Toulouse, France

French Language & Culture

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Information for term French Language & Culture

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Sep 1 – Nov 28, 2020 (13 weeks)

Application Deadline

September 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: September 1, 2020
  • Dates: Jan 3 – Mar 27, 2021 (12 weeks)

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Sep 1, 2020 – Mar 27, 2021 (30 weeks)


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Learn to speak French like a native in student-friendly Toulouse.

Home to one of the largest universities outside Paris, this vibrant city is part college town, part old-world village. The substantial student population here has spawned interesting music festivals, clubs, and a lively cultural scene. Any night of the week you’ll find something of interest, from clubs serving up jazz, reggae or techno, to cafés hosting poetry readings.

Each day you’ll study French intensively at Institut Catholique de Toulouse – a well-known French university, with qualified native French teachers and other international students. You’ll be placed at your level of proficiency and have the chance to progress to a higher-level class every month. Located in the historic and picturesque red-brick downtown area, the study center is easily walkable from famous attractions like the Capitole, Toulouse’s main square, and the Basilica of Saint-Sernin.

Outside of class, you’ll spend time practicing your real-world skills – speaking and reading French in markets, cafés, and riverside parks. Your skills will skyrocket as you put them to daily use in and around the Pink City. You’ll have plenty of time to explore museums, eat exquisite pastries, window shop on streets lined with funky and chic boutiques, and soak it all in.

You’ll get to see a side of Toulouse that tourists usually miss. Living with a local homestay gives you plenty of time to practice French as you prepare and share meals, shop at local markets, and get in tune with the local customs and rhythms of everyday French life.

The Take-Aways

  • Language Proficency

    18 hours per week of French language instruction

  • Global Citizenship & Cultural Competence

    Completion of CIEE’s Global Competence course providing you with a strong foundation in the core components of intercultural learning.

  • Certificate

    A Certificate of Learning in French

  • of alumni said their language skills improved

  • said they learned to interact with different cultural backgrounds

  • said their level of independence increased


Location & Culture

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Toulouse is also the center of France’s aeronautics and space industries
Gap year in Toulouse
Gap Year in France
Bask in the culture and natural beauty of this charming city.

A bustling mix of old and new, La Ville Rose (the Pink City) was the kingdom capital in the fifth century. You’ll still find plenty of authentic charm in the city’s Vieux Quartier (Old Quarter), where historic churches sit next to traditional French shopfronts.

During your gap year or semester, you’ll be immersed in the rich culture of the Occitanie region – its food, art, natural beauty, and thousands of years of French and Roman history and architecture. On guided tours, you’ll explore the many different faces of a multicultural Toulouse, from the preserved historical culture of the city center and its many churches, monasteries, monuments, and mansions, to the young urban culture of the suburban neighborhoods.

Because Toulouse is also the center of France’s aeronautics and space industries, you’ll have a chance to discover the wonders of the universe at the Cité de l’espace and other science museums and attractions. With your homestays and CIEE peers, you’ll also discover different French landscapes, from the Pyrénées mountain range to the Mediterranean Sea.

Daily Life

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Daily Life

"After my trip with CIEE I have definitely grown in ways I never could if I had stayed in the US."

Learn more about daily life on a high school study abroad program by reading our blog.


  • Housing

    Private bedroom in home of carefully screened homestay.

  • Local Support

    CIEE resident staff available 24/7.

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs


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Sample Activities & Excursions

  • Bike along the scenic Canal du Midi, which links the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea
  • Attend a cheese tasting in a downtown fromagerie
  • Learn to make crêpes, pastries, and other delicious dishes of the region
  • View the stunning Basilica Saint Sernin, a Romanesque church built from golden and rose-colored stonework
  • Experience world-famous opera, stroll through lush botanical gardens, browse in colorful markets, shop (or window shop) in fashionable boutiques
  • Tour museums, art galleries, architectural landmarks, and other cultural attractions

Your program fee also includes two day trips and one multiday excursion hosted by CIEE staff per semester, so you’ll get the chance to take in the diverse sights and sounds of several French landmarks and hot spots:

Carcassonne day trip

Travel back in time on a guided tour of a medieval castle that looks just like a scene from “The Princess Bride” (or the fairytale castle of your childhood dreams). Carcassonne, a medieval walled city set high on a hilltop in southwestern France, features a 12th-century castle, storybook watchtowers and turrets, double-walled fortifications, and fascinating archaeological exhibits. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Carcassonne welcomes more than three million visitors annually.

Albi day trip

Take off for a fun and informative day trip and guided tour of the picturesque Episcopal city of Albi in the Midi-Pyrénées region. Highlights include the Sainte-Cecile Cathedral, built from 1282–1480 and the largest brick-built cathedral in the world; and the Berbie Palace, which now houses the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum with the largest public collection of the artist’s work.

Sète multiday excursion

Join your peers for a three-day trip to Sète. Ideally located on the Mediterranean coast, it is a major fishing port with a multitude of seafood restaurants. Crisscrossed by canals and bridges, Sète is often called “the Venice of Languedoc.” Art museums, music festivals, a jousting competition, and a seafood tasting will keep you entertained during the trip.

Ariège Pyrénées Mountains

Hit the road in a private bus to southern France, where you’ll learn about the intriguing history of 12th century Catharism, a religion that took root in the region. With spectacular hilltops in the foothills of the Pyrénées, you will visit of a cathar castle, sample food at an organic farm, and visit a prehistoric 20,000-year-old painted cave.

Please note this list of activities is based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to both adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when revising itineraries is always to enhance your experience. Every activity is designed to provide you with a deep immersion in your topic, local culture and sights. Get ready for maximum fun!

What People are Saying

  • On vendredi (Friday), it will have been two weeks since I arrived in France. My teachers and homestay have told me that I already speak with more confidence and better vocabulary. I'm even able to see my own improvement. Since I have to speak French and am surrounded by the language, I learn new words and phrases every day.

    Helen W., CIEE Gap Year Abroad alumna
  • Travel and I are not strangers by any means, but spending a semester living in a foreign country with a foreign language and foreign customs is wholly different than popping one’s head in for a few pictures and a macaron.

    Inara M., CIEE Gap Year Abroad alumna
  • I spoke a few languages but French was not among them. I worried about how I would navigate the country, communicate with my host family, and even fit in with other students, most of whom I assumed would speak some French. In the end, there was nothing to fear. CIEE did a fantastic job of pairing students with host families based on interest and language level, and the program was designed to be flexible. It also equipped us with an understanding of how to shop, use the metro, order at restaurants, etc. so that we felt at home when out and about. 

    Taisia K., CIEE Gap Year Abroad alumna
  • I had an extraordinary experience with CIEE as a bridge between college and work. Having completed my university credits a semester early, I spent a fantastic semester learning a new language and culture, as well as becoming more independent and confident with change. My experience prepared me like nothing else for the workforce.

    Taisia K., CIEE Gap Year Abroad alumna

Eligibility & Fees

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Eligibility & Fees


Fall: Rolling Admissions
Spring: November 15
Contact CIEE for more information.


High school graduates in good academic standing.
Students must demonstrate, through the application and interview process, flexibility and maturity.
Students must be 17 years or older at the time of their departure.
No previous language experience required.



You can create a duo program by combining any two CIEE Gap Year Abroad semesters and get 10% off the second semester.

Apply to a Fall Semester or Academic Year term by our 5/1 priority deadline and get $400 off the cost of your program. Apply to a Spring Semester by our September 1 Priority Deadline and get $400 off the cost of your tuition.

Program fee includes iNext travel insurance. Full inclusions are found online.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Academic Year 2020 30 weeks Rolling Admissions Sep 1, 2020 Mar 27, 2021


Fall 2020 13 weeks Rolling Admissions Sep 1, 2020 Nov 28, 2020


Spring 2021 12 weeks Sep 1, 2020 Jan 3, 2021 Mar 27, 2021


Our Staff

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Ready to change your life?