English is increasingly widespread in Paris, Nice and other big tourist-busy cities, but step into la France profonde (rural France) and you'll need those French phrases you mastered before setting off.

Courses

  • The website www.studyabroadlinks.com can help you find specific courses and summer programs.
  • All manner of French-language courses are available in Paris and provincial towns and cities; most also arrange accommodation.
  • Prices and courses vary greatly; the content can often be tailored to your specific needs (for a fee).
  • The website www.europa-pages.com/france lists language schools in France.

Alliance Française French courses (minimum one week) for all levels. Intensif courses meet for four hours a day five days a week; extensif courses involve nine hours' tuition a week.

Centre Méditerranéen d'Études Françaises Mythical French Riviera school around since 1952, with a stunning open-air amphitheatre, designed by Jean Cocteau and overlooking the sparkling blue Med.

Eurocentres (www.eurocentres.com) This affiliation of small, well-organised schools has three addresses in France: in Amboise in the charming Loire Valley, in La Rochelle, and in Paris.

Aix-Marseille Université A hot choice, also known as Université de Provence, in lovely Aix: semester-long language courses as well as shorter summer classes.