Toulouse, France

French Language Immersion for Art Lovers

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Information for term French Language Immersion for Art Lovers

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Nov 9 – Dec 19, 2020 (6 weeks)

Extended Deadline

December 15, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: December 15, 2020
  • Dates: Feb 15 – Mar 27, 2021 (6 weeks)


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Sharpen your eyes and French skills 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.

This program was designed for the art lover in you, combining language learning with visits to art shows, major museums or guest lectures and workshops. Toulouse offers participants a destination rich in culture, art and architecture without the crowds and business of cities like Paris and other metropolitan hubs. Experience the best the south of France has to offer first-hand through exciting tours, workshops and exposure to those who influence the local art scene!

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. 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.

CIEE Gap Year Abroad programs are focused on supporting participants in acquiring knowledge and developing skills to live in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world. In addition to developing your language skills and gaining a better understanding of the local culture, you will take part in our Global Competence Course. This online course will allow you to connect and collaborate in real-time with our entire cohort of Gap participants worldwide, through interactive workshops and discussions. Reflect on your own cultural biases, share insights about your experience and learn about topics ranging from cultural identity and leadership styles to how to work and live sustainably or develop communication skills.

In your free time you'll spend hours practicing your real-world skills – speaking and reading French in markets, cafés, and shops. Your skills will skyrocket as you put them to daily use in and around the Pink City. Follow the advice of our local staff and sample local restaurants and markets. 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. Make the most of this amazing opportunity!

The Take-Aways


    15-20 hours per week of French language learning designed to improve real world language skills


    Build a strong foundation in the core components of intercultural learning. Come home with an improved sense of self and awareness of what shapes others.


    Earn a Certificate of Learning in French

  • of alumni said their language skills improved

  • said they learned to interact with different cultural backgrounds

  • aid their level of independence increased


Location & Culture

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Bask in the culture and natural beauty of this charming city.

La Ville Rose (the Pink City) was the kingdom capital of Southern France in the fifth century. You’ll still find plenty of authentic charm in the city’s Vieille ville (Old Quarter), where historic churches sit next to traditional French shopfronts.

During your program, 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

A succesful Gap experience achieves the right balance between structured language instruction, practice in the community and cultural activties to be fully immersed in the local culture.

Here's how a typical week goes on a CIEE Gap Language & Culture program:

  • 15-20 hours of interactive language learning at a language school
  • 1 hour of the CIEE Global Competence Course (online with our global gap community)
  • 2 cultural activities
  • Free time to explore and have fun!

Weekends are for group excursions (two per 6-week block) or personal travel and exploration.

*If Covid-19 homestay requirements cannot be met participants will be placed in a CIEE-vetted dormitory or apartment. Confirmation will be communicated to participants in advance.

  • Carefully Screened Homestay*

  • Local Support

    Local CIEE Center staff available 24/7


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Sample Activities

  • Bike along the scenic Canal du Midi, which links the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea
  • 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 attraction

Sample Day Trips

  • Head to Carcassonne where you will 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.
  • 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.

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!

Eligibility & Fees

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Eligibility & Fees


  • High school graduates in good academic standing.
  • Students must demonstrate, through the application and interview process, flexibility and maturity.
  • Students must be 18 years or older at the time of their departure.
  • No previous language experience required.



Apply for one or two 6-week blocks. Combining blocks in two different locations is not yet available.

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


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Fall Block III 2020 6 weeks Rolling Admissions Nov 9, 2020 Dec 19, 2020


Spring Block II 2021 6 weeks Dec 15, 2020 Feb 15, 2021 Mar 27, 2021


Ready to change your life?