Taking formal French courses in Paris
Moving to Paris as a student or as a long-term expat means that you need to have a good understanding of the French language, to navigate everyday life and administrative hurdles. To learn French without spending a fortune, you have several options depending on your level and your schedule.
Among the best solutions, the Paris City Hall offers French lessons to adults in group classes, called Cours Municipaux d’Adultes. The courses are held either during the day or in the evening, and the location varies depending on the one you choose, but it’s always educational facilities such as primary, secondary and high schools in the capital. Prices range from €100 to €270 per semester, depending on your level and how many hours you choose (from 60 to 240 hours).
All information can be found on the CMA website, where you also need to create an account before registering for a class.
Other options include universities in the capital, that usually offer free intensive courses before the start of the first semester for students taking part in an exchange program, and French as a Foreign Language classes during the academic year.
For instance, the Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle has free courses for the year or a semester aimed at international students attending the university.
Finally, the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris, located in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, also presents all students with various activities in the Language Area, including free workshops, self-study and conversation groups, so you can choose how to learn.
Improving your French with informal conversations
If you already have a basic understanding of French, and simply want to brush up on your skills and expand your vocabulary, but don't need a lesson, you also have several opportunities in Paris. The best way to improve your language abilities is to speak with locals, and a few institutions offer informal conversations.
Among those, the Paris Polyglot Club organizes daily workshops and events, and constitutes the perfect way to meet fellow students, expats, and locals. Weekly language meetings are held at DENFERT Café, 58 bd Saint-Jacques 75014 Paris.
While it’s free to attend, you need to buy a drink at the bar to support the association. You can also join the club as a member, to enjoy several advantages. All you have to do is fill the registration form found on the website, and hand it at one of the meetings.
The Polyglot Club also offers French lessons every Monday, facilitated by a student. The price is €6-10.
Another wonderful place to have exchanges in French is the library; the Louise Michel library, as well as the Françoise Sagan media library, propose free language workshops and conversations. Those don’t require to register and are open to all. Additionally, many libraries in Paris have language methods and online courses available to everyone.
Finally, there are dozens of websites and communities where you can meet people and take advantage of free conversations with Parisians, which is a wonderful way to be part of the locals.