Toulouse, France

Service & Leadership

Apply by 5/1 and get $400 off!
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Information for term Service & Leadership

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

May 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Aug 29 – Nov 24, 2020 (12 weeks)*

Application Deadline

May 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Aug 29, 2020 – Mar 28, 2021 (30 weeks)*


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Improve your French as you serve and socialize in France’s “Pink City.”

Discover France through a whole new lens. Live, learn, and develop lifelong skills in the bustling, beautiful, and student-friendly Toulouse area in southern France.

During your first month in Toulouse you’ll take part in the following:

  • 18 hours per week of intensive French instruction at the Institut Catholique. Courses focus on improving your communication skills – which will help as you gear up for your service experience
  • Four hours per month of CIEE's Global Competence course, designed to provide a strong foundation of the core components of intercultural learning: self-awareness, awareness of others, managing emotions, and bridging cultures
  • Two to four hours per week of fun and engaging cultural activities in Toulouse

After the first month, you’ll be ready to jump right in and begin volunteering in the field of your choice. Your service experience is flexible with the option to mix and match if you have multiple interests. You might choose to spend the majority of your time working with one organization or split your time among a few. Ultimately you’ll decide how you’d like to impact the local community – resulting in a richer experience for both the organization and yourself! Options may include:

Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Whether in an organization for immigrant women, a community center for low- income kids or an elementary or secondary school, teaching language is a rewarding way to gain insight into the multicultural city of Toulouse. Tasks may include teaching English, leading French-American cuisine workshops, assisting an English teacher in a secondary school, or leading sports or cultural activities in a local high school.

Community Development

Choose to serve at an organization like Emmaüs where you’ll work with others organizing, repairing, or selling donated goods and supplies. Make a difference by collecting hospital equipment to be sent to underprivileged communities in Europe and Africa. Or help out at Le Secours Populaire, a group that provides services to the elderly, immigrant communities, and disabled individuals.

Sustainable Development

Like animals? Have a passion for organic foods or an interest in the French culinary tradition? The sustainable development track provides a wide range of opportunities. You can volunteer at a recycling plant or an organization that sells locally sourced and environmentally friendly products. Choose to help with the local grape harvest, feed goats or horses, go bird watching in a natural park, learn food processes from the animal to the plate. On weekends, travel to different farms in Toulouse and around the region!

The Take-Aways

  • Service

    At least 18 hours a week of meaningful service, designed to make a lasting impact on your local host community

  • Leadership

    Grow your service portfolio and develop your leadership skills while doing something you enjoy!

  • Certificate

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

  • of alumni say their language skills improved as a result of their participation in the program.

  • of participants said their experience helped them develop a greater understanding and/or respect for other cultures and customs.

  • said it made them more mature young adults.


Location & Culture

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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 semester or year here, 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 homestay 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

This CIEE program includes up to 12 cultural activities designed to enhance your language and cultural learning.

Your program fee covers fun cultural activities:

  • Bike along the scenic Canal du Midi, which links the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea
  • Participate in a cheese tasting in a downtown fromagerie
  • Learn to cook crepes, pastries, and other delicious dishes of the region
  • View the stunning Basilica Saint-Sernin, a Romanesque church built from golden and rose-colored stonework
  • Take a boat tour of the Garonne River, 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
  • One of the most incredible things about living here is that history is still very much alive. I'm often able to connect places, politics, and customs to French historical events. Sometimes I'm even reminded of my AP European History textbook – for instance, the time I saw a painting at the Musée d'Orsay which had been printed on one of the book's pages! It was mind-boggling to think that I was right next to a painting of such historical significance.

    Helen W., CIEE Gap Year Abroad alumna
  • Taking a gap year was the best decision that I could have made before heading off to college. I have come out a more mature, open-minded, culturally aware, and ultimately happier person. I entered college with a sense of accomplishment for already having spent a year in transition and I find that it is already paying off both socially and academically. If anyone is considering taking a gap year, the answer should be yes!

    Kira F., CIEE Gap Year Abroad alumna

Eligibility & Fees

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Eligibility & Fees


Fall: Rolling Admissions
Spring: November  1
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
  • Two years of French, or only one year of French if preceded by a CIEE Gap Year Abroad Language & Culture program in either Paris or Toulouse.



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

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


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Academic Year 2020 30 weeks May 1, 2020 Aug 29, 2020* Mar 28, 2021*


Fall 2020 12 weeks May 1, 2020 Aug 29, 2020* Nov 24, 2020*


*Dates for this program are provided as tentative dates. Please consult with your study abroad advisor to confirm dates before purchasing your flights.

Our Staff

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Ready to change your life?