For a worry-free stay, remember to check all your administrative papers ahead of time (ID card, passport, visa, residence permit or titre de séjour, etc.) as official paperwork often takes a long time to process. The documents you require will depend on your country of origin. European Union members only need a valid ID card to enter and study in France, whereas non-members of the European Union must have a valid passport (check that this will remain valid during your entire stay) and a visa. The visa enables you to enter France and request your residence permit, called a “titre de séjour”.
SOURCE: letudiant.fr

COVID-2019: We can answer all of your questions about the health crisis and the sanitary measures put in place within our schools.

Your questions

Find all the answers to your questions below.

How can I get a french visa?

If your country isn’t a member of the European Union, the classic visa (otherwise known as a tourist visa) will be sufficient for any stay under 3 months. A student visa can only be obtained once you have registered with a school or university. The price of a student visa depends on the length of your stay. Visa requests must be addressed to the French Consulate or Embassy in your country. Processing times vary, but you’ll need at least a month to obtain a student visa. You will have to include several official documents with your visa application: we suggest that you check the list of documents required on the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. More information here : http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/

Warning: once you are in France on a classic/tourist visa and you want a student visa, you will have to return to your home country to request one.

Campus France is an organisme that helps you in your administrative procedures: https://www.campusfrance.org/fr

You can simulate a visa application in order to know which documents to provide: https://france-visas.gouv.fr/web/france-visas/accueil

What is a french long stay “student” visa ?

If you aren’t European and you’re planning to stay longer than 3 months, you must request a long-stay student visa. In order to obtain this visa, you will need to provide your passport, a registration certificate from the school you are registered with (this must be a course of at least 20 classes/week), and justify that you have sufficient financial means to support yourself for one year, as well as have a French bank account. If you are a student over the age of 28, you will need to prove that you are covered for health and civil insurance, as you won’t be covered by the French social security system. It is important to start on your official paperwork as soon as your school confirms your registration as you can expect to wait between 2 to 4 weeks for a response. The period of validity for this visa cannot exceed 1 year, however, you may renew this visa after your first year of study if you provide the necessary documents (proof of attendance and registration certificate).

How can I obtain a residence permit in France?

Once you are in France, you’ll need your visa to obtain a students’ residence permit (called a ‘titre de séjour’ in France) from the police headquarters which will take around 2 months minimum to arrive. Since 2003, European Union members have not required a residence permit. An interns’ residence permit is available for foreign students wishing to do an internship with a French company, within the framework of an official Internship Agreement (‘convention de stage’).

More information about company internships proposed throughout the year by Les ateliers FL:
French & Internship Program

How can I renew my student visa?

If you are a student in France and you would like to extend your student visa, you simply need to register with Les ateliers FL. We will give you a registration certificate that you can then present at police headquarters (Préfecture de police). If you are already a Les ateliers FL student, you can renew your registration. We will then give you a new registration certificate and proof of your attendance (showing that you have attended classes at Les ateliers FL) for presentation at police headquarters (Préfecture de police).

Special situations: Au Pair student needing a visa or a placement agreement (for the DDTE – Department Of Work and Employment)

To organize your stay in France, we strongly recommend that you seek information from the various French authorities like the Au Pair placement agencies, French Consulate, Department of Work and Employment, DREETS (Directions régionales de l’économie, de l’emploi, du travail et des solidarités; formerly DIRECCTE), and the police headquarters (Préfecture de police). If you are a European Au Pair student, you do not need a visa. If you are a non-European Au Pair student, you will need to request a visa from the French Consulate in your country. A registration (or pre-registration) certificate from a French educational institution is required. To obtain this certificate, you must be an Au Pair and registered for a French language course (called “Au Pair Program” at Les ateliers FL). After receiving a deposit for the course (50% of the term price + registration fees), you will receive your pre-registration certificates, which you can then give to the French Consulate.

When can I begin my course?

Complete beginner must start their French course on a fixed date (for weekly and term courses). A new session starts every 4 weeks. Other levels may begin on any given Monday for weekly General French courses. For longer courses, students also begin on fixed dates.

How long is my course?

You decide how long your French course will be, based on your availability and your objectives. The minimum course length is 1 week. We recommend that beginner students register for at least 4 weeks if they want to see real progress with their French.

What’s the latest date I can register?

We recommend that you reserve at least 3 weeks before the course starts. However, we accept registrations throughout the year, on a first-come, first-served basis.

How many students are in a class?

All the General French courses (weekly group courses) are limited to 12 students. Long-Term courses and Au pair courses are limited to 18 students. We carry out level testing to ensure that students in a group share the same level. For this reason, there are occasionally one or two extra students in a class.

Where do the students come from?

Each year, we welcome students from all over the world.

What level of french do I need to register for classes?

You don’t need to have any French at all: we offer courses for absolute beginners (A1.1) all the way up to advanced speakers (C1).See levels.

How do you assess levels in French?

When you register, you will receive a free level test by email. In addition, an oral test will also help determine your level on arrival. In the meantime, if you want to have an idea of your level of French, have fun taking our fun test!

Do you have francophone teachers?

Yes, all our teachers are francophones who are qualified to teach French as a Foreign Language. More information on teaching staff here.

What’s the minimum age to study at Les ateliers FL?

You must be at least 17 to study French at Les ateliers FL. However, we welcome young people from 10 to 17 years old in our special programs in Nice and Biarritz. More information on our Kids and Juniors programs here.

What is the students’ average age?

The average age is 30 (18 for au pair programme), but we have a lot of young students (particularly during the summer) and seniors throughout the year.

Can I change the dates of my classes or take a holiday?

This is only possible if you have opted for a weekly course. Your place is booked for your chosen course as soon as your payment has gone through. You may delay your start date on condition that you inform us 10 days in advance and that places are available for the dates you want. Please note that the certificate of attendance does not cover absences from class.

What should I bring on the first day of class?

We ask that you bring an ID card or passport as well as an ID-type photo for your student card. You will also need a notebook, a pen, and a dictionary.

Is the teaching material included in the price of the course?

Yes, the teachers work with teaching documents which will be given to you in the course. However, for some programs, we will ask you to buy a French textbook (price between € 26 and € 40 depending on the level).

Will I receive anything at the end of my course?

At the end of your course you can get a French language certificate that shows your level and the number of course hours you have done. If requested at least one week before your finishing date, you may receive a final report.

What happens if I miss a class?

If you miss a class, it will not be replaced, nor will you be reimbursed. If you are seriously ill, you may be eligible for reimbursement upon presentation of a note from your doctor. If you are repeatedly absent, your place on the course is not guaranteed. You will not receive a certificate for proof of attendance. However, you may be able to join another class depending on your level.

How can I register?

Register by completing the registration form on our website or in person, Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 5:30pm (timetable may vary), no appointment necessary. Registration form.

Do I need a visa to come to France?

You can find out the information you need regarding visas from the French Embassy or Consulate in your country, or from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. You’ll find more information in the Important Documents section.
Simulation link : https://france-visas.gouv.fr/web/france-visas/ai-je-besoin-d-un-visa

How can I get a registration certificate?

For students who are not nationals of a country in the European Union and who will be staying in France for a period of more than three months, registration for a general French course (20, 26 or 30 lessons / week) is required. Upon receipt of a lump sum of € 500, we will send you a pre-registration certificate for the procedures with the French Consulate. On your arrival in France and upon receipt of the balance to be paid, we will issue a second certificate (school certificate) for the procedures with the police headquarters. This second certifacte is delivered at school upon request.

For students who do not require a visa, registration is final upon receipt of at least 50% of the accommodation costs

How can I obtain a registration certificate for an au pair programme?

Registration for our Au Pair Programme will enable you to receive a pre-registration certificate of 10 hours/week (you must be an au pair to take this course). Once we have received your deposit (50% of the first term + registration fee), we will issue a pre-registration certificate to help you with your paperwork at the French Embassy or Consulate in your country. This certificate will also be needed for paperwork at the DREETS (Department of Work and Employment) and at the your Au Pair placement agency. Once you have arrived in France and we have received the balance of payment, we will issue a registration certificate for the paperwork you’ll have to do at the police headquarters.

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept payment by the following methods: credit card (Visa, Master Card), cheque in Euros, cash or travellers cheques. You can also make a bank transfer (charges are your responsibility) or pay online through Flywire. Les ateliers FL have partnered with Flywire to offer you an international online payment service that combines security and speed.

How old do I have to be to stay with a host family ?

You must be at least age 18 to request housing. Students who are minors (at least 17 years old), must stay with a host family, on full or half board.

What is the latest I can put in a request ?

We ask that you make a reservation at least 3 weeks before the beginning of classes (4 weeks during the summer).

When are arrivals and departures for accommodations ?

If you are staying with a host family, arrivals are on Sunday and departures are on Saturday. For accommodations in an apartment, hotel or residence hall, arrivals and departures generally take place on the weekend. More info about accommodation.

Will anyone pick me up from the airport or train station?

Transfers are a paid service offered by Les ateliers FL and are possible in all cities. We can organize them regardless of the choice of accommodation.

Are Les ateliers FL a recognized exam center ?

Les ateliers FL Paris, Nice and Bordeaux are exam centers for the TCF.

Les ateliers FL Biarritz is an official DELF / DALF exam centre.
All information about French exam here.

What exams can i prepare for at Les ateliers FL ?

Les ateliers FL offer exam preparation courses year-round. Prepare for official or general French exams like the DELF, the DALF and the TCF . All of our programs are strucutred within the guidelines of the European Commission’s Common European Framework of Reference (CECR) for language learning. Our exam preparation courses help prepare you for “French as foreign language” exams. Les ateliers FL Paris also holds preparation classes for French Professional Diplomas (Business French, Tourism and Hospitality French, Legal French, and more).

When is the school open ?

Les ateliers FL are open all year

Are there classes on public holidays ?

No classes are held on French public holidays.

Are there classes during the Christmas Holidays ?

Our schools at Paris, Nice, Bordeaux, Biarritz, Lyon and Martinique do not hold classes during Christmas break.

What are the class times?

Class times vary depending on the school, your program and your level. At the earliest, lessons start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 7:45p.m. at the latest. There are never any classes on the weekend.

Do you offer free or paid activities?

Les ateliers FL have a service specializing in the organization of free and paid cultural or sporting activities. Also, you will always find something to do during your stay at Les ateliers FL. More information here.

Are the activities free ?

At Les ateliers FL, we have a designated team that organizes cultural and sports activities year-round. There are both free activities and activities that require a fee, but you will always have something to do during your study abroad trip with Les ateliers FL ! Email for more information: info@les-ateliers.fr

Surfing Lessons in Biarritz

Surfing courses are handled by the Hastea surfing school. Surfing lessons are held Monday to Friday, either afternoon or evening (depending on the weather/tides): 5 sessions of 1.5hrs per week. The meeting point is on the Côte de Basques beach at Biarritz, or on the Corsaires beach at Anglet (A shuttle bus is organized by the school for the classes at Anglet).

In the case of bad weather and to ensure student safety, surfing lessons are canceled and rescheduled for later in the week or on the weekend.

The Hastea surfing school provides your surfing equipment (wetsuit and surfboard) however, you’ll need to bring your own beachwear (swimsuit, sunblock, and towel) NB: You should bring your beachwear on the Monday, the first day of classes.

Golf Lessons in Biarritz

Golf courses are handled by the golf pros at European Golf. Golf lessons are held Monday to Friday, from 2pm to 4pm. The meeting point is at the school ; a driver will pick you up around 1:45pm.

European Golf will lend you all the golf equipment. You should bring a hat and sunblock to protect yourself from the sun, and a bottle of water.

Tennis Lessons in Nice

The sessions are three times 1h30 a week (Monday, Tuesday and Friday afternoon), in small groups in which the level of each is respected. The sessions are in French, in a partner tennis club, in Villefrance-sur-Mer. The material is included by the club. You have to bring your shoes (sneakers with smooth soles).

Diving Lessons in Nice?

Each session includes four dives (each with a duration of three hours) from 2:30 pm through till 5:30 pm. Sessions take place in small groups where you will learn diving and safety techniques in various famous dive sites near Nice. All gear will be provided by the diving club and lessons will be taught in french.

Kitesurfing Lessons in Martinique?

The lessons take place with our partner kitesurfing school, in small groups of a maximum of 8 students. All equipment is included and provided by the Kitesurf school (wetsuit and sail). Sessions include three kitesurfing lessons with a duration of 3 hours each, Monday to Friday from 2 pm to 5 pm and/or Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 1 pm.

Diving Lessons in Martinique?

Each session includes three dives (each with a duration of three hours) from 2 pm through till 5 pm. Sessions take place in small groups where you will learn diving and safety techniques in various famous dive sites near Martinique. All gear will be provided by the diving club and lessons will be taught in french.

Multi-sports Program in Martinique?

The Multi-Sports Program is an introduction to different water sports such as diving, flyboarding, wakeboarding, jet skiing, windsurfing, and parasailing. All gear is will be provided by our partners.

More information on our French & Sport programs here.

Any doubt about your French level ?

Les ateliers FL offer you this quick recreational test to determine your level of French in one look. When you register at Les ateliers FL, you need to do an other more complete test and an oral interview with a teacher to define more precisely your level and your linguistic goals.

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Last page update : 05/07/2023

Questions about our programs?

Our team will answer your questions by phone.