / 5
Accommodation

4.1 / 5
School Staff

4.4 / 5
Average score for our school in Biarritz based on 81 previous client reviews.

Student reviews & feedback

Excellent staff, made you feel welcome and helped with increasing your confidence in conversation without feeling embarrassed.

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Learned more in one week Biarritz than a year at school in NL.

Very friendly and welcoming accommodation, great food and relaxed atmosphere.

Will return next summer

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Course was very good, my teacher Ingrid was fantastic. Accomodation was ok

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Very nice and friendly teacher, good number of people in class, funny games and useful exercises

I stayed with a very friendly woman, nice room, maybe a bit too far from the city center

I really enjoyed my stay!

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Extremely useful and interesting course, balanced between grammar and conversation. Extremely nice host family, reallly good house, excellent atmosphere and nice food.

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A very professional, warm teacher with a great sense of humour who got the group interacting very well. Also a very helpful, friendly staff. An open, welcoming host lady with the most obedient dog I have ever met...not a single bark!! Thanks very much Apple Languages and hope to use your services again.

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I did the A level revision course which I found very comprehensive, thought the afternoon classes were very good but found with them the day was too long and very tiring. I was very happy with my host family. They were extremely welcoming and Sandrine was an excellent cook. She catered for all our preferences and had a very laid back manner which I liked.

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I was very pleased with the French course. Excellent teachers, well run, good structure and commendable ethos.

I was very happy with the accommodation in a lovely Basque style house with my own bedroom and bathroom. The food was good, the owners were helpful and likeable and spoke to me in French which helped to reinforce what I was learning. It was a good half hour's walk to the college and town centre but I was lent a bicycle/given lifts and I enjoyed the walk too.

Although I was assessed before and on arrival, my first day was too advanced for me. The college was quick to respond and my correct level was established promptly and effectively.

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I thought that the course I participated in was very successful. I feel that my French has improved and I liked the way that the classes were streamed into individual abilites.

I stayed with Madame Schweitzer who was a lovely lady and made us feel extremely welcome.

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There was a really nice atmosphere in the school which made me feel really welcome. The surfing course was realy fun and learning in french made in even better. Even though I was only there for two weeks I feel I learned alot.

The accommodation was really nice. The family were so nice to me and made me feel really welcome to the country and were there to help with aything I needed.

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A very effective and interesting way to learn french. Host family, food and accomodation in general couldn't have been better, they were some of the nicest people ive ever met. Its a great laugh to meet all the people from all over the world.

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The course was well organised, i was unhappy at first with the level of French i was learning but this was soon rectified as i was mooved to a higher level. The family couldnt have been nicer, the house was lovely.

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Excellent teaching, very organised and relevent. Always interesting. Good mix of oral, aural and written. Victoria Surf was excellent. Basic accomodation but clean, great location, great security. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole course, French classes in the morning were great and the surfing in the afternoon was equally enjoyable.

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The course was at exactly the right level - not too easy, but not so difficult that I felt frustrated. Tutors were willing to answer questions at any level, and would often chat over coffee at break times etc. My host family were very helpful and very patient with my mistakes.

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The whole course was really great and i learnt a lot during my six weeks stay. Everything was very well organised and all the staff were always obliging, kind and friendly. I couldn't have asked for a better host family! Violette did so much for us during the six weeks. She was so kind and was also a really good chef!

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Very good course. Accommodation was very good, they were friendly and the house was near the school.

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Excellent teachers, good book, overall a great experience.

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From my point of view the attended courses were great. Friendly and helpfully teachers were able to teach me/us a lot of things.The room our courses took place was satisfactory. The lessons weren`t boring at all.

Biarritz is a wonderful town were you can improve your surf and swim skills. It is a very touristic city, but all in all it is very pretty!

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I had learnt French sometime back but decided to refresh it. The course has allowed my to start speaking and understanding what others say. The host family was excellent, made you feel at home. Madame Anne is a superb personality and very easy to communicate with. I really appreciate her efforts to make you feel comfortable. Million of thanks!

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Great school in a convenient location, friendly atmosphere. Great host really friendly and helpful.

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My teacher was excellent, her lessons were very interesting. The host family was very kind and very welcoming. I had a really good time and a nice room.

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I thought that the content of the course was brilliant. My tutor varied the work everyday but there was always an emphasis put on grammar which was exactly what I needed. I was a bit lost at the start but I could really see a massive improvement in myself by the end. It was great that there were so many different nationalities in my small class as it gave me no chance to slack off and speak English very often. Everyone in the house made an effort to help me progress my French and had an honest interest in my life back home. I really enjoyed my time with my host.

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As a student very bad at french the course really helped me on the basics. My host family were very nice and helpful, the food was always fresh and amazing.

I enjoyed the course and felt I learned a lot.

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H. Wilson

The teacher was really nice and I met so many lovely students from all over the world and many have become good friends now. My host mother was lovely and really helpful. She gave us really yummy food. Her house was very comfortable.

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J. O' Driscoll

Enjoyable classes, good numbers and interesting. The golf lessons were teriffic. My host family was very nice.

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E. Bracey

The course was very helpful and I learnt a lot. The teachers were really nice and enthusiastic, which made the lessons interesting. The accommodation was the best part for me. My host family were the loveliest couple I have ever met and I felt so welcome in their home. I am still in contact with them and I really hope to visit them again.

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E. Campbell

Wonderful teachers and a great atmosphere. Thoroughly enjoyable. My room was clean and the appartment was very close to the school. I have just had the best time in Biarritz. I met so many great people teachers and students alike. The surf school had a great vibe to it and the waves were sweet everyday. I cannot wait until next year... and I'll stay for a month next time...maybe two!

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The school has very friendly and good teachers, there's a good atmosphere in the classes and a good mix of grammar and dialogues.

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Great teaching delivered by motivated staff and a superb range of activities organised. The family was very welcoming and the meals provided were top class.

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The course was very enjoyable. There was a good balance of work and play/surfing.

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J. Helm

The lessons were very good. The school offered extra activities at reduced rates, and it was a very interesting and varied programme. The levelling of students and classes was excellent and movement between groups was possible. Lesson contents and activities in my classes were excellent, varied and suited to my level. I thouroughly enjoyed going to school there for 3 weeks and I learned a lot! My host was very maternal and looked after me very well. She cooked for me, did my washing and was always more than willing to help. She is well educated and genuinely interested in people, so that we never ran out of conversation. She speaks no foreign languages, so i had to speak french to her, which was very good practice. Going to school in Biarritz and practising my french with the host family is the ultimate way to improve one's language skills. It's better than a year's worth of evening classes at home and the progress and results are fantastic! I'd recommend this to anyone, old and young, if you're serious about learning, it's excellent value for money!

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I have gained a lot from the course. My host family were very nice and pleasant people to stay with.

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I found the school had a good standard of teaching and the lessons were useful. My host had a very nice house and she helped me with my french and encouraged me to talk. The food was very nice aswell. The food was very nice aswell.

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I think the course was great. The accomadation was lovely, open and very friendly. It was also close to the beach where I surfed which was great, and within walking distance from shops and the major 'hangout' venues. I felt very relaxed, and only wish i had been more fluent at french so that i could have shown my appreciation better.

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E. Cronin

It was overall very enjoyable.

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My teachers were fantastic! My host family were great, so accommodating and friendly.

K. Levett

It was really helpful. The teacher was excellent, and not speaking any English was really good as it meant general understanding and vocabulary was broadened. My host was very nice. Also, the fact that she didn't speak English was helpful as we had to communicate in French.

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The teachers and staff were helpful and friendly, and my French improved substantially during my two week stay. The surfing course was well organized, the instructors were excellent, and I can't wait to go back! My host family was very nice and the accommodation was great.

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The course was good. I stayed with a lovely family, lovely appartment, lovely food, couldn't have been better.

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H. King

It was really useful as it covered grammar but more usefully, everyday, conversational and colloquial French. My teacher was young so she was like one of us and the fact we could relate to her made us want to pay attention. The host family were lovely and the daughter showed me everywhere on the first night, and they were very understanding and patient. They also helped lots with my french by teaching me things and correcting me. They were just really nice people. It was so much better than I expected. I didn't want to come home - and I mean that. You meet people from all over the world and you become so close. I was so comfortable there I could have stayed forever.

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The course was very good. There were many different levels and the teachers were very good. Nice accomodation in a host family. The combination of learning a language and learning to surf is a very interesting and good formula!

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The course was amazing, and the teachers were great, I loved the fact that you couldn’t speak any english in class, and must speak french, it really improved my confidence and overall speaking skills. I met loads of new people and had great fun with the surfing course also im most certainly coming back again as it was one of the best things I have ever done or experienced, thank you Apple Languages.

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I learned a lot of french, the teachers were fantastic and I found that the smaller classes helped a lot.

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The course was very helpful and the accommodation was in a really good family, nice bedroom and good food.

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A. Moss

It was fantastic, I enjoyed every minute of it and there was nothing about the course, the staff or my accommodation that i could fault.
The town was lovely, the students were really friendly and the French lessons were very good and also very fun. The surfing lessons were amazing and the surf instructors were so nice and became our friends who we went out with in the evenings. The house was lovely, clean and very beautiful. My room was large with a double bed and a desk, I also had my own Internet connection. The family were really kind and helpful and very fun people. They gave me everything I needed.

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The course was fun, and I managed to brush up on all my french. The teaching techniques were very effective and the teacher was very nice! The family were unbelievably welcoming and kind. The house was very sweet and we had an added bonus of having our own rooms! I can't wait to return!

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It was a thoroughly enjoyable fortnight and I would have no hesitation in recommending the Biarritz school. I had two different teachers during my stay, both were excellent and encouraged a relaxed but challenging atmosphere within the classroom.

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The course was one-on-one and tailored exactly to my needs and existing (low) standard. I was particularly impressed with the willingness of staff to accommodate my timetable desires. My host was very friendly, room and bed large and the food was excellent.

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School statistics

Nationality (%)


American (3)
Brasilian (3)
British (4)
German (11)
Irish (4)
Italian (4)
Russian (3)
Spanish (16)
Swedish (3)
Swiss (21)
* Statistics considered correct at the time of publishing

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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* Start dates suitable for complete beginners