You may have already heard the name Alliance Française since this international organization is present in 136 countries all around the world. Created in 1883 by Paul Cambon and Pierre Foncin (with help from a few notable figures including Jules Verne and Louis Pasteur) the Alliance Française offers French courses, in France and in the world to all publics, highlights French and Francophone cultures and develops cultural links between France and other countries by promoting cultural diversity. We had the chance to discover Alliance Française de Paris, and we are going to tell you why it’s definitely the best place to learn French in Paris.
Created in 1883, 140 years ago, Alliance Française de Paris is the very first Alliance Française in the world! Nowadays, there are more than 50 professional teachers working at Alliance Française de Paris, and every year around 10 000 students from all around the world come here to learn or improve their French.
The building of Alliance Française de Paris (101 Bd Raspail, in the 6th arrondissement) has been the home of the association since 1919 of Alliance Française de Paris since 1914. You can really feel History in this elegant 19th-century building, where people have been coming to learn French for more than a century.
Alliance Française de Paris has always played a leading role in the field of French language studies: the field of studies FLE (français langue étrangère, French as a Foreign Language) was invented in Alliance Française de Paris, and most of the relevant and innovative French learning methods have been created in Alliance Française de Paris too and has not ceased to innovate pedagogically.
Like Emily in Paris, we had the chance to follow French classes in Paris… At Alliance Française de Paris! There are a lot of reasons to choose Alliance Française (the world's leading French language teaching institution), among the other schools providing French classes in Paris.
Paris is famous for having many boulangeries, but the City has also quite many French learning schools and classes. It can be difficult for a foreigner to see the differences between the schools, and to choose one. First of all, it's important to keep in mind that Alliance Française de Paris is non-profit organization whose main purposes are to promote and teach the French language. The teachers are selected for their teaching skills and the efficiency of their methods. Alliance Française de Paris is focused on immersive methods and provides an immersive environment, to help to improve all skills of the French Language.
Regardless of your level in French, you will find adapted courses since Alliance Française de Paris offers classes from A1 level (beginner) to C1 level (proficient user) and if you are not sure of what your level is, no worries, placement tests are organized for new students, to find which classes suit them better. There are also workshops, some focusing more on specific aspects of the French language (grammar, phonetics, oral).
Are you planning to pass an official certification such as DELF, DALF or a French test such as TEF? You must know that Alliance Française de Paris is one of the most popular Parisian centers of examination for these certifications. Since the teachers are the ones who correct the exams, they are more likely to prepare the students perfectly for their certifications.
For more info about learning French at Alliance française de Paris, check their website (click here).
Alliance Française de Paris has also a huge library and a multimedia center, open to its students, where you can find many online and physical materials about learning French, as well as a selection of books, comics, and games in French.
Getting a French visa is not always easy, especially a student visa. Since Alliance Française is a higher education institution, enrolling in a study program at Alliance Française is a good way to easily get a student visa. You can get a 9 months student visa, depending on how long you plan to stay at Alliance Française de Paris. The student life team of Alliance Française de Paris helps the students to go through all the administrative processes, including visa, finding accommodation etc.
Alliance Française de Paris is located at 101 boulevard Raspail, in the 6th arrondissement. It's a few minutes walk from Metro Station Saint Placide (line 4) Notre-Dame des Champs and Rennes (line 12), which makes it very accessible by public transportation from different parts of Paris: 20 minutes to Chatelet les Halles, 25 minutes to Notre-Dame, 30 minutes to Eiffel Tower or Montmartre... Moreover, it's only a 5-minute walk to the amazing Jardin du Luxembourg, the perfect place to relax or study after taking classes! The area is very safe and has a very Parisian spirit, with Hausmannian buildings and a lot of traditional French restaurants and cafes around, such as Bouillon Chartier (59 Boulevard du Montparnasse).
One of Alliance Française missions is to make French and Francophone cultures better known. As a result, Alliance Française de Paris cultural, library, and student life department is organizing more than 150 activities all year long. There is a Theater inside Alliance Française building, with performing arts practices accessible for the students.
Among other activities, guided strolls with professional guides are organized in different areas of Paris. The aim is to get off the beaten tracks and discover secret Parisian places and stories. Screenings of French movies are also very frequent, followed by discussions.
There are also activities such as Wine tasting, cheese tasting, French games (such as pétanque), and other events related to French and Francophone cultures. It's a great way to enjoy Paris and to immerse yourself.
Last but not least, learning French at Alliance Française de Paris is not only about immersing yourself in French Culture but also a great way to mingle with other students from all around the world. Every year students come from more than 120 countries to learn French at Alliance Française de Paris. Throughout your classes or cultural activities, you are going to meet people from different cultures, different backgrounds, and also different generations. It's a unique mind-blowing experience to open up to different types of people and build an international network of friends.
Alliance Française de Paris offers a tailor-made study program, for all levels and with different lengths, from 2 weeks to several months programs. So you will surely find the course that suits you the best, according to your objectives (having a first discovery of the French language, improving your skills, or being proficient). There are also different study rhythms: if you want to improve quickly, there are intensive programs for 72 hours per month, but if you want to take your time because you have other activities or jobs, you can go for semi-intensive with 36 hours per month or 24 hours per month.
Usually, a one-month intensive program enables a student to progress faster between the different levels. There are in total 5 language levels in Alliance Française de Paris (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1), A levels being elementary user level, B levels being independent/ advanced user levels, C levels being experienced level. Learning French at Alliance Française de Paris is faster than other ways, especially compared to learning in your country, since the environment helps a lot (being in Paris multiplies the opportunities to practice and improve your language skills).
All the enrollment processes can be done online through their website, but you can also directly register there if you are already in Paris. An online catalog of courses shows the available options (click here to see it). While registering, you can use the promo code OBONPARIS10 to get 10% discount on all the courses!
Note that information sessions "Exchange with the Alliance Française de Paris!" are regularly organized online, to interact live with the team to help you know more about the courses and the administration process. Do not hesitate to contact the Alliance Française de Paris team, which are very helpful.
Authors: O'bon Paris team
Photos: Minchae & Yuka Ishihara
Address: 101 Bd Raspail, 75006 Paris
Transportation: from Metro Station Saint Placide (line 4) Notre-Dame des Champs and Rennes (line 12)