France spans from the Mediterranean Coast (Nice, Marseille, St. Tropez) to the Rhone Valley (Lyon), the South Atlantic coast (Bordeaux) and the North Atlantic Region (think Paris). Apart from its picturesque landscapes, France is rich in art, culture, gastronomy, history, fashion, and of course, the French language.

if you have planned that your child studies in France, it means he/she will get to discover it. Somewhat like reading a novel, only in-person. He or she will get to go to a coffee shop, order un café and croissant, mingle with locals, visit different neighborhoods, and truly cultivate a potentially life-changing experience.

Each city has a personality. From the cosmopolitan capital, Paris, to Bordeaux, renowned for its wines, to historical Lyon, and Marseille, full of markets and Mediterranean influences, no matter where the school and accommodation base is, each location has its appeal.

French is actually the official language in 29 countries and studying it in France gives your child the opportunity to practice what he or she learns.

TU HIJO AL EXTRANJERO offers different cities and programmes to choose from.

Education System in France

” An outstanding feature of French education is the authority of teachers. The French don’t regard childhood as an age of innocence but see it as an age of ignorance. Children must be set straight and corrected.”

The state-funded school system is supported by a comprehensive network of private schools, including many distinguished international schools. Around 20 per cent of French high school children attend private schools, most of which are co-educational day schools (education is almost exclusively co-educational), but a private education has little snob value – and it’s considerably cheaper than in the UK, for example.

Separation of church and state was decreed in 1905 but Catholic schools continue to coexist alongside public ones – and get state funding for teachers salaries, social security costs, and scholarships.

State education in France is perceived by many to be of a higher quality than private education. French parents have traditionally sent their children to a private school only for linguistic or religious reasons or when they needed extra assistance that was unavailable in a state school. In the las decade, however, there has been a surge in demand for private school places as an increasing number of parents become disillusioned with the state education system.

Language and other integration problems mean that enrolling a child in a French state school isn’t recommended for less than a year, particularly a teenage child who isn’t fluent in French.

There’s no compulsory religious instruction in French state schools. In fact, state schools ban even displays of religious affiliation, even crucifixes (some Moslem children have even been expelled for wearing headscarves). Most international schools are non-denominational.

French state schools are usually co-educational, so if you want your child to go to a single-sex school you may need to find a private establishment.

In France, kids start school very early: school starts at age 2 (for 52% of children) or 3 (for almost100%) and children spend 2 or 3 years in maternelle (kindergarten). School is compulsory until age 16. In primary schools, French kids spend more hours a year (almost 900, like Italy and the Netherlands) than other European countries (less than 700 for Austria, Germany and Finland) : in France, less days of school (vacations are a national value) and more hours per day.

Critics of the French education system complain that its teaching methods are too traditional and unimaginative, with most learning by rote.

French schools place a great emphasis on the French language (particularly grammar), arithmetic and the sciences. Schools usually impose more discipline than most foreign children are used to, as well as more homework ( devoirs du soir), which increases with the age of the child.

France has a highly competitive and selective examination system that separates the brighter students from the less academically gifted at around the age of 14. From primary school level, children are subjected to constant testing.

It was Napoleon who decided that children should study the same subjects, at the same level, at the same time in a particular region. Some 200 years later the system is largely unchanged and the syllabus and textbooks are broadly the same in all schools of the same level throughout France. This means that children moving between schools can continue their education with the minimum disruption. Regions do, however, have a certain amount of autonomy in setting school timetables.

Most French schools follow a national curriculum set by the Ministry of Education but the French government published reforms in May 2015 that would allow schools to set 20 percent of the curriculum themselves.

There is no school uniform at most schools in France, and your child’s grade is determined by the calendar year of birth (so all children born between 1 January and 31 December of a particular year will be in the same grade).

The lessons in most French schools will be taught in French. Some schools in larger cities may offer intensive language classes, provide a special teaching assistant (Français Langue Etrangère or FLE), or have ‘International’ or ‘European’ sections to help new arrivals integrate.

The school year in France starts at the beginning of September. French schools have long holidays – a two-month summer holiday starting in July, two or three weeks at Christmas and Easter, as well as half term breaks.

Students go to school between 24 and 28 hours a week, spread over four, four and a half, or five days depending on the region. Students preparing the baccalauréat may have as many as 40 hours per week. Some schools, mainly primary schools, close on Wednesday afternoons and older pupils may have lessons on a Saturday

Programmes we offer

School year or term in private day schools, and stay at host families.

School year or term in private boarding schools: full board (Monday to Sunday)

School year or term in private boarding schools: weekly board (Monday to Friday) and weekends at host families

  • School year or term in public day schools, and stay at host families.

Short stays up to 10 weeks in public day schools, and stay at host families.


  • School year or term in private day schools with homestay accommodation: From 7.000€/year, 5.000€/semester and 4.000€/term

  • School year or term in private boarding schools: From 17.000€/year and 7.000€/term (full board)

-School year or term in private boarding schools: From 13.000€/year, 8.000€/semester and 6.000€/term (weekly board and homestay weekends)

  • School year or term in public day schools, and stay at host families: From 7.500€/year and 4.700€/term

  • Short stays in public day schools, and stay with host families:

  • 4 weeks from 3.000€

  • 7 weeks from 4.000€

  • 10 weeks from 5.000€

If you are thinking of one of our programs in France, please contact us so that we can guide you on the schools and local families that best suit what you are looking for and the final price of each option.

TU HIJO AL EXTRANJERO Tel.: +34 686189020 /