Learn French in Montpellier

Summary Information

Ages:  16 and up
Location:  Montpellier, south of France
Accommodation:  Host family only for under 18; residence available for 18 and up
Duration:  Two weeks and up
Availability:  Flexible, year round admission
Supervision:  Suitable for mature teenagers, as there is unsupervised free time.


Montpellier is "the city where the sun never sets" and the ideal destination for adult and teenage French language courses.  Located in one of the most beautiful regions in the south of France, Montpellier is a modern, dynamic city with a rich historical past that has been carefully preserved.  The school is located in a protected building right in the heart of the charming historic city centre, and not only offers summer courses, but courses year-round, catering to every type of student's needs. It is a city where you can combine learning French in a safe environment while discovering a new culture and way of life.

To read what students and parents had to say about their Montpellier experiences, please click here.

Learn French in the Heart of Montpellier's Medieval Centre

With more than 12 years experience in teaching French in Montpellier, this language school specialises in language programmes and cultural vacations that suit everyone's needs. The school is located in a stunning 17th century townhouse right in the heart of Montpellier's medieval pedestrianised centre. Its great location enables students to learn French in exceptional conditions right in the heart of the city centre. The school is also located near the bus and tram stations, and is about 5 minutes by foot from the train station.

Available facilities:

  • 6 fully-equipped bright and spacious classrooms, helping students to learn French under the best conditions
  • A unique rooftop terrace, ideal for speaking French with new friends while enjoying the sunshine of southern France
  • Brand-new flat-screen computers with high-speed Internet and wireless access (WIFI), free of charge for students
  • A lounge area with magazines, newspapers, tourist books, cultural information and more

The maximum group size is 10 students (on non-closed group courses) and classes are available for different levels: beginner, elementary, intermediate and advanced. Students take a placement test on the first day of class and will then be placed in a small class suited to his or her level.

All French courses follow the Common European Framework for language learning, and teachers use an integrated communicative approach to teaching, focusing on the student and his or her environment and ensuring learning in French, not through English. Particular attention is also paid to improving speaking and listening skills, encouraging students to speak French freely and confidently. All students will receive a certificate of attendance upon completion of the course, which will state their levels within the Common European Framework of Reference.

Live with a French Host Family

Staying with a host family gives students first-hand experience of the French culture and way of life.  Sharing meals with a host family is an excellent way of speaking French with native speakers and learning new vocabulary.  Our partner's host families are selected with the greatest care to make students' stays successful linguistic and cultural experiences.

All host families must fulfill various criteria of selection (according to a charter and rules).  Each must give the following: a sense of welcome and hospitality, a warm, clean and welcoming home and a good location with easy access to the school (35 minutes maximum by public transportation).  Host families live in flats or villas in the centre of Montpellier, or in the immediate surrounding areas.  Students will have their own keys and, for adults, their own rooms.  We try to place only one student speaking the same language per family, but this is not always possible during busy periods.

Host families welcome students into their homes and trust that they will respect their way of life.  Half-board accommodation means that students will have breakfast and evening meals with the family, but must take care of their own lunches.  There are many cafés and eateries located near the school.

Host families come in all shapes and sizes.  Some have small children, while others have older children who are no longer living at home; there are single parent families as well as retired couples.  We do not take requests for friends to be placed in the same host family or in host families near one another.  Students should be prepared to take public transportation if they are not within walking distance of the school.  For returning home later than public transport allows, students should budget for taxis to return home in time for curfew.  The accommodation officer at the school is always available to discuss host family placements, should any issues arise during a student's stay.

General French Courses (for ages 16 and up)

  • Standard (20 group French lessons per week)
    20 group French lessons per week, focusing on all aspects of the language: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Lessons follow the Common European Framework and deal with cultural and current affairs in order to learn both the language and the culture.
  • Intensive (26 group French lessons per week)
    In addition to the Standard French course, students will receive two afternoons of group lessons per week to supplement the morning lessons. The additional French lessons also teach all aspects of language learning: grammar, vocabulary, communication and intensive training.
  • Intensive Plus (20 group lessons plus 5 one-to-one lessons per week)
    Combination of the Standard French course with six one-to-one lessons. This course is a great way to personalise any given programme to suit the student's needs and wishes.
  • Super Intensive (20 groups lessons plus 10 one-to-one lessons per week)
    Combination of the Standard French course with ten one-to-one lessons. This course is for students who wish to achieve fast progress in French. This course is particularly adapted for study or professional needs.

1 lesson = 45 minutes of teaching time

Junior French Courses for Ages 14-17

The Junior French Course welcomes teenagers from all over the world and has been designed specifically for young people visiting France for a combined French language and holiday course. The maximum class size is 15 students and the minimum stay is one week. Teachers are experienced, enthusiastic and will help students get the most out of their programme. Teachers use an integrated communicative approach in their teaching, which focuses on the student and his or her environment. Particular attention is paid to improving speaking and listening skills, through role-plays, discussions, video and songs, activities, etc.

  • Junior Intensive: 20 group lessons per week
    Included in the Junior Course is an activity programme, residential accommodation with full board, sharing room with another international Junior student.

1 lesson = 45 minutes of teaching time

French Classes in the Morning, with Afternoon Classes for the intensive and Super Intensive French Courses

On the first morning of the course, students must be at the school by 08:25. From 08:30 until 10:00 students will sit a written and oral placement test. After a 30 minute break, the first lesson will begin at 10:30 and lasts until 12:30. Students will be placed in a multinational class with a maximum of 9 other students at the same level, and all classes are taught in French. An orientation session, including a walking tour of Montpellier, will take place from 13:30 to 15:00.

Barring the first day, Standard Course lessons are held from 09:00 to 12:30, Monday through Friday, including a 15 minute break. Students taking the Intensive Course will have two afternoon classes from 13:30 to 15:45, generally on a Tuesday and Thursday (this is subject to change). The Intensive Plus Course has six one-to-one lessons on two afternoons per week from either 13:30 to 15:45 or 16:00 to 18:15, in addition to the Standard morning classes. The Super Intensive Course has ten one-to-one lessons on three afternoons per week from 13:30 to 15:45. For students receiving one-to-one lessons only, the timetable will be discussed and decided with the teacher on the first Monday morning.

French Language Classes Plus Activities = More Fun!

There is a wide range of social and cultural activities and excursions offered to help students get to know their classmates, as well as learn more about the local region and French culture. Some activities are free, while others are offered at an additional fee on a first-come, first-served basis. Joining activities is a great way for students to speak French and supplement their daily French lessons.

Available activities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Montpellier town visits
  • Wine and cheese tasting (for students 18 and over only)
  • Meals in local restaurants
  • Museum visits
  • Welcome and farewell parties
  • Montpellier's renowned aperitifs
  • Sporting activities (football and handball matches, bowling, ice-skating, etc.)

Available excursions may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Avignon and the Pont du Gard
  • Nîmes
  • The Camargue National Park
  • Sète
  • Carcassonne
  • St Guilhem-le-Désert and the Grotte de Clamouse
  • The Grotte des Demoiselles

Excursions are available on a first-come, first-served basis and usually cost approximately €20 for a half-day excursion and €30 for a full day excursion. Payment is to be made at the time of booking.



  • How do I get to Montpellier from Ireland?

    EIL does not arrange flights for any of its programme.  All flights must be booked by the students or parents.  Arrival and departure details must be given to EIL so we can arrange the students' transfers.  Details must include dates, times, airline carrier, flight number and train time and number (if applicable).  Currently Easyjet (via London Gatwick) and Air France (via Paris) connect to Montpellier Airport from Ireland. Another popular option is to fly directly to Carcassonne from Dublin or Cork with Ryanair and connect to Montpellier via train.  There are bus shuttles available from Carcassonne Airport to the train station where a connecting train to Montpellier can be taken. The shuttle is located at the front of the building and leaves 20 minutes after each flight arrives. It takes approximately 15 minutes to reach the train station and the cost is €5 per person per way.  Tickets can be purchased from the driver.  Taxis are also available for a cost of approximately €15 to Carcassonne train station.  Both Carcassonne and Marseille have direct flights from Ireland and are 1.5 hours by train to Montpellier with regualr service. Nimes is only 30 minutes by train.

If taking the train, please arrive at Montpellier station. There are TGVs which take around 3.25 hours from Paris-Gare de Lyon or Roissy-CDG Airport, if flying into Paris. For train information, see http://www.tgv-europe.com/en/home/ or http://www.sncf.co.uk.

From Cork, there are direct seasonal flights to Carcassonne with Ryanair and to Paris with Aer Lingus. Please check for availability and dates with the airline.

From Dublin, there are direct seasonal flights to Paris and Marseille with Aer Lingus and to Carcassonne with Ryanair. Please check for availability and dates with the airline.

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  • Will I be met on my arrival?

    Yes.  Transfers from Montpellier Airport or train station are included in the price if staying with a host family, provided arrival is during hospitable hours (meaning not before 8am or after 11pm).

    A student week begins on Sunday evening, and ends on Saturday morning. We must be informed as soon as possible if traveling outside of these times.  If half board accommodation is provided and arrival is before 19:00, students will have an evening meal on arrival.  Please contact the host family directly by the latest on the Wednesday before arrival, letting them know the arrival time and place.  We cannot guarantee that host families will be there upon arrival if we do not have the necessary information by the Wednesday prior to arrival.

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  • How many students will there be in my class, how old will they be and where will they be from?

    The maximum number of students in a general class is 10, but often the number is less than this.  In general, the average class size from June to September is 8-10, whereas the rest of the year it is 4-7.

    We have had students aged 17 to 90 on our courses, but the majority of our students are aged 18-30.  During the summer months, more young teens are in attendance when school is on summer holidays.

    The school welcomes students from over 30 different countries, mostly from Europe but also from China, Japan, Venezuela, Guatemala, Iceland, USA, Canada, Australia, Israel and Kazakhstan.

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  • Can I stay in a host family really close to the school?

    We try our best to match students with families according to their needs and interests (for example, special dietary requirements, allergies, car parking space, etc.), but this depends on many factors and is done on a first-come, first-served basis.  For students not staying in the town centre, we try to place them with families living near the tramway or 'Rabelais' night bus service (last bus and tram around 1am).   Please note that as a rule we will try not to place two students speaking the same language in the same host family, but cannot guarantee this during peak times.

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  • What do I write in my "Dear Host Family" letter?

    The letter to the host family is an opportunity to introduce yourself and tell your hosts about yourself.  We recommend describing your family, hobbies, interests, friends, etc.  Try to include information you would like to know about someone coming to visit you for two or more weeks.  Written in French, your letter will differentiate you from other students the host families may be hosting or have hosted before.  It will also give your hosts topics to start conversation with once you arrive so you can practice your French even more about topics you have already written about in French.

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Suitable for Responsible Young Adults

The general courses are run in an adult language school, therefore programmes there are suitable only for students who are 16 and over and have a certain level of maturity and sense of responsibility. This course does not offer 24-hour supervision and is not suitable for all students. Students are supervised only when they are in the language school or on language school organised activities (which are optional). Students will have a good bit of unsupervised free time and will be free to come and go as they please when they do not have lessons, and in the evenings after dinner. The host families are not responsible for the students while on unsupervised activities.

The evening curfew for students under 18 returning home to their host families is 23:00 Sunday-Thursday and 00:30 on Friday, Saturday and evenings before bank holidays. This curfew is very strictly monitored and EIL, our partner school and the host family reserve the right to restrict evening privileges should the curfew be broken. Parents have the option to set an earlier curfew if desired. It is the students' responsibility to ensure that they keep to their curfew. Host families are not expected to wait up beyond their normal bedtime waiting for the student to return. If the student has not returned by the agreed time, the host family will notify the language school the next day and disciplinary action will be taken. Disciplinary action will also be taken if it comes to the attention of the school that the student has broken any of the programme rules including alcohol consumption for students under 18, not respecting the host family, arriving to class late or non attendance, etc. In all cases where a student under 18 is disciplined, parents in Ireland will be notified. For a full list of programme rules, please see the course application form.

If parents are concerned about the level of supervision and feel that their child might not be sufficiently mature for this type of course, please contact EIL to discuss alternative programmes that do offer campus accommodation and 24-hour supervision, or consider the Junior Programme that is designed specifically for younger students.

Standard, Intensive, Intensive Plus and Super Intensive Courses 2018

Prices start from €1,391 for a 2-week course. To find out more about our course offerings and prices, please call us at 021-4551535 or click here to request a call back

Programmes run from Sunday through to Saturday all year long.

Junior Summer Course Dates 2018

24th June-18th August 2018

Programmes run from Sunday through Saturday on the dates above. Suitable for students aged 11 to 16.

We encourage you to compare our costs with other organisations and a careful comparison of what is included and what is not included is always advisable.

What Is Included

  • Pre-departure information and support
  • Accommodation and board *(some programmes are half board)
  • Pick up at airport on arrival
  • Medical, liability and travel insurance
  • Orientation 
  • Ongoing support from local coordinator

What Is Not Included

  • Cost of flights
  • Visa Fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Vaccinations
  • Uniforms (if required)
  • Books 
  • Local transport to school


NOTE: Prices are subject to change and are reviewed annually in November.


Apply for your French language programme today!

In order to apply, please post the following back to our office:

  • A completed application form
  • €350 non-refundable deposit paid by cheque, postal order or bank draft made out to EIL Intercultural Learning
  • 1 passport photo
  • Host family letter. Try to introduce yourself and your family, and include your interests and why you want to go to France. This letter must be written IN FRENCH.

Please do NOT book flights until you receive written notification from EIL that your course and dates are confirmed.

N.B. All signatures by parents and student must be present. Incomplete applications will delay the booking and can result in not obtaining a place on the desired course or dates.

Feedback from students who studied French in Montpellier

Host Family

"Very friendly and welcoming." - Daniel

"Really nice people. Felt lucky to have met them." - David

"They were very friendly, I learned so much about France from them, they were very interested in Ireland and how I was getting on and making me feel welcome." - Meadhbh

"The location of my apartment to the school was perfect and the family very friendly." - Lucy

"Really great family; had a great time staying with them." - Peigi