The French language has long called to you with its unique rhythm and melody. You bemoan the fact that your holidays in the south of France are never long enough.
How keen you are to imbue yourself with the language and culture of that land!
Suppose you have been taking French language courses for a year or two, and are considered intermediate. For you, that is not good enough! Fluency is what you crave!
The best way to become fluent in any language, including French, is through immersion.
The best way to immerse yourself in French is to live in a French-speaking country.
It may seem a bit like putting the cart before the horse, moving to a country before you learn its language and customs, but think of all the people who have immigrated to our country, and are fast learning English!
There are several ways to arrange a living situation in France; why don't we divulge them?
Of course, we have no idea what your living situation is. Depending on your circumstances, some of these suggestions may not apply to you. Still, they might give you food for thought!
Study in France
The French education system is not only rigorous but exacting. If you speak, say, conversational French, you may be overwhelmed at the rapid-fire locution of teachers, and the complexity of the curriculum.
That being said, again we give an example the demanding nature of French schools.
Enrollment in any French university requires a baccalaureate degree; somewhat equivalent to our A Levels.
If you are intent on pursuing higher education in France, you may be required to sit the DELF – the French language competency exam, before you can matriculate.
In fact, sitting DELF would be necessary if you are moving to France to work, as well!
If higher education in France is not a means to an end for you – if you already have a university degree, you may consider taking classes that address your passion: art or music, for example.
And, of course, language classes!
The Centre International D'Antibes, located on the French Riviera, has been welcoming students for over 30 years.
They have a proven record of language instruction, with courses tailored specifically to young learners, teens and adults.
They even offer family classes, so you and your children – if you have any, can all learn together!
If you are planning to sit the DELF, you might be interested to know that their alumni have a 97% success rate. Might you soon count yourself among that number?
A quick look at their website would reveal several coupons for discounts on assorted programmes, and for accommodations.
Institut Linguistique Adenet, in Montpellier, offers a similar programme.
You can opt for their intensive course. In groups of no more than 10, your language teacher would drill on grammar and vocabulary particulars, giving special emphasis on pronunciation through frequent oral exercises.
Or, you might prefer their standard French course.
The group size doesn't change – instructors want the opportunity to give everyone the individual attention they need to excel.
With this type of course, the emphasis is more on communication, while passively reinforcing grammar skills.
If sojourning in the south of France for five months sounds like a dream come true, this might be the French immersion learning environment for you!
Besides learning all about verbs and how to use those quirky French phrases, you will have ample time to socialise and sightsee: ILA will see to it!
They routinely coordinate outings and activities for their students: prowling around town and wine tastings.
In short, you will have plenty of opportunity to make new friends, speaking French all the while.
Relocate for Work
Presuming that you usually communicate in English, what type of work can you do in France?
The obvious answer would be: become an English teacher!
Teaching English is big business in France: students learn the language as a part of their general education, and language schools do brisk trade all over the country.
Naturally, such facilities teach other languages, but English language courses remain high on the list of requested lessons.
You could also become a Superprof tutor, giving English lessons via Skype.
In fact, you could establish your profile prior to relocating; that way you may have built up a client base before you even set foot in France!
Seek a Foreign Assignment
Do you already work for a global company, or one that is looking to go international?
If so, your French classes may pay off in an unexpected way!
Let's say your firm is setting up an office in Lille, and is looking for someone from the home office to help staff it.
“Throw me into that briar patch!” as the Americans would say.
This would be an opportunity tailor-made for you! Not only would you keep your employee status but you would have assistance in getting set up in the country of your dreams!
Naturally, as you settle into life in France, you would make the most of the language skills you already have, all while learning new language.
One final way to achieve your goal of finding employment in France is to make a clean break: contact employers in France to find a job.
Well, that's not exactly the final way...
Start a Business
France is most definitely open for business! So the headlines proclaim, and there is substantial evidence to prove it.
According to this report by Ernst & Young, it is both cheaper and easier to set up a business in France than in most other G20 countries.
Perhaps the best aspect of starting your own business in France is that this country's infrastructure is light-years ahead of others, especially in the telecommunications sector.
Preparation for launching your business should naturally include learning the language, especially French vocabulary as it pertains to business.
Beyond that, you must:
- Sit the DELF Pro, or regular DELF
- Make sure you are properly accredited for that business
- the French government requires a specific diploma and licensing for every business
- Submit a business plan and financial forecast
Inasmuch as you must make projections about your business, it would help if you have been in the area for a while, talked with other French merchants who are in somewhat the same business as you hope to establish.
It may even help for you to form alliances with them, so that they might advocate for you, if needed.
Speaking of alliances, it wouldn't hurt for you to say bonjour to your local Alliance Française while still in the UK!
In turn, they might offer up brochures wishing you bienvenue en France!, along with helpful guides to getting your business off the ground.
And starting your life over, as an English expat abroad.
Volunteer in France
If you are more of a free spirit and just want an all-encompassing learning experience in France, perhaps you would be open to a homestay or two.
We concede that not everyone with a desire to learn a new language has the resources available to attend classes and travel about.
Practical concerns, such as eating and having a safe place to rest, do encroach on even the most free-spirited learner.
So, if you want language immersion and a profound cultural experience, all within the safety of a host family, HelpX might just be the site for you!
This programme allows you to exchange a modicum of work for room and board in a French household.
By accepting placement in a French residence, you can practice your French, be you a beginner or more advanced, in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.
You won't sit in a classroom, and there are no French teachers – unless the family you stay with includes a qualified teacher.
You would be permitted to stay in any one household for two weeks to two months; each host has different needs.
You may garden or work with animals; perhaps even engage in light construction or work as an au pair but, through it all, you will be steeped in French culture and language learning by virtue of sharing a home.
Perhaps the best part of this programme is the wide range of experiences you could be treated to!
You may enjoy carpentry workshops in Nantes, followed by one on one English speaking sessions that you might tutor... all for free!
If you like to travel light and don't mind relocating every few weeks, you could actually learn to speak French all over that beautiful country!
And, after traveling everywhere – all while gaining proficiency in French, you will be ready to sit DELF in your preferred French city, find a flat and settle into your new French life.
Doesn't that sound like a plan?
However, if you can't see yourself settling in France yet, then you can always opt for a french course london.